Sheila Kandeler, MSW, CD(DONA), CBE

Background:  I trained as a birth doula and a childbirth educator at Bastyr University Simkin Center for Allied Birth Professions.  This training coupled with a master’s degree in social work, 5 years experience as a certified birth doula, as well as many years as a La Leche League leader serve as the foundation for my teaching.

Philosophy:  I believe that birth matters. Research shows birthing people vividly recall their birth experiences, and education is important because it affects the decisions made which in turn affect the experience and memory.  My goal in teaching is not to tell you how to give birth but rather to help you discover information you need in order to make decisions that are right for you.  When you feel well informed of your choices and can communicated your questions, needs, and preferences to your caregivers you help ensure your safety and your baby’s safety, and you enhance your satisfaction.  As a doula, I have learned that a positive birth experience comes not necessarily from an ideal experience as much as from having felt respected cared for, and part of the decision making process.

Favorite thing about teaching:  I love connecting with families and seeing them connect to each other, their babies, and a community of support.  I thrive on helping families establish a foundation of confidence from which to grow as parents.

Family, hobbies, etc:  When I’m not laboring or learning with pregnant people and partners, I enjoy hanging out with my husband and 3 daughters, running a weekly free community meal in Redmond, lifting weights, and working in my garden.

Four adjectives that best describe teaching style:  supportive, approachable, non-judgmental, and evidence-based.