Mariposa oxenberg, ms, cnm
With a passion for nurturing women and families and a love of babies, Mariposa Oxenberg began her journey into midwifery in 1996 after graduating Pine Manor College in Boston, when she witnessed a beautiful hospital birth. Mesmerized and enchanted with the miracle of life, she embarked on a path that would take her through the many facets of birth in America, with a goal of learning as much as she could while absorbing the wisdom of great teachers like Ina May Gaskin, Susun Weed, and the experienced midwives at the Midwife Alliance of North America conferences.
Mari trained at Babies By the Sea Birth Center in Key West Florida where she also founded Birthwell Doula Services and taught Integral Prenatal Hatha Yoga. When her friend and colleague Dr. Kelley Valle became pregnant, she approached Mari with the idea of creating a prenatal yoga video so that many women could benefit from Mari’s Prenatal Yoga Class. Together, they created the Birthwell Yoga for Pregnancy and Childbirth Preparation DVD that has sold on Amazon.com ever since.
In 2001, Mari graduated from an accredited nursing program in the Florida Keys, receiving an Associate in Science in Nursing degree with a specialty in childbirth, and then moved to the Berkshire Mountains in Western Massachusetts where she began her journey as a labor and delivery nurse at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington. There Mari discovered how to navigate hospital protocols so as to help her patients experience a gentle and conscious birth. In 2006 Mari relocated to Los Angeles, where she established the Birthwell Los Angeles Doula Service while also working as a maternity RN in the best hospitals around the city.
Finally, it was time to pursue her dream of becoming a Certified Nurse-Midwife. After a 2-year home birth apprenticeship, she enrolled in the Midwifery Institute at Philadelphia University and subsequently received her Masters in Science in Nurse-Midwifery in 2010. Her thesis evaluated “The Effects of Prenatal Yoga on Perineal Integrity in Childbirth.” This inquiry stemmed from her observation that a significant percentage of her yoga students birthed over intact perineums, as compared to other clients who did not attend prenatal yoga classes and would need stitches.
Now a mother of two children who were both birthed at home in beautiful Topanga Canyon, Mari has expanded her practice to Woodland Hills, California. Birthwell Los Angeles Inc. is not only a collaborative childbirth service specializing in homebirth, water birth, and conscious hospital birth, but also offers a full spectrum family wellness center with integrated holistic services that support women across their entire lifespan.
Above all, as a Certified Nurse-Midwife, Mari offers women natural childbirth experiences with expert care, guidance, and love. With confidence and grace she assists women though this most powerful and transformational time, holding space for and trusting in the natural birth process.