Dr. Stuart Fischbein, MD OB/GYN has been in private practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Southern California since 1986. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1982. He has a long history of support for Midwives and the alternative to the medical model of birth they provide. This interest began during his Cedars-Sinai residency where he had extensive training in vaginal breech and twin delivery and was selected as administrative chief resident and awarded house officer of the year. His experience was enhanced while rotating through LA County-USC Medical Center, at that time the busiest obstetric unit in the country, where he had the good fortune to be exposed to the midwifery model of obstetrical care. Early in his private practice career he was approached by several local “Licensed Midwives” to provide back-up support for women choosing alternatives to hospital based birthing. In 1995 he co-founded, The Woman’s Place, Inc., an innovative model of collaboration between Certified Nurse Midwives and Obstetricians, in Ventura County. In 2004, he co-authored, Fearless Pregnancy, Wisdom and Reassurance from a Doctor, a Midwife and a Mom, (Fair Winds Press, 2004, 2nd Edition 2010) with long time associate, Joyce Weckl, CNM; and writer, Victoria Clayton. He has three times been awarded Physician of the Year by the Doulas Association of Southern California and in 2008 received their first Lifetime Achievement Award. A long time outspoken advocate of a woman’s’ right to informed consent and refusal and the exercise of her free will, Dr. Fischbein is honored to be on the advisory board of the “Santa Barbara Birth Center” and working in collaboration with the wonderful licensed midwives at the Sanctuary Birth & Family Wellness Center as well as a contributor to “Your Best Birth”, a book published in 2009 and authored by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein.
Dr. Fischbein has made it his goal to teach, speak and write about the normalcy of birth choices, the ethics of respecting a woman’s autonomy in decision making and reasonable, evidence supported options of selected VBAC, breech and twin vaginal birth. Follow him at Dr. Stu’s Podcast and on his Blog
Kimberly Durdin is a Los Angeles based IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), Doula, Childbirth Educator and Student Midwife. She received her calling to support birthing and breastfeeding families shortly after having her first child.
After experiencing Cesarean delivery with her oldest child, Kimberly knew she wanted a different experience with future children. Kimberly was attended by homebirth midwives for her subsequent births, which empowered her greatly to learn how to help other families who were desiring empowered, supportive births and breastfeeding experiences.
Kimberly’s experience grew year by year, supporting families as a La Leche League Leader and Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for the WIC program in Brooklyn, NY over 23 years ago. She soon learned about doulas, and teamed up with Brooklyn Doula Service providing post-partum doula care to families throughout Brooklyn. Before she knew it, friends were asking her to be in attendance at their births. Kimberly soon added birth doula to her repertoire.
Upon relocating to the Washington D.C. metro area, Kimberly earned her IBCLC credential. Shortly after receiving her certification, she joined the BLESS Project (Breastfeeding Lactation Education Support Services) at historic Howard University Hospital in creating their first ever lactation clinic providing 24 hour lactation services free of charge for HUH families. Before leaving D.C., Kimberly was named one of the Top Lactation Consultants in the area by Washington Families Magazine.
Kimberly worked as a LC for the Watts Healthcare Corporation 5 site WIC Program after moving to Los Angeles, where she trained staff, oversaw breastfeeding peer counselors, and provided one on one LC care for families throughout South LA. In 2009, She joined the groundbreaking company The Sanctuary Birth & Family Wellness Center, and acted as the Director of Lactation Services and created The Sanctuary New Moms Group, a popular and powerful community space for new mothers that she has lead weekly, as well as conducting childbirth education curriculum for out of hospital birthing families. She taught this class twice a week as well as a program for hospital birthing families she created entitled Enhanced Pregnancy. She has been an LC for fourteen years and has begun teaching a 45-hour Lactation Consultant Exam Prep Course, as well as mentoring IBCLC candidates.
Kimberly recently stepped out on her own, attending births as a Student Midwife and Doula, expanding her role as a birth and breastfeeding advocate, speaker and organizer.After the completion of her studies, She looks forward to opening her home birth midwifery practice for business sometime in 2017. Kimberly offers classes on a regular basis including childbirth education, prenatal breastfeeding classes, workshops and speaking engagements
In 2015 she was awarded Best Lactation Professional of 2015 by Doulas of Southern California and in 2016 given the Student Future Leader Dr Paul Fleiss Award from The Association for Wholistic Maternal Newborn Health & Human Rights in Childbirth.
When not working with the families of Los Angeles, Kimberly enjoys spending quality time with her husband, her six children ages 5 to 24, and her 3 year old grandson. She holds the vision in her life and in her work, that all families deserve access to the highest quality of respectful and supportive care from providers as well as the community, during the childbearing years.