Great Starts Instructors

As independent educators, we are able to teach you what research tells us is best practices for maternity care, rather than being limited (as many hospital-based classes are) to covering only the options available at one institution.

We hire and train Certified Childbirth Educators, lactation educators, CPR instructors, and other specialty instructors such as IBCLC certified lactation consultants. All our teachers have professional backgrounds and have received additional specialized training in our field of expertise. We also require annual continuing education and ongoing evaluations for all of our instructors. The curriculum is also updated and evaluated regularly by our 9-person Education Committee, ensuring the latest evidence-based information is used, and that the content is balanced.

The majority of our instructors have worked with families in labor, either as a nurse or as a doula, other work with families after the birth in their specialty areas. Almost all of our instructors are parents themselves, and have personal experience with birth and parenting. Some instructors are also grandparents, giving added depth and value to their multigenerational experiences.

Angela Hodge GS Instructor Photo

Angela Hodge

CD-PALS, CBE
Classes Taught:
Childbirth Preparation Series
I love forming connections with my students and helping them connect with each other. It is my goal to help my students think more deeply about their birth experience and the postpartum period.

Barb Decker

Classes Taught:
HypnoBirthing®
I believe that every woman should have the chance to face any fears of birthing and learn constructive ways to help them look forward to birth with calm and confidence.

Cate Vrooman

MPH, CCE (GS), CD (DONA), CLE
Classes Taught:
Childbirth Preparation Series
Breastfeeding
Newborn Care
Professional Childbirth Educator's Workshop
I believe that class is an invaluable opportunity for new mothers and their partners to build their labor and parenting “tool box” by engaging in hands-on practice and learning relevant, evidence-based information. I want students to leave class confident in their own wisdom to make decisions about their birth and to care for their newborn.

Chevy Geach

Classes Taught:
Full Childbirth Series
Breastfeeding
Newborn Care
More information coming soon!

Ildi Sebestyen

CD (DONA, PALS)
Classes Taught:
Full Childbirth Series
Breastfeeding
Newborn Care
I believe that knowledge is power. I thrive to provide evidence-based information to families so that they can make informed decisions throughout their birth journey.

Janelle Durham

MSW, LCCE, Co-author: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn
Classes Taught:
Professional Childbirth Educator Training
Better Birth Refresher
Breastfeeding
Newborn Care
Life with Baby
I encourage expectant parents to learn about all of their options, using professionals to answer the key questions about those options, but then to make their own decisions, based on their personal values and priorities.

Jenny Harvey

BA, CPST
Classes Taught:
Babysafe
Infant CPR
In my classes, I strive to empower families to be healthy, safe, and happy. My goal in class is to help parents and caregivers realize their strengths, identify risks, and lessen their fears by providing them with the tools they need to make informed decisions for the safety of their children.

Kathy Wilson

Classes Taught:
Full series
Labor & birth miniseries
Newborn care
Breastfeeding
Babysafe
CPR
Becoming Parents Program
My goal as an educator is to equip new parents with the information necessary to make decisions that best suits their birth goals. I also try to instill confidence that they are their own best advocates and to trust their instincts.

Katie Lindberg

LCCE, CD(PALS)
Classes Taught:
Childbirth Preparation Series (3- or 6-week)
Newborn Care
The key to building strong, healthy families is support. All families deserve support! Childbirth classes are often one of the first steps along this journey.

Katie Rohs

CD(DONA), LCCE
Classes Taught:
Childbirth Preparation Series (3- or 6-week)
Lamaze 8-week Series
Working With Labor Pain
Newborn Care
I endeavor to increase the confidence of those taking my classes, while balancing realistic expectations. I am a fiend for current research and evidence, and balancing that evidence with what families might actually expect in their birth setting.

Kim James

BA, CD(DONA), CD(PALS), ICCE, LCCE, BDT(DONA)
Classes Taught:
Lamaze®
Full series
Labor & birth miniseries
Newborn care
I do this work because I believe effective parenting is one of the best ways to improve the world, and parenting begins with pregnancy and birth. My greatest pleasure as a childbirth educator is watching women become confident, joyous and excited about the birth and early parenting of their children.

Leah Schilling

MAT, ICCE, CPD (CBI), CLE
Classes Taught:
Childbirth Preparation Series
I believe that birth classes should be fun and engaging and help parents feel prepared and confident to ask their questions and make decisions for themselves and their baby. Pregnancy, birth and postpartum can have so many variations and potential challenges. Parents who have clarified their values, trust themselves to get the information they need and feel confident making decisions will feel ready to take on whatever comes when their child is born.

Maggy Frost

CBE
Classes Taught:
Childbirth Preparation Series
My goal for my students is that they walk away from class feeling informed and confident to make decisions that will allow them to have a positive birth experience. Birth is a transformative experience that stays in our memories forever, and I believe that education is a major step towards the positive birth memories we all deserve.

Mallory Emerson

LCCE, CD (PALS), BADT C-FSD, Certification in process with DONA
Classes Taught:
Childbirth Preparation Series (3- or 6-week)
Breastfeeding
Newborn Care
Life with Baby
Private classes Mini series (1- or 2-day)
I strive to inspire parents to approach labor and birth with confidence and strength, allowing them to embrace the choices they will make along the path to welcoming their baby to the world.

Sarah Stempski

Classes Taught:
Babysafe
Infant CPR
My goal in class is to help parents and caregivers start conversations, build confidence, and inspire them to share with other caregivers in their life.

Sharon Muza

BS, CD(DONA) BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE
Classes Taught:
Sharon Muza has been the consulting instructor at Parent Trust since April 2013, honored to be working with our fantastic team of educators.

Tara Coffin

CLE, HBCE, MEd, PhD
Classes Taught:
HypnoBirthing
Breastfeeding
Newborn Care
Life with Baby
Adoptive Family Classes
New families start from what they know and build bridges to less familiar content, making new knowledge meaningful and constructing their own understanding of the material. It is my job as an educator to ensure they have access to the inclusive environment and tools they need to complete this task.

Tracy McPhillips

Classes Taught:
Childbirth Preparation Series ( 1, 3- or 6-week)
Newborn Care
I support families in their choices for childbirth and postpartum, by providing unbiased, evidence based information, in a fun and energetic format, that includes practice and sharing ideas.