My name is Krystina Friedlander, and I live with my husband and daughter in Exeter, New Hampshire. I’m a HypnoBirthing Institute trained childbirth instructor, a certified childbirth doula through ToLabor, herbalist, and student midwife, currently in a clinical apprenticeship at the Concord Birth Center in Concord, NH. I serve the New Hampshire Seacoast area, Southern Maine, and Boston, from the quietest country farm houses to South Boston apartments, from birth centers to the busiest hospitals.
How did I get here?
Back in 2004, I took the most amazing college course on the anthropology of sexuality and reproduction. We read a study on childbirth support in Mexican hospitals. I was struck not only by the better birth outcomes for the women who had doula support, but by the fact that even the women who labored alone but with a researcher taking notes behind a curtain had better outcomes than women laboring alone who weren’t part of the study. Just the fact that there was someone there with a woman through her labor made a difference.
Flash forward to 2009, when I was living in Doha, Qatar. I met a woman who at that point was the only doula in the country, serving women in a hospital system that did not value any kind of support in labor (I had assumed that doulas only existed in Mexico). She lit a fire in me to make this work my own. When I returned to Boston, I trained with ToLabor as a childbirth doula and the rest is history. Since then, I have plunged into the world of women’s health and have been eating-breathing-thinking and talking birth, fertility, cycles, contraception, herbs, diet, and much more, ever since. In addition to my birth work, I love to teach and write, and my thoughts on expanded midwifery care in American hospitals were published for CNN in 2015.
I have an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Tulane University in New Orleans, and a special interest in childbirth practices and understandings of women’s health around the world. I love to write, and you’ll find reflections on my own pregnancy, birth, and postpartum throughout my blog. I love travel. I love being a mama and seeing the world through my daughter’s eyes.
Dr. Cornel West writes that “justice is what love looks like in public.” I do what I love, and I believe that what I do matters. I believe that a more just world begins before birth, as women and people with a uterus make empowered decisions necessary for their health and well-being. These decisions often upend assumptions about power, control, and authority, returning authoritative decision-making to the individual. These are our bodies, our families, our lives, and our choices. It is my honor and my pleasure to companion women, people, and their families through these life-changing experiences.
My Childbirth & Herbalism Training
- Concord Birth Center, clinical midwifery preceptorship, current
- National Midwifery Institute, 2016 – present
- Heart & Hands Midwifery Training, 2015 -2016
- Womancraft Midwifery Training, Amherst MA, 2013 – 2014
- Boston School of Herbal Studies Apprenticeship Program, 2011 – 2013
- HypnoBirthing Practitioner Training, New York City, 2011
- Herbal Medicine for Women (Aviva Romm), 2011 – present
- ToLabor Childbirth Doula Training, Boston, 2010
- Neonatal Resuscitation, 2014, 2017 (certification is current)
- Basic Life Support & CPR, 2015, 2016 (certification is current)
- Essential Oils for Childbirth, Concord NH, 2016
- Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss with Amy Wright Glenn, 2016
- Spinning Babies with Gail Tully, Boston, 2013
- Health Disparities in Midwifery Care, Mass. Midwives Alliance, Boston, 2013
- Certificate in Religion and Education, Harvard Extension School, 2015
- MA in Cultural Anthropology, 2008
- BA in Middle East Studies and Anthropology, 2007