In the Spotlight

In the Spotlight: Dr. Jane Macris

Our “In the Spotlight” series returns to the scene in 2019 with one of our favorite humans on the planet: Dr. Jane Macris of Blooming Chiropractic. We met Jane back in 2015 when we had office space for rent in our Costa Mesa office. Her energy, smile, and warmth are infectious and we love her heart for serving families. Dr. Jane graduated from Life West Chiropractic College West, where she learned a range of techniques (from gentle, low force to instrument assisted) to address the pregnant and pediatric spine. She is currently pursuing her diploma from the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and is Webster Certified to better serve her clients. Jane now has her own beautiful office (just across the street from our old one!) and her business is indeed blooming. We had the chance to catch up with Dr. Jane to learn more about how things are going and reconnect after many months had passed and we’re excited to share more about her with you all!

In the Spotlight: Heather Ayala

Happy Spring everyone! Our April is off to a great start with some new and exciting classes on the horizon, including some nutrition workshops led by Registered Dietitian and all-around awesome human, Heather Ayala.

Heather's adorable, cozy office here at Doulas of OC is where she counsels clients on balanced nutrition and helps them set and meet any particular health goals they may have. Her compassionate nature and wealth of knowledge keep you focused as you make gradual, gentle changes that will impact your health for a lifetime! 

We had a chance to sit down with Heather to learn more about her passion for nutrition, wellness, and what makes her unique! 

In The Spotlight: Midwife Nancy Pol

What better person to feature during one of the biggest baby boom months of the year than a midwife! A special shout out to all of you who got busy around Christmas & New Years... you've kept the doulas, midwives and doctors on their toes this month!

Have you had the chance to meet Nancy Pol yet? If not, put it on your to-do list, especially if you are expecting or plan to become pregnant soon.

Nancy is a Certified Nurse Midwife (and all around amazing human being) with Beach Cities Midwifery. Beach Cities Midwifery has 3 birth centers to serve the growing families in Southern California: Laguna Hills, Long Beach, & Corona. They provide well-rounded, client-centered care for all women, but especially the pregnant and birthing ones. Nancy is just one of the incredible baby catchers they have on staff. 

We had the honor to chat with Nancy about her work as a midwife, her passion for serving families, and the other things that bring her joy in life. 

In the Spotlight :: Allison Molinski, CNM

Today’s Spotlight is on the one of Saddleback Memorial’s midwives, Allison Molinski! Allison is a recent addition to the prestigious team at Laguna Beach OBGYN. She has partnered with Dr. Kenneth James to provide evidenced-based and compassionate care to the women of Orange County. Previously a midwife at Beach Cities Midwifery, she is now offering hospital-based midwifery services and working tirelessly to bridge the gap in maternity care. 

We recently met Allison for dinner to talk all things pregnancy and birth! We are honored to have the chance to learn more about her background, her experience, and her incredible passion for serving women. We are excited to collaborate with her and to support her in the amazing work she is doing in Orange County.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you grew up, your education and how your training and experience sets you apart?

I grew up primarily in Orange County but also lived abroad for a number of years in South Africa, Venezuela, and Canada due to my dad’s job as an engineer. I feel so fortunate to have had those childhood experiences as they have had a strong influence on my life path ever since. I attended UC Berkeley for my undergraduate degree, and during my years at Berkeley I cultivated a passion for women’s rights activism and earned a degree in International Development. After graduating I moved to Jakarta, Indonesia to volunteer at a public health clinic for women and children. These experiences shaped my vision of becoming a midwife, as I began to see midwifery as a way I could combine all of my interests – health, feminism, and international development – and be in a position where I could positively impact my community. I left Jakarta and moved to New York City to earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Nurse Midwifery from Columbia University. My first job as a midwife was at Beach Cities Midwifery. I feel so blessed to have had strong mentorship from Beach Cities founder BJ Snell, and my time at Beach Cities enabled me to develop a strong foundation in midwifery in an out-of-hospital setting. (I also have tremendous gratitude to BJ as she also introduced me to my now-husband!)  I began working part time at Kaiser Orange County about a year ago, and recently left Beach Cities to join Dr. Kenneth James, a well-loved OBGYN in Orange County. I am thrilled at the opportunity to serve a broader demographic, and offer midwifery care in-hospital at Saddleback Memorial. I would love to ultimately work abroad as a midwife, as was my original intent, but for now it is clear to me that my calling is to work with women and families in beautiful Orange County. 


What is the “why” behind your business as a midwife? Why do you do what you do?

I became a midwife in part to become a resource for women in my community. So many of us have questions about our bodies – and about contraception, sex, fertility, childbirth, etc, and feel uncomfortable asking questions or having these conversations. I love that I am able to sit with women and create space for them to ask intimate questions. My goal is to offer information and resources and have a woman walk away feeling more empowered and confident about her body, her health, and her overall well-being. I also love that as a midwife I can offer a more holistic approach to women’s health care, blending western medicine with alternative modalities of care. 


What is the most satisfying part of your job? What is the most challenging?

Attending birth allows me to bear witness to one of the most intimate and vulnerable experiences of a woman’s life, and there is nothing more rewarding for me than those moments. It is such a privilege to attend women in childbirth – to watch a woman show her strength and courage over the course of labor, and watch a couple meet their newborn for the first time! I have strong relationships with so many of the women I serve. Of course, like any job, being a midwife is tough at times…. 2am phone calls are always tough! But truthfully the most challenging aspect of the job is that caring for women often entails significant grief and sorrow. I frequently see women experience tremendous pain and suffering with infertility issues, miscarriages, and other unexpected challenges. 


If you could tell an expectant mother one thing, what would it be?

Trust your body! As Ina May Gaskin famously says, “Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.” I love this quote!! Such powerful words, and a good reminder for all of us.


What do you like to do when you’re not attending births/clinicals?

I got married a year ago, and spending time with my husband Geoff consumes most of my time outside of midwifery. We love to travel – our last big trip was our honeymoon to South Africa, and our next big trip will be to Croatia. We love to ski, and spend a lot of time in the winter hitting the slopes of Park City. Camping and sailing are my other hobbies.  


What are you currently binge-watching?

I don’t watch a lot of TV; instead I usually spend evenings reading or watching movies. But I confess - I am addicted to Game of Thrones and I can’t wait for the next season to start!


What is your favorite place to relax in the OC?

I love the relaxing and laid-back vibe of San Clemente. I spent my high school years in SC and Geoff and I are hoping to move back there sometime next year. I love the fun restaurants downtown, beautiful beaches and beach trail, and perpetual cool ocean breeze. 

 

Join us each month for more “In the Spotlight” features! Next time we chat with retired L&D nurse, CLEC and Doula, Tina Schroeder. Interested in being featured? We’d love to hear about what you offer - email us at hi@doulasofoc.com