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Jane Beal, PhD

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Jane Beal is a Christian doula, childbirth educator and lactation counselor. She first became vividly aware of babies when she was thirteen months old and her Irish twin, James, was born. In due time, she became the eldest of fifteen children in a blended family. Jane’s parents were involved in a pro-life ministry in California, so before she was ten years old, she learned from them details about a baby’s unique DNA at conception and fetal development in the womb. She has cared for infants and children throughout her life.

Jane attended her first birth at age sixteen when her brother David was born. The next year, after attending her first Bradley class, she helped her best friend Jennifer labor and give birth to her son, Jane's first godchild, Zachary. She continued helping friends and family members in childbirth while earning her BA, MA, and PhD in literature and teaching at the collegiate level.

Later, Jane received formal training for her childbirth work from DONA (Doulas of North America) International, BirthWorks International, and Lactation Education Consultants as well as toLABOR and Mercy in Action. She gained experience in at-home labor, homebirth, in-hospital delivery, pre-term labor, natural childbirth, waterbirth, medicated labor, twins, unexpected complications, induction, cesarean birth, VBAC, breastfeeding support and post-partum care of women and newborns, including preemies. To help families prepare for childbirth, breastfeeding and early parenting, she synthesized the strenghths of the Bradley Method, Birth Works philosophy, and Birthing from Within techniques, creating her Beautiful Childbirth Education Classes.

Jane writes about childbirth and midwifery as well. She has published a book called Epiphany: Birth Poems. Her essays on midwives in history -- including "Stanislawa Leszczynska: The Midwife of Auschwitz, 1943-45," "Monique Dembele: A Midwife of Mali, 1988-1998" and "Martha Ballard: A Midwife of Maine, 1785-1812" and many more -- appear in Midwifery Today. Such writing emerges from her experiences as a midwife as well as doula.

Jane values a well-balanced life that includes times of rest and renewal. She loves spending time with her families, friends, and seven godchildren as well as her beloved miniature dachshund, Joyful. She travels around the world, and she enjoys walking, dancing, cycling, swimming, reading, writing, bird-watching, singing, and playing music, especially the flute, everywhere she goes.

To learn more, visit her websites: sanctuarypoet.net and christiandoula.net.