Joyce A. Vanselow

Joyce brings a long history of work and service in support of women, families and children in the community to her birth work. For her, there is deep value in every life and work role through the years but of all those roles, she regards those of mother and full partner in marriage as most important- a value that deepens her respectful support of women, their partners and families during the childbirth experience over the last 6 years.

Joyce’s journey and interest in birth work began over half her lifetime ago with the decision to give birth to her second child at home, having learned much from a previous birth in a hospital setting. After that experience Joyce and her family moved to enable her apprenticeship with a lay midwife until a combination of circumstances pulled her and her family away. The skills she learned during that brief time served her well during her next pregnancy as she did prenatal self-care and later during that second successful home birth.

As her 3 children grew, Joyce found ways to contribute to her family that also served the community and developed professional skills along the way. She did a lot of work with children and their families in local school and preschool programs. With support and encouragement from professionals in these settings she sought further training and tools to expand her knowledge and provide structural support for her natural gifts and talents. With these tools Joyce achieved a Child Development Associate credential. This background continues to support volunteer work helping facilitate a community parent-child play group. Add to this her life experiences, creativity, doula certification (training, knowledge and skills), and you have the basis for her work as a Parenting Support Worker (a position she co-created) for a local, not-for-profit community outreach and support organization.

Joyce creatively blends down-to-earth, practical knowledge and broad holistic experience over decades, with formal training and practice. While certified since 2008 her doula experiences span the last 6 years. She says, “My certification comes from those given authority to evaluate me and confer it. My formal training has come from prominent organizations and world-renowned instructors, well-known books and authors. Yet my MOST relevant and truly ongoing education comes from the women and families I’m serving as well as through Nature which weaves through it all. Exposure to other cultural wisdom ways and practices brings a further dimension to my work. I feel like I’ve been living and learning to do this work for the last 3 decades of my life. Integrating the whole of my journey so far has been personally and professionally strengthening. It’s a deep and humbling honor to witness women become mothers and couples become families.”

The Adirondack Mountains of northern New York have been “home” to Joyce, her husband of over 32 years and their family, for more than 25 years. Currently Joyce is apprenticing with Safe Passage Midwifery, a home birth practice serving upstate NY

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