I, Claudette Coughenour, have been providing professional birthing services since 1989. I received my initial training and apprenticeship from 1985-1989, at the Gentle Birth Center in Burbank, CA (which is now the Natural Birth and Women’s Center). Concurrently attending home deliveries with four ACHI trained midwives, Tonya Brooks LM-CPM (founder of the Association for Childbirth at Home International, ACHI), Pam Jesse CM, Lori Jensen CM, and Diana Kramer RN. During this training I became IV and Phlebotomy certified through Holman Laboratories (CA accredited). In this four-year apprenticeship I also became a certified Childbirth Educator, Lactation Counselor, Doula, and Certified Midwife through the AIMS program (ACHI Institute for Midwifery Studies.) From 1989-1995, I attended deliveries as a ACHI certified midwife and trained three apprentice midwives. In 1996 our family moved to Ohio, where I attended deliveries in Amish country, often working with Freida Miller, and other Mennonite midwives until 1998. Also, in 1996, my sister (Charlotte Sanchez CPM) and I started our midwifery practice called Sisterhood Midwifery Care, serving families from Detroit to Toledo to the Amish in Ohio.
I became a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) in 1997. This is a national certification sponsored by North American Registry of Midwives. I became a California Licensed Midwife from 1998-2005 and trained several apprentices while being in business as Sisterhood Midwifery Care. In 2005, I became a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. I first acquired my certification in Health Care Provider CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation in 1993. I have kept all the previously listed certifications current.
I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and am currently working towards a Masters of Science in Midwifery at the Midwives College of Utah, thru classes and research using the Microbiology Lab @ Napa Valley College. I am also a preceptor and BSM (Bachelor of Science) Reviewer for the National College of Midwifery in Taos, New Mexico. I am an active member of the California Association of Midwives, (CAM), Lamaze, ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network), MANA (Midwifery Alliance of North America), ICTC (International Center of Traditional Childbirth), and a board member of Mom’s In Bloom (Solano County Resource Center). I attend peer review meetings regularly through CAM and the Sonoma County Peer Review group.
Since 2005, I have been working in a group practice, New Life Birthing Services, which consists of Claudette Coughenour Director, Certified Professional Midwife, Certified Doula and Lamaze Certified Educator, Dana Fox LM, Susanna Napierala LM, Annemarrie Russo LM, and Laura Nichols LM. Our group practice has privileges at the Sacred Birth Place (a birth center in Oakland California).
I have passed the California Challenge exam to obtain/reinstate my California LM#75(1997-2005) Midwifery Certification, in October 2013. I am currently enrolled in a midwifery program at the National Midwifery Institute and working along with CA licensed midwives as preceptors, to comply with state laws while waiting to reinstate my California midwifery license.
I believe parents (women) should be involved in their own health care and make informed choices concerning treatments, therapies, and interventions that could assist them and their newborns. I am committed to assisting women give birth as naturally as possible with least amount of interference or intervention. In order for parents to accomplish this, they need to educate themselves concerning diet, exercise, supplements, chiropractic….and refrain from the use of certain drugs/medication and alcohol during the childbearing years. Parents need to attend childbirth classes to gain a better understanding about pregnancy, labor, and the birth process. It is necessary for parents to learn coping techniques to deal with the discomfort of labor, breastfeeding and latching techniques, postpartum recovery and newborn care. My goal is to help educate, encourage, and assist women with the transition into motherhood whether they are delivering in a water birth tub, at home or in the hospital. I want to help parents learn how to ask questions and stay informed with the health and education of their children. Whether they are delivering at home, a birthing center, or at the hospital.