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Resources (prenatal yoga, birth centers, doulas, midwives) in Hardford County, MD

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,


I am new to the boards, age 39 and 5 weeks pregnant (first time ever being pregnant) and am looking for some resources in the Harford County, MD area.  Looking for prenatal yoga, birthing centers, doulas and midwives.


Thanks for any feedback!


~  Natalie

post #2 of 17

Hi Natalie,


Congrats! Actually a Harford County Birth Circle was just reborn - first meeting was this week. We're aiming to meet weekly. Search it on facebook.

The only free-standing-birth center in the greater Baltimore area is Special Beginnings down in Arnold (a trek from Bel Air.) I've heard there is one in PA in Quarreyville - but that's probably also quite a trek.


Personally I ruled out an FSBC when I learned they have NOTHING in terms of safety to make it a safer choice than HB (unless of course you'd be closer to a hospital in case of transfer, but being in Bel Air, you can't be that far from Upper Chesapeake.)


If you're considering HB, you have a few choices- Karen Webster - who I'm using - FANTASTIC -


& another CPM who doesn't like to be publicaly named, so PM me for her info. Evelyn Mulhan also would come to Bel Air (but a rather long drive for you to go down to her office in Catonsville for prenatal apts).



(She's the only one legal to practice in MD.) There's another lady, Anni Rodriguez, who moved here from CA last year - haven't heard much about her.


I had my son in 2008 at Upper Chesapeake with their CNMs. At the time, they only had 3 - 2 of whom I loved, the other, eh, yeah, not so much. Now they have 6!! I haven't met the other 3 & haven't heard much about them. Personally I don't like the idea of the gamble - Ha - I'm a bit too picky to be confident that I will like even 5 out of 6! And since you have to rotate around for all prenatals, and prenatal apts are scheduled for only 15 min, I can't imagine you can really get to know them all that well. Conversely, my prenatals with Karen are an hour every time! That's yet another plus to HB - knowing who will attend my birth.


I did have a good experience at UCMC though - good nurses too - although not so much with lactation consultants. If you need BFing support, I IMPLORE you to seek it elsewhere. I also didn't find their BFing class to be worth a moment of your time - it was so grossly inadequate.


At only 5 weeks along, feel free to take any old regular yoga class! No need for special prenatal classes yet. I teach fitness classes at the Y & they have yoga (although I'm not currently teaching it there.) For details, you could read, "Exercising Through your Pregnancy" by Dr. Clapp, but as long as you feel fine, you won't have to do any sort of modifications to your exercise routine until maybe 4.5-5 mos along when you might not feel comfortable laying flat on your tummy. After 5 mos, you want to avoid laying flat on your back for any extended period of time (particularly lying still), & in the 3rd trimester, you want to be more careful toa avoid over-stretching. Oh, watch out for over-heating particularly in 1st trimester, but probably not so much of a concern now in January anyway!

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Wow MegBoz...lots of info here...thanks so much!


I searched for the birthing circle on Facebook, but couldn't find anything.  Would you mind sending the link please?


Yeah....I did lots of searches the last few days and came across the midwives at Upper Chesapeake.  I'm going to make an appointment with them to check them out.  I also found the same birthing center you mentioned and then ended up thinking that with the distance involved and my proximity to Upper Chesapeake, maybe a HB *is* a good option.  Although, I have to say, I just don't feel confident enough in myself yet, but after seeing that movie "The Business of Being Born", I want to shy away from traditional US birthing (I'm originally from South Africa and also lived in the UK - so I'm used to a more natural approach).  I think DH would be ok with it though - he had a HB/WB with his ex and delivered his daughter with the help of a midwife.  Decisions...decisions....


Regarding exercise I've been working out at the gym regularly since July 2010 (weights and cardio) and will continue with that, just not going crazy with the heart rate and using lighter weights only.  I wanted to check out yoga for the flexibility, but finding a prenatal class has been a bit tricky.  So I'll chat with a yoga instructor I know about starting her regular class - thanks.

post #4 of 17

Hi Natalie, I am a doula in Harford County and highly recommend Upper Chesapeake for their birthing unit and their lactation group.  The midwives are fabulous as well as some great local OB's in Bel Air.  I understand your concern for birthing in a hospital setting but my experience with the midwives has been good.  They do everything they can to have a "homelike" setting and to have a natural as possible birth.  Let me know if you have any other questions.



post #5 of 17


     Hi! Congratulations on your pregnancy!  I am a doula in the Baltimore / Harford County area. Welcome to the boards! I will second all the recommendations given, If you don't mind traveling to Evelyn's office for the prenatals, I highly recommend seeing her.

Best wishes to you.  

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback Enza!  I have an appointment with the midwives at Upper Cheasapeake tomorrow (Karen).

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback, iluvmy4girls!  Much appreciated.

post #8 of 17

You will love Karen!!  She is one of my favorites!! Good Luck!!

post #9 of 17
Originally Posted by EnzaL View Post

You will love Karen!!  She is one of my favorites!! Good Luck!!

Agreed - she is just fantastic! She attended my DS' birth.

I like Lyn a lot too. She is very blunt & just "to the point" - which I personally really appreciate in an HCP.

post #10 of 17

Natalie, how did you like Karen?

post #11 of 17
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post

Personally I ruled out an FSBC when I learned they have NOTHING in terms of safety to make it a safer choice than HB (unless of course you'd be closer to a hospital in case of transfer, but being in Bel Air, you can't be that far from Upper Chesapeake.)


. . .


There's another lady, Anni Rodriguez, who moved here from CA last year - haven't heard much about her.



My first was born at Special Beginnings, which I chose over homebirth for emotional/mental reasons. It worked out great for us but it would be a long drive to appointments and in labor for you!


I'm seeing Anni and her partner Paula- I haven't delivered yet but I love them. Anni is in the process of recertifying as a CNM, which she was years ago.

post #12 of 17


I'm a doula and pregnancy yoga teacher in Baltimore. I agree...you're in good hands with all the providers listed. I'm not sure how far you are from Franklin Square Hospital. I've been teaching prenatal yoga there for a while and many of the moms in my class live in Harford County. If it's not too far, we'd love to have you join us on Tuesday evenings@6pm.



post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by EnzaL View Post

Natalie, how did you like Karen?

Hi Enza,


Sorry for not replying sooner.  These boards confuse me and I'm just not on top of things yet.


I really liked Karen and have since seen Jasmine too.  Jasmin was fine, in spite of the not so good reports I'd heard about her.  I had an appt booked with Kelly for this coming Friday, but I've just called to reschedule - I specifically want to see Karen or Lyn at this point - and the person on the phone was not too happy about that.  But that's ok.  To be honest the practice as a whole annoyed me recently because they gave me incorrect information the other day and now I have little faith in them.  I have a subchorionic hematoma (bleeding and spotting) and when the practice received my previous health history from my old gyne (10 years of managed low grade dysplasia) they called and wanted to schedule me for a colposcopy immediately.  Ummm...no...have you read my file?  No one's touching my cervix, especially while I'm bleeding.  I was not happy with them.  Someone mentioned not to judge the whole practice by an office assistant, but it's tough to do that when with my previous gyne, all communication was with him directly and he knew my history and I never had to deal with issues like this.  Anyway, somehow I went into rant mode :-)  Sorry about that.


Thanks for checking back with me.


post #14 of 17

We are pleased to launch the Maryland Birth Network
on March 19th!

Maryland Birth Network 's mission is to promote the
awareness and availability of mother-friendly maternity care.

* Birth is a normal, healthy process, not an illness or disease.
* Empowering births can take place in birth centers, hospitals and
* Women are entitled to complete and accurate information on their
full range of options for pregnancy, birth, post-partum and
* Women have a right to make health care decisions for themselves and
their babies. That right includes Informed Consent as well as
Informed Refusal.

Come join local childbirth professionals and pregnant mom's for an afternoon of wisdom sharing, networking and fun!

This gathering will take place at The Birth Project
2122 St. Paul Street
3-5 pm
We hope you will forward this to all pregnant women and childbirth
professionals in your contact list.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact :
or visit our website for more information:

post #15 of 17


    Congratulations on your pregnancy!  The Baltimore chapter of the International Cesarean Awareness Network is a great place to learn about area birth options and get support from other moms.  If you email me over at ICANofbaltimore @ comcast.net I can send you my Spectrum of Caregiver Choices that shows the range of caregiver and birth location options available to you as well as describing how not all midwives are created equally.  Our chapter website (Google) lists the Maryland hospital cesarean rates too.  Our meetings are on the second Sunday of every month from Sept. through May at 4:00 p.m. in NE Baltimore City - an easy 3 mile drive in from the Route 1  exit off of the Baltimore beltway.  Partners are encouraged to attend as well.

   Our May meeting will feature a panel of VBAC providers (OB, hospital midwife, homebirth midwife) and although you won't be  VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), it would allow you to see the differences in caregiver styles all on one panel.


-Barbara Stratton

 ICAN of Baltimore co-leader


post #16 of 17

I am just seeing this now, I know it's a long time after your OP.  Did you decide whether to stick with the midwives at Susquehanna after your negative experience with the office asst, or did you end up choosing a different route?  We moved here mid pregnancy and the only midwife who was available to do a homebirth for us was way out of our price range (our ins won't cover homebirths) so I ended up using that practice.  Like many others, I had a lot of really negative experiences with Jasmine and was very worried about the possibility of her delivering our baby.  My favorite was Kelly, although I only got to see her once, I thought she was wonderful.  I wanted a second appt with her but got Jasmine instead and she told me Kelly wouldn't be available to deliver our baby, so it didn't matter that I had only gotten to see her once.  Actually, my baby was 3 days late, and I totally lucked out, it was the one weekend of the month that Kelly was practicing and I had a wonderful birth experience with her, I could not have asked for anything better.  I thought Metta was really great too, and Lyn and Karen were nice as well (although I had heard some negative things about Lyn too, all of my experiences with her were positive). 


I hope that things work out well for you and you have the pregnancy and birth experience you were hoping for!  Best wishes for a happy healthy pregnancy and baby.  :)

post #17 of 17
Peace Yoga in Bel Air, MD on Main Street offers a weekly regularly scheduled prenatal yoga class on Tuesday nights! Class is 75 mins with 10 mins dedicated to building a community of moms by sharing experiences, fears, joys, etc. and openly talking with one another about anything & everything. I'm teaching this class currently and am a certified prenatal teacher with Yoga Alliance (RPYT) in addition to also being certified at the 200hr level.
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