Cheryl Murfin, CD, CBE, CLE, CPD
Contact for Los Angeles services at:
Email: NestingInstinctsDoulas@gmail.com / Phone: 323.522.4399
Or use Email Contact Form Below
People often ask me why I do what I do, given the long hours and emotional tenor of the job. Here's why: every time I am given the honor of attending a birth, I am amazed -- by the strength of women, the smarts of their babies, the resiliency of families. I learn something new from every family I serve -- about love, opening up and hope.
These lessons remind me I am part of a web of families around the world who are helping each other visualize a better world for our children.
The path to this work was meandering. I started my work life as a newspaper reporter - an exciting, high energy career but one generally focused on the things that go wrong in the world. In having my own children, I realized I wanted to have a work about creating good rather than reporting bad. I eventually moved into nonprofit communications, serving five years as Communications Director for Children's Home Society of Washington.
The births of my children included midwives, family practice doctors, obstetricians and doulas - each of these practitioners helped me give birth with dignity and power. Through them, I made the connection that how we are born matters. Feeling empowered to make our birth choices, feeling fully supported and informed, creating environments that result in a gentle, calm birth matters to us as parents, it matters to children as their first experience of the world outside the womb and it matters to their future as they consider bringing forth the next generation.
Soon after the birth of my first child, my daughter Madeleine, I began a self-study in midwifery, I wanted to learn all that could about this art, which I had thought ended in the Middle Ages. Not so, I learned. Today's midwives are well-educated, highly skilled, maternity care providers for low risk women and in fact research shows they have the lowest rate of interventions and poor birth outcomes. I also began assisting women, starting with friends and family, toward the kind of births I'd experienced -- where each mother felt able, strong, sure, empowered and supported. I started my practice as a doula before I knew the word doula.
Since 1995, through many work and family transitions, I have been a contributing editor at A New Arrival Magazine and Seattle’s Child Magazine and other parenting publications. I take great pride in creating a community of parenting through shared stories and ideas.
Over the years, I’ve completed both DONA International doula certification and PALS Doulascertification programs -- these professional organizations help to ensure that doulas provide evidence-based care and adhere to a common code of ethics in practice.
Professional Path, Education & Training
Combining my experience in communications and executive management, parenting editorial and birth support, I stepped into the role of Executive Director of the Seattle Midwifery School in 2005. The school is now the Master of Science in Midwifery program at Bastyr University, the first school in the U.S. to graduate direct-entry midwives at the Masters Degree level. I am deeply honored to have played a role in this momentous change.
- B.A University of Washington
- Non-Profit Management Professional Certificate, University of Washington
- Former Executive Director, Seattle Midwifery School
- Former Executive Director, Simkin School for Allied Birth Vocations
- Former Communications Director, Children’s Home Society of Washington
- PALS Doula, Certified Doula
- DONA (Doulas of North America International), Member
- Doulas of Souther California, Member
- Volunteer Childbirth Educator and Labor Support Provider to the CHS Teen Parent Home & University of Washington Perinatal Services 2001-2005
- When Survivors Give Birth, trained by Penny Simkin, PT, CD, CDT
- When A Baby Dies, trained by Carrie Kenner, CD, CDT
- Professional Education in Breastfeeding & Lactation series, Simkin School
- Trained as a Childbirth Educator, Simkin School
- Certified by Northwest Birth Assistants
- Certified Lactation Educator, Evergreen Perinatal Education
- Supporter of DONA and REACHE annual conferences
- Supporter MAWS annual conference
- Former Board Member Seattle Midwifery School
- Founding Board Member Association of Midwifery Educators
- Certified Neonatal Resuscitation, American Heart Association
- Certified CPR Adult/Child provider, American Heart Assocition
- Member Midwifery Association of Washington State
- Member Midwifery Association of California
- Mom2020 Annual Conference
- Trained as Sacred Crossings Death Midwife