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Board Members

We as a board are here to serve the providers and the families of San Diego. TheĀ board welcomes anyone who would like to help with planning, if you are interested pleaseĀ contact us.

SDBN Officers

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Gerri Ryan
Founding Director and Board Advisor

Gerri Ryan began her process of midwifery in the late nineties. She successfully completed the Seattle Midwifery School Challenge Process and is licensed as a midwife by the Medical Board of California. She is a Certified Professional Midwife with the North American Registry of Midwives. She began practicing midwifery in 2003 independently and currently practices at San Diego County Midwives. Gerri started attending births with family and friends in 1976 and in 1995 took on the role of professional doula. She is a lactation educator and Lamaze certified childbirth educator. She is the founder of San Diego Birth Network as well as a nationally recognized DONA approved doula trainer. She is presently the Chief Operating Officer and a lead instructor for the Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery. Gerri believes that the ability to birth is deep in every woman. When women have confidence in their own abilities, the encouragement and freedom to tap into their innate wisdom, and have the loving support of family, friends and professionals who believe this too, they will truly have a satisfying birth.

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Anna Forsberg
President

After experiencing the birth of my first son and struggling through the postpartum period, I became very passionate about postpartum care. When I started my journey towards towards becoming a postpartum doula, I found SDBN and felt it drawn to it's history and community of wise providers who trust in the normalcy of birth.

I joined the Board in 2015, first as the Historian and in 2016 became the Vice President. I humbly accepted the President role for the 2020-2023 term, and am honored to work beside my fellow directors whom I admire and deeply respect. I thank all the individuals who have served on this board in the past and to all our providers who continue to support our efforts in the pursuit of equitable care for all.

I am dedicated to bring more awareness to the impact of PMADs (Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders) on families, disparties in care and outcomes for BIPOC and other marginalized groups, and find more ways for our providers to come together to connect, nourish one another so that we can continue to do the work we are called to.

I am a native San Diegan, a happy wife and mother of three children, a postpartum doula, the owner of Whole Heart Postpartum and Co-Founder of Kindred Rite.

Email Anna at annawhpp@gmail.com

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Ashley Madden
Vice President and Events Director

I am so excited to be a part of the SD Birth Network as the Vice President. I grew up in a very holistic and alternative household with my father being a Chiropractor and my mother having had two natural births (that followed HER strict birth plan!). I'd always assumed that people were aware of the wide variety of options when it came to their prenatal and postpartum care. Once I became a Chiropractor in 2011, I quickly learned how little people knew!

Specializing in prenatal and pediatric care I do my best to educate my patients but I am so thankful for organizations like the SD Birth Network, who are constantly working to educate the public. Through my roles with the Birth Network I have been able to connect with so many incredible and knowledgeable providers in our birth community. My hope is that the more our birth providers can share with others about how they can help, the more that we can empower individuals and families to have the birth or raise the family that they desire!

Email Ashley at drashley@maddenfamilychiropractic.com

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Dr. Jumana (JJ) Jarah
Treasurer

Bio Coming Soon

SDBN Directors

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Itzel Ballew
Social Media Director

Itzel joined SDBN in 2020 as the Membership director and now proudly serves as the 2021 Social Media Director. As the Social Media Director her goal is to reach individuals and provide them with helpful and diverse resources. With the wide range of services and knowledge that our professional members hold, our San Diego community has so many choices when it comes to caring for their individual needs, her hope is to make it easier for them to be connected with passionate providers. Joining SDBN is an opportunity for her to help others transition into this season of life with ease.

She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Co-founder of Well-Mamas Counseling, a San Diego based group practice that specializes in serving individuals from preconception, pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond. Well-Mamas Counseling is a dedicated group of professionals that strive to reduce the stigma of mental health and the impact of PMADs (Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders).

Itzel is a native San Diegan, wife, mama and step-mama to two boys. She enjoys exploring the outdoors, traveling and spending time with her family & friends.

Contact Itzel at itzel.ballew.mft@gmail.com

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Jamie Reinhardt
Membership Director

Jamie joined SDBN in 2018 and joined the board as Membership Director in 2021. As Membership Director, she hopes to continue to build relationships and community within the San Diego birth world. She is excited to be a part of such a wonderful group of providers.

Jamie is passionate about all things related to birth and holistic wellness. Through her practice, Sacred Mama Healing, she specializes in Ayurvedic Postpartum Care. Her mission is to provide healing to birthing people within their first 40 days after they give birth, so they can thrive for their next 40 years. Her goal to have her clients feeling rested, nourished, and healthy when their sacred window is complete.

Email her at jamie@sacredmamahealing.com or reach out through Instagram:@sacred.mama.healing

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Jo Kilburn
SDBN Board Adviser

Owner of Precious Birth - www.preciousbirth.com

Labor Doula and Childbirth Educator

I have had the honor of being involved with SDBN since 2005. I have been active on the board as the Recording Secretary from 2008 to 2010 and was elected President in 2012. In April of 2015 I moved to southern Maine to be close to my growing grandchildren. I am happy to remain as an adviser to SDBN Board through their transitions and support our Annual Red Tent event. I believe in women choosing the birth that's right for them from an empowered, educated, and centered place. Experiencing my own births at home has changed my life and perspective. I am pretty sure that if I had to name my passion, it would be women centered birth and the attendants that serve them. Peace on earth begins with birth.

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Angela Diaz de Leon
Board Member In Memoriam

On April 5th. 2020 Angela Diaz de Leon passed away due to complications from the novel COVID-19 virus. She was a board member who served this community with fierceness, creative problem solving and a passion for advocacy that was undeniable. Her legacy as a mother, doula, baby wearing educator, placenta encapsulator, co-Founder of Sacred Healing Collective and The Source,, is far reaching into our community and beyond. Angela served on the board of Nurtuerly and the local chapter of Baby Wearing International as well.

Angela's father, Jose Hernandez also left this world too early because of the virus. Her husband, Israel, was also infected and is recovering. If you are called to support the family, please donate here: https://ie.gofundme.com/f/8z8nn-sylvia-hernandez

In Fall 2020, SDBN will open a scholarship in Angela's honor. More details to come.

Staff

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Brianna Smith
Administrative Assistant

Brianna Smith has been serving as the administrative assistant at SDBN since February of 2021. Her interest in the birth world began in her graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology where she focused on the theology of birth language in the Bible while receiving two Master of Arts degrees in the Old and New Testaments. A native San Diegan, she is pleased to be back in the community she loves doing work she loves. Brianna currently works as a birth doula (@birthanothen) and as an adjunct professor at Biola University.

She is delighted to join the team at the San Diego Birth Network to be able to better serve birthing families in the San Diego area.

Email Brianna at briannaesmith@gmail.com or info@sandiegobirthnetwork.org

Become A Member Today

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San Diego Birth Network

3944 Murphy Canyon Rd C-200
San Diego CA 92123

619-387-8411

info@sandiegobirthnetwork.org

© Copyright 2021 - San Diego Birth Network
A Project of the Birth Resource Network, a Non-Profit Organization, under Section 501(c)(3)

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