"Kate created a safe space in her class for us to share our fears and dreams related to childbirth and parenthood. She respectfully pushed us to explore our options for labor and helped us to visualize what kind of birth experience we wanted." -CM
Is birth really that big a deal?
What can you actually do for me?
I can help you feel validated, embodied, powerful and capable - no matter how you choose to birth.
I can help you rediscover and remember yourself.
What can I do for you?
Preparing for birth can be an exciting time. It is also a time when the whole world seems to share their "best way" to birth, parent, be in relationship, etc, etc. New parents already feel overwhelmed and vulnerable. Birth can feel foreign and scary - especially when everyone keeps telling you their oh-so-helpful horror stories! PLUS- not everyone has the same goals- and that it okay!
I am here to help you cut through the noise. Picture it: peaceful silence void of fear, worry and other people's problems. And what emerges: Your powerful voice. Your trust in yourself and your amazing body. Here what working with me means:
- evidence based education to inform your health care decisions
- Full Spectrum Care- care for all pregnancy and postpartum experiences, including abortion, adoption, surrogacy, miscarriage and stillbirth
- connection to your inherent body knowledge
- a whole lot of laughter and joy
- reconnecting and reusing your well honed life skills for birth
- transferring your relationship skills to emotional support for labor
- re-framing your relationship with your body
- feel prepared for parenthood
- baby proofing your sex life and relationships
- feel validated and supported
- trusting yourself
- support navigating all the decisions you need to make without judgement or agenda
- having a sounding board as you figure it all out
- connections to resources that can help you
- so so much fun - because, why not?!
What am I all about?
If I could teach every person in the whole world one thing it would be: You own your body and you get to decide what happens to it. All of my work is built upon this sole concept. (That - and birth isn't a sucky punishment that people have to endure).
So often when birthing individuals are in labor, they look to their care provider to show them how to birth their baby. This is unfair to yourself and your provider! It's your body - you decide! How would your birth change if you felt in control of the decision making about your body? How would you access information? How would you interface with your care team? How would you teach those around you to support you? What tools would you reach for?
This is what happens when women take their power back and have the agency for every decision about their body:
- they expect compassionate and consenting care
- they take time to learn about their body and reproductive health care
- they have healthier relationships
- they have better sex (there is even science to back this up)
- they reach out to support other women
- they reach out to receive support
- they model balance, agency, and healthy boundaries, and consent for their children
- they expect safe boundaries and consent in all relationships
- they have more satisfying births- no matter what happens (there is science for this one too)
- they have safer and healthier births (again, science)
- they take the pressure off their care team to decide FOR them
- they create partnerships and community
- they feel embodied
Birth is physical, mental, emotional, sexual intersection of so many different aspects of your life. You deserve to be educated and feel prepared for it!
My goal is to all the clear the clutter and help you connect YOUR UNIQUE dots, so you can transition through this stage of your life without shame, judgement, trauma- but with support, consenting compassionate care and so much laughter and love.
Birth is about:
- Kick-ass Biology
- Powerful Work
- Your Voice
- Your Values
BIRTH IS NORMAL
I started to become passionate about birth when I was pregnant with my son in 2005. I worked in public health at the National Association of Community Health Centers in different capacities since college (SUNY at Geneseo), and had a huge personal passion in sexuality and reproductive health (Our Bodies, Our Selves, anyone?) - I felt that preparing for birth would come easy to me.
Then I met with my (first) provider.
I got a lot of "we'll allow you to..." or "as long is that (desire I had) doesn't get in the way of my show". After my husband shared my birth was in fact MY show, we thanked him for his time and started to search for a way that made more sense for us. (FOR ME - this turned out to be hospital based midwifery care for my first kid, and a homebirth with a CNM with my second kid. It may be something totally different for you).
I was having a baby, it didn't mean I wanted to be treated like a baby. Not only is this treatment steeped in misogyny, it's a major pet peeve. I might have been a clueless new pregnant person who didn't know what I didn't know - but last time I checked, pregnancy is not a condition that erased my ability to inform myself. I wanted collaborative care because bottom line- women know their bodies.
So I started to learn. And I was so blown away by the human body and all the many ways you could talk about birth - from the biological, cultural, sexual, political.... - that I started to teach. (This may have started with me telling every persona with a uterus that they will probably poop when pushing out their baby. The curriculum has grown since then. Honestly!)
Eventually that teaching expanded to doula care, speaking, counseling, a whole lot of advocacy and community building. Rather than shaming women with a right or wrong way to birth- women need to support figuring out what works best for them. They need the evidence to make informed decisions that are supported implicitly by their care team. They need validation. They need space to behave like the mammals they are. Basically- It's your vagina - you decide what happens to it. It's like an awesome Choose Your Own Adventure for your vagina!
So my shift in life after my oldest kid was born was not just my shift into motherhood. It was a shift in how I walked in this world. It changed how I showed up for my family, community and myself. Birth taught me this. Watching individuals during this transition is one of the best reminders of how we are much more capable that we can ever imagine.
Birth work has been a guide how I live:
- embrace your powerful voice
- trust in yourself and (especially) your body
- there is always time for laughter (even at 9cm)
- build a tight and supportive community
- give and receive knowledge and wisdom regularly
- ask for help
- be kind
- be in your integrity
- live in service to others, but not at the expense of yourself
- give your time, money, goods...it'll come back to you
- learn about life all over again through the wisdom of your kids
- with love...SO MUCH LOVE
- share what you are good at
Other Fun Kate Facts:
- I live with my husband and two kids in the idyllic Ithaca, NY.
- I've been with my partner in crime, who is always called NickJ (all one word) for 16 years!
- We have two awesomely love-able kids who both make us laugh and drive us crazypants.
- I have two amazing and hilarious older brothers (Peaches and Tio Tortio) and a sister-in-law (Chief) who call me: Birth Witch, Lady Moon, or KateD.
- I enjoy laughing, hugs, sharp whit, tough love, using the back door of a house, chocolate, nicknames....and long walks on a beach.
- I come from a family of educators (parents, in-laws, brothers, husband, sister-in-law, and cousin).
- I've completed a few triathlons, a half marathon and swims across Cayuga Lake. (They are good reminders of how strong and capable my body is).
- Listening to music while I'm swimming is next to nirvana.
- I am always actively reminding myself that sharks are awesome, help keep our oceans balanced, and don't lives in lakes.
- If you have either an orangutan or basset hound, there is a REALLY good chance I'll try to take it from you.
- I am always learning, shifting and changing with the love and support of my friends, partner and kids holding up a mirror to show me how.
Kate Dimpfl is a professional birth worker and change agent. As the owner and founder of Holistic Childbirth and founding member of the Ithaca Doula Collective, she helps women access the compassionate, empowered and evidence based care they deserve. Kate received her training with the Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York, DONA International, A Mother Is Born, and her counseling accreditation is through Dr. Gayle Peterson. She is a frequent presenter at Cornell University, is a TEDx presenter, was featured in VICE Magazine and The Katie Couric Show. Her philosophy is that women have the inherent knowledge, agency to make decisions for her baby, body, and birth. All women deserve the support to have the birth that best fits their unique needs. In addition to her business, she also co-founded the Ithaca Childbearing Loss Network, co-created the Ithaca Children's Garden Bulb Labyrinth Memorial Garden, and served on the board of the Ithaca Children’s Garden and BirthNet of the Finger Lakes.