I am a mother, a former home-birth midwife, a Fertility Awareness and Sexual Health Educator and a Holistic Women’s Health Counselor.
I have been working with women’s health in various capacities for nearly 20 years. I run a private practice teaching and lecturing here in Southern Oregon and along the west coast and do on-line consulting as well. I am the founder and facilitator of the FAE/SHE teacher training program, in which I am midwifing the next generation of Body Literacy educators. I am an active member of the Association of Fertility Awareness Professionals and work off and in a collaborative care practice called the Natural Fertility Network. Please read on to learn more about what I offer. The foundation of my work lies within the practice of listening – to our bodies, to the earth, to each other.
I support people in becoming the experts of their own bodies and health. I work at the intersections of body literacy and eco-literacy. Of somatic and erotic intelligence. Of place based wisdom, holistic, community health and wilderness connection.
I began studying women’s health at a very young age as life and its experiences offered me the opportunities to do so. I did hours and hours of self-study in nutrition, herbs and alternative medicine before choosing to follow the path of midwifery. I started attending births in 1998 and progressed through multiple apprenticeships, academic courses, conferences, self-study, midwifery programs in 3 countries for a little over a decade, attending 100+ births.
During my midwifery studies I was also fortunate to be mentored by three influential teachers who were also Fertility Awareness educators. Having learned cycle tracking skills myself as a teenager, I knew the power of this practice well. In fact, since those early years of my sexual life, I have gone on to use cycle tracking practices continuously… for nearly twenty five years. I have successfully used the practice as my primary form of birth control for nearly 20 of those years. I have also used the practice to consciously conceive and during nursing/post-partum times.
With this background, and working with families during the childbearing years I discovered even more clearly how disconnected our culture is from our sexuality, our intimacy and our understanding, trust and reverence of our bodies. I came to realize my passion lay more fully in the teaching of these skills to others, perhaps offering ‘preventative care’ for better pregnancies and birth outcomes. I also soon realized that these same teachings gift us with richer sexual experiences, self-love and ultimately guide us to become more sovereign and empowered in our health care choices.
I taught Fertility Awareness and Cycle Tracking practices throughout my years as a midwife, but let go of birth work completely in 2010 to enjoy my full life of teaching and being a mother. During that time my “midwifery” slowly grew to encompass teachings on body literacy, sexual health and sexual practices as well as wilderness education, hospice care-giving and facilitating dances and community events. In 2011, upon the encouragement of colleagues and students, I launched a teacher training program to support women also interested in offering this radical material to the world. It has been immensely rewarding and successful. It is a two year at-a-distance program which you can read more about here.
Recognizing the power of collaborative care, a group of healthcare practitioners here in Southern Oregon banded together to offer our clients truly holistic and empowering support. We formed the ‘Natural Fertility Network’ and continue to share clients and work together.
The Natural Fertility Network
Lastly I will share that the awareness I have gained from knowing my body and sexuality so intimately has been one of the greatest gifts life has given me and I am eternally grateful for this… and for the chance to share this wisdom with others. I do not teach under the guidelines of any particular spiritual tradition and instead welcome anyone who would like to learn these tools. I truly respect the religious and spiritual choices of others. I also strive to be welcoming to you wherever you stand on the gender or sexual identity spectrum, although I primarily work with those with female anatomy. I believe it is diversity of body, heart, identity and desire that makes this world as rich as it is. I am still learning to make appropriate language choices to be as inclusive as possible while discussing topics such as anatomy, physiology and sex…and always welcome feedback when I make mistakes. I welcome you, whomever you are, to join me in this wonderful education, which I shape to encompass all people without judgment or dogma.
I live in Ashland, Oregon with my family, ducks and bees. I enjoy dancing, hiking, camping, singing, gardening, beekeeping, cooking and loving. All things wild and free are my teachers. I continue to ‘study’ under the tutelage of this great planet and always will. I am also currently studying the disciplines of the Mogadao tradition of Daoist theories and practices.
I want to send out a shout of gratitude to two of my teachers on this path, Jeannine Parvati Baker and Ana Raphael, both of whom are no longer in-bodied and have crossed over into other realms. What a gift it was to learn from them.
In gratitude… Sarah