© Copyright 2008 The Sanctuary all rights reserved
As the Director of Operations for The Sanctuary and as Director of The Sanctuary’s Non-Profit, Gretchen brings her 10 year background as a commercial producer. She has produced in many arenas including television commercials, network branding, travel documentaries, photographic art, events, music videos, and more. She has worked all over the world on multi-million dollar projects with some of the biggest names in film and television. Through educating herself about her own birth options during her first pregnancy, Gretchen became motivated to educate and inspire others regarding the option of natural birth. What she learned during this time not only propelled her toward the beautiful home birth of her daughter, but toward a career supporting and educating new and expectant families.
Fueled by her belief that all people should have the opportunity to choose an alternative natural approach to their families’ healthcare, Gretchen also co-founded The Sanctuary New Family Foundation. This nonprofit organization is designed to improve the health of new and expectant families in Los Angeles County through a community-based, multidisciplinary, collaborative approach. In providing more families these choices, The Sanctuary New Family Foundation hopes to advance the ethical and sustainable development of alternatives to standard care.
Kimberly is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Speaker, Trainer and aspiring Midwife. A mother of five breastfed children, Kimberly first began helping women breastfeed shortly after the birth of her first child over 16 years ago. Since then Kimberly has helped thousands of families create powerful connections with their children guiding them with her wisdom and intuitive knowledge throughout the birthing, breastfeeding and postpartum experiences.
Kimberly is a former La Leche League Leader, and has served families in New York City, Washington, DC metro area (where she was named one of 2004 Best Lactation Consultants by Washington Families Magazine) and Los Angeles.
Kimberly has worked with families from a wide variety of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds and has discovered that all families yearn for and are worthy of experienced and loving assistance in the demanding, yet gratifying path of parenting.
Maura Moynihan graduated from Southern California University of Health Sciences with her Doctorate in Chiropractic in December 2004. She has studied extensively with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association with over 100 hours of practice treating pregnant women, infants, and children, and is certified in the Webster Technique for turning Breech Babies. Maura is also certified to practice Craniosacral Therapy and continually trains with the Upledger Institute to broaden her skills and techniques which she utilizes regularly in treating infants, children and adults. In addition, Maura recently received her M.A. In Spiritual Psychology and is completing the degree with emphasis on Consciousness, Health and Healing.
Maura is the loving mother of two boys; Caden, 4 and River, 2. Maura had a natural hospital birth with Caden. This birthing experience inspired her to claim her ideal birth experience, which she had with River, as a home water birth with The Sanctuary’s midwives. She is excited to be serving the natural family community of Los Angeles and to be working with the amazing midwives and practitioners of The Sanctuary.
Luree Nicholson, C.Ht is a Master Certified, Clinical Hypnotherapist, specializing in medical and childbirth hypnosis. She is a graduate of the only nationally accredited school of hypnosis with over 1000 hours of education and training. Luree is a co-founder of a childbirth hypnosis program and has over 12 years experience with childbirth hypnosis. More than a hundred couples have benefited from her childbirth hypnosis program. Using hypnosis, Luree has stopped/reduced extreme morning sickness, stopped premature labor, turned breech babies, started stalled labor, and helped mothers to produce more milk. She has also helped new mothers overcome post partum depression without medication. In the case of unavoidable cesareans, Luree has helped mothers to use less medication and heal faster with hypnosis.
Luree is a mother of five and is both personally and professionally familiar with unavoidable complications of pregnancy, labor and birth. Luree’s children were all born in a hospital "naturally" (without drugs), one was breech, one posterior, and 2 were premature. These experiences motivated Luree to begin down the path of learning natural ways to prevent and address these birth issues. Luree is excited and inspired to be working with The Sanctuary to support families down their path to parenthood.
As an advocate and defender of free choice of birth environment, Racha is a proponent of safe, responsible birthing practices, informed consent and a birthing woman's right to choose her caregiver and birthplace. She passionately believes that birthing women have the absolute ability to make decisions for themselves- and should.
Several years before the birth of her own children, Racha left her serious, suit wearing, no fun job to work in the women’s wing at the local hospital. There she witnessed medical birth and saw how women and their babies were treated throughout the hospital experience. While working at the hospital, Racha was able to gain her midwifery foundation with a local wonderfully-skilled community midwife. She is forever grateful for this valuable training.
After attending many different kinds of births, she decided to receive a more formal midwifery training in El Paso, TX at Maternidad La Luz. She gave birth to her first son, Zahn at home in water after 36 hrs of labor. She attended her first homebirth as a Texas licensed midwife with him on her back 6 months later. Racha continued to serve in the community and gave birth to her second son, Sol at home in water after 2.5hrs of labor. During her midwifery journey she has also reconnected with the midwives in her family. Her Grandmother, Mary, Great-Grandmother, “Gammie,” and aunt Althea are all midwives supporting the community, whether in the home or in hospital
She has recently begun her journey towards completing her Bachelors in Midwifery Science while raising her two beautiful boys with the love and support of her family & community. She also recently joined the Sanctuary’s midwifery staff and is grateful to be a part of The Sanctuary team.