My name is Chantal Wilford and I’m a childbirth educator and birth doula in Sarasota & Manatee counties in Florida. I’m a mom of two girls and two boys, all born at home in the presence of skilled and wonderful midwives…
My husband, Andrew, and I began our parenting journey with our first pregnancy in 2001. Our first child was born at home in California under the guidance of two skilled and patient midwives from South Coast Midwifery: after 10 hours of pre-labor and 27 hours of active labor, our daughter was born direct occiput posterior at 9 pounds even. Our son was born at home and in water in Colorado with another fantastic midwife, Tracy Ryan of Mountain Midwifery: after just 7 hours of intense labor, he was born posterior at 11 pounds 6 ounces. After a miscarriage, we welcomed another son who was born at home in Florida with yet another amazing midwife, Christina Holmes of Birthways Family Birth Center: my first anterior baby weighing in at “just” 10 pounds. Finally, we welcomed a baby girl, also caught at our home by Christina, who weighed 10 pounds 11 ounces. Her big sister, age 9 at the time, was there to witness her birth, take some pictures and even cut the umbilical cord. All four births were empowering and unique experiences that my husband and I both treasure.
My own first pregnancy and birth experience opened my eyes to birthing practices in the US which then led me to want to encourage and inspire others to take charge of their birth experiences. I trained to become a certified Bradley Method® instructor and doula in 2005, completed the doula training workshop through DONA in 2008 and also began training as a midwife’s assistant in 2008. In my quest to always continue learning, I attend seminars and workshops on birth-related topics such as SIDS and Safe Sleep, Supporting Women through Perinatal Loss, Childbirth Educator Workshops, and Spinning Babies seminars. I have also held certification in neonatal resuscitation and CPR. I have been honored to teach and learn from hundreds of women and their partners since 2006. In 2011, I embraced the freedom and flexibility of becoming an independent childbirth educator and I look forward to being a part of the birthing world for many years to come!
My passions extend beyond childbirth to peaceful parenting. I served as the leader of our local chapter of the Holistic Moms Network from its inception in 2005 to its closure in 2015, learning about conscious parenting, green living and holistic health. I love being exposed to different ideas so that we can figure out what resonates best with us, do our own research and make it work for our family. The ten years I spent coordinating guest speakers for this chapter on a wide range of topics has given me valuable insight into the local expertise available to us and I am happy to share this with my clients.
I wasn’t always interested in birth and parenting: After graduating from high school in the US, I spent 7 years living in the Netherlands, England and France either as a college student or teacher of English as a Foreign Language to Adults. I hold a Bachelor’s of Arts Honours degree in Russian, French and Linguistics from the University of Durham in England and have a year of post-graduate training as a translator and interpreter from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. I have been translating mainly legal, academic and medical texts from Dutch & French into English since 1997. I still enjoy working with languages, and love that I have the flexibility to balance translation work from home for clients around the world with doula services for women in my community.
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