President, Bianca Wooden
Bianca is a founder of MS Friends of Midwives and served as Treasurer for the past year. Bianca's first birth was attended by a CNM in Atlanta with no complications or interventions. When she got pregnant 5 years later in south Mississippi, she sought out a provider and hospital that was familiar and comfortable with natural birth. After much research and education, she decided on a home birth with a CPM as her caregiver. Bianca is an advocate for improving birth outcomes and hopes that in the future, MS will have midwives available across the state, working in homes and birth centers in collaboration with local OBs and hospitals - to provide the very best care. Bianca's family lives in Ocean Springs.
Vice –President, Mandi Sanders
Mandi is a founder of MS Friends of Midwives and served as Board Member for the past year. After researching and visiting local hospitals and obstetricians, Mandi was disappointed with not only the philosophies and outcomes of these facitilites, but also the lack of options available to pregnant and birthing women in her area. Mandi sought out alternative care that would be supportive of natural childbirth. This led her down the path of midwifery care and deciding to birth at home. Both of her children were born at home in Mississippi attended by CPM's out of Memphis, TN.
Mandi is passionate about natural childbirth options and better education for women about their bodies' amazing capabilities.She currently resides in Starkville, MS and is busy with all things related to mothering 2 boys, Tripp (3) and Charlie (1).
Secretary, Kathy Petersen
Kathy is a founder of MS Friends of Midwives and served as Secretary for the past year. When Kathy was pregnant the first time, she started reading about all things related to pregnancy and birth, in preparation for a planned home-birth with a CNM. Afterward, she continued her interest in all things related to birth, gave birth at home a second time (this time in MS, with a CPM from Memphis as the midwife), and started Woman to Woman Childbirth Education blog on WordPress. Kathy lives with her family in Ripley, MS.
Treasurer, Maddy Dietrich
Maddy has become increasingly interested in birth in the last several years, and firmly believes that women deserve the choice of midwifery care. The care is holistic, superior, and what every woman needs in their pregnancy journey. She has been married for a little more than three years and has one 15-month- old daughter named Maria, who she is blessed to stay home with. She and her husband are expecting their second child in October. She believes that birth is normal, and wishes to empower women to embrace their God-given abilities and trust their bodies. They live in Hattiesburg.
Board Member, Laura Dearman
Laura is a stay at home mama to Henry, 2.5 and Liza, 9 months. After the highly managed birth of Henry, she became consumed with reading and learning about natural childbirth while planning an intervention-free birth in a hospital setting during Liza's pregnancy. After reading home birth birth stories, Laura sought and found a Mississippi based DEM to attend their daughter's birth at home. The more Laura learns about women's natural ability to give birth, the more important she feels it is to empower women by promoting and advocating natural childbirth.
Board Member, Jess Eddleman
Jess is married and has one son who will be two in June. She lived in Jackson as a teenager, graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi, spent five years in Portland, OR and then returned back to Jackson after the birth f her son, to be closer to family. Her pregnancy and experience wither own midwives sparked an interest in birth. She is now serving as a doula in the Jackson area. She is working towards DONA-certification.
Board Member, Toni Hill
Toni Hill became fascinated with women's health when she was her mother's doula at the age of 14. She is the mother of four children that she home schools. She is a doula and a childbirth educator in Northeast Mississippi. Toni is the project coordinator of the Northeast Mississippi Birthing Project which supports and educates pregnant women until their children reach a year old. Toni supports mothers with breastfeeding as a La Leche League leader and as a lactation specialist with the Mississippi state department of health. Toni advocates for all women to have access to care, evidenced-based information, and better birth outcomes. Toni lives in Tupelo with her husband Jimmy and her four home-schooled children; Precious (14), Jimmy III(9), Preston (7), and Patience (4).
We are excited for the great things the next year has in store for us! We are overwhelmed with the support in our state and thrilled for the community we have helped create amongst home birth and midwifery-supporting families in Mississippi. If you want to get involved, but are unsure of what to do or where to start, PLEASE contact one of the board members. We're here to help!