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Holding the Space

July 21, 2017

We are birth workers.

Our life, our business, our passion, our every. waking. moment is about celebrating and bringing forth life. We watch your bellies grow, we watch you grow, and we support you during the awesome and transformative experience of becoming parents.

You see us on Facebook and Instagram. You see us smiling around our lunch table or unabashedly showing off our new batch of crocheted breasts. You laugh at our humorous videos about vajazzling (yes we really did this) and reasons you shouldn’t use a birth center (satire – it was satire).

You see our photos of triumphant mothers holding their seconds-old baby, umbilical cord still pulsing and attached. You see the babies who swam into the world in a peaceful water birth. You see the tired but proud eyes of the parents holding their new baby skin-to-skin after a necessary but unwanted Cesarean. You see the big brothers and sisters meeting their new sibling with curious eyes and gentle hands.

You see the midwife lovingly measuring the head of a soft, pink, squishy newborn. That smile you see on her face? It’s there every time. Thousands of babies and thousands of births, and she still marvels every time at the absolute miracle that is birth.

What you don’t see is the grief.

Behind the photos and the smiles and the triumphant birth stories are other stories. The stories that perhaps didn’t end with a soft, pink baby lovingly tucked into a car seat and taken home a few hours after birth.

To those tiny babies we never got to know on the outside, who left us before we got to count your toes or kiss your cheeks or feel your weight in our arms, we remember you, and we honor your story.

To those strong babies who had to fight from your first moments earthside and to those who continue to fight, we remember you, and we honor your story.

To those parents who are living in darkness, under a cloud from which you think you can’t escape, we remember you, and we honor your story.

To those of you who are navigating a path of pregnancy, birth, or parenting on which you never intended to walk, we remember you, and we honor your story.

We grieve these stories. That midwife and that doula and that front office person and that educator who taught your childbirth class? We are aching inside. We’re smiling at the front desk and we’re catching more babies and we’re teaching more classes and we’re using exclamation points on our social media posts. But we simultaneously wonder if our hearts might literally be broken.

We are birth workers. We move forward. We support the next family and we continue to smile and marvel at life and birth. You keep seeing the triumphant photos and hearing the accompanying birth stories. Life elsewhere will continue to go on.

But today? Today we pause.

You won’t find us on social media today. There won’t be any #babytoes photos on our Instagram or #yesbirthcanlooklikethis images on Facebook.

Because today we grieve. We hold space for those of you who are grieving. Today we acknowledge that yes, birth can look like this, too. Tomorrow when you see our posts continue and we celebrate life and birth and the beautiful craziness of being birth workers, know that you are still with us. There is a space in our hearts permanently reserved just for you.

Because that’s the other thing that makes us birth workers – we’ll never run out of space. Our hearts are open and infinite and we have room for every family and every story. We are limitless. We are full of joy. We are full of grief. We are full of every emotion in between.

We are birth workers.


Diana Petersen received her journalism degree at the University of Arizona.  She is a DONA-certified doula and Lamaze-certified childbirth educator at Babymoon Inn, an accredited birth center and full-scope midwifery practice in Phoenix, Arizona.  For more information about Babymoon Inn, visit the website.

© 2016 Babymoon Inn.  All Rights Reserved.

Self-care is health care!

November 17, 2016

Photos by Life Abundant Photography

During the month of November, Babymoon is celebrating self-care and reminding parents to take some time for yourselves.  We have a host of activities planned, from mini-massages, to dress-down days, to body work sessions, to grilled cheese and tomato soup in the office.  Included in the festivities are mini-facials with Babymoon mommy and esthetician Victoria Bridgford!

Victoria has been married to her husband Kyle for six years and had her beautiful baby boy Kolten at Babymoon Inn last year.  Victoria is an Aveda Institute trained and licensed Esthetician who offers facials at the Nest at Babymoon Inn through her business, Touch of Radiance.  Victoria partnered with fellow Babymoon mommy and skin chemist Chelsea Cavender of Slather Lotions to create a custom line of products that are safe for both pregnancy and breastfeeding!

Victoria is getting RAVE reviews for her facials, and we wanted to learn more about her and the services she offers.

What made you want to be an esthetician?

I wanted to become an Esthetician so that I could make people feel beautiful. I started out with my focus in makeup and then while I was in school I fell in love with skin care. This shift occurred when I realized the problems people were covering with makeup could be fixed! Helping people to heal their skin and gain their confidence is incredibly rewarding.

How did you start your business, Touch of Radiance?

The idea to start Touch of Radiance began while I was working in a corporate esthetics environment. When I got pregnant I became hyper aware of what I was putting on my skin and the products I was using. Also, I wanted to continuing getting facials, but I was concerned about the safety of the products used in those treatments! I started Touch of Radiance to fill the need for a safe environment for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to relax and refresh their skin without concern. It has been amazing to be able to operate my business out of The Nest at Babymoon Inn where we are a part of such a supportive community!

What services do you offer?

Right now I offer a Custom Facial that is tailored to the needs of the my guest. There are several services in the works to be added in the future, but for now I offer a simple and relaxing treatment that can work for anyone.

tor_marketing_wb46of84What takes place during a facial?

During the consultation at the beginning of the treatment I give clients a quick foot bath so they can relax into the space. Next I do a breathing routine to help connect them to the treatment and allow them to leave their worries outside the door. I move into a double cleanse and tone followed by a skin analysis so I can see how we can customize the facial to their specific skincare needs and goals. The first mask applied will even tone and draw out oil under steam to help detox and prepare the pores for extractions. While the mask works on the face I do a foot massage so the client has a head-to-toe relaxing experience. I do all of my removals with hot towels to help increase circulation and nourish the skin cells. Then I do gentle extractions followed by a face and décolleté massage. While the second mask is working on the skin to provide deep hydration and healing antioxidants, I do a hand and arm massage. After the mask is removed with a hot towel, I do an moisture application of eye cream and moisturizer.

All of my treatments include consultations and recommendations to help maintain the integrity of the skin. Educating my clients on how to build a home care routine that works for their schedules and for the benefit of their skin is an important element of my job. I particularly love to empower my clients to take the health of their skin into their own hands by encouraging them to learn the ingredients in their products and how their skin can reap the benefits of those ingredients.

tor_marketing_wb1of84What is unique about your services or products?

My services are unique because they take a gentle approach, allowing your skin to respond to the products and not forcing results before the skin is prepared. I use all natural products from a local small business, Slather lotions, that have been created specifically for these treatments. I was able to consult on the creation of these products to make sure the ingredients are pregnancy safe, breastfeeding safe and plant based while be effective. I mix my own masks during the facial with high quality oils, mechanical exfoliants, a hydrating base and concentrated add-ins rich in plant extracts to make sure the treatment is specific to the client’s needs and focus.

Can one get a facial while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Yes! The treatments we do are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, but there are definitely questions you should ask before visiting your local spa. Always make sure that the Esthetician you are visiting has an adjustable table so that you don’t have to lie flat for too long, that the products being used are gentle and that the techniques and treatments aren’t too aggressive.

How often do you recommend your clients get facials?

Depending on the state of your skin, it can take around four weeks for your skin cells to turn over and be ready for another facial. There may be circumstances that require more frequent visits, but about a month is standard for most clients. A monthly treatment paired with a consistent home care routine and a good diet can provide the skin with everything it needs to be healthy and happy.

Anything else you want to share about yourself or your business?

Through December 25, you can purchase two gift certificates for $10 off or three gift certificates for $20 off!  Gift certificates are good for a 60-minute Custom Radiance Facial at The Nest At Babymoon Inn! Visit: to purchase your holiday gift certificates today! #givethegiftofwellness

Facials cost $60 and I have a no-tip policy.  Babymoon clients can choose to receive either a complimentary massage from Babymoon’s massage therapist or a complimentary facial with Touch of Radiance!

Also, I’ve streamlined my booking to be as simple as possible and I’ve adjusted my hours to include later Friday appointments and some Saturdays. You can see my availability and book online at, you can email me at or book through Babymoon Inn!

BIG News from the Nest!

July 29, 2016

13590394_1308758595819123_6206899814474740615_nIt’s hard to believe, but Babymoon Inn turns six years old this month.  In the past six years, we’ve grown from one building to three and added a midwifery practice, doula services, planned hospital birth, and The Nest at Babymoon Inn, which has served as a meeting place for hundreds of new mothers to build community and find their tribe.

After listening to continued feedback about the many services and events at the Nest, we are so excited to announce a new program at The Nest.

Beginning August 1, members of the Nest can now participate in ALL Babymoon-sponsored activities for one monthly fee of $12.95. This includes:

  • Inn Mommies: Cuddlers – a weekly support group for mothers of babies from birth – crawling
  • Working Inn Mommies Connection – a monthly support group held on the weekends
  • Inn Families Playgroup – a weekly community play group for children of all ages and their caregivers
  • Crafty Mamas – A monthly crafting activity for mamas
  • Sensory Play – A monthly sensory activity for older babies, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • Music Play – a biweekly jam session with music, singing, and instruments
  • “We’re Talking” lecture series – A monthly talk about topics ranging from vaccines to meal prep to chiropractic care to maintaining your relationship after baby. Something new every month!
  • Infant CPR class
  • Clothing Swap – offered 3-4 times a year, this popular event allows families to bring clothes and other children’s they no longer need and take clothes in a new size
  • Discounts on events not sponsored by Babymoon Inn

The annual value of these events is more than $700 and we hope charging one low monthly fee will allow families to participate in all of our events.  We know you have questions, so we will do our best to answer them!

12742521_1555187958142813_6325579960001239945_nDo clients of Babymoon Inn get a discount on their membership?

Even better! Your membership is included in your package for a YEAR if you have used Babymoon Inn’s midwifery or doula services. The year begins when your baby is born.

Can I be a member of the Nest even if I’m not a Babymoon Inn client? 

Yes! The Nest membership is available to anyone in the community.

 Do I pay more if I have more than one child?

No! Your membership covers all of your children.

Is there any other way to get a discounted membership?

Yes!  If you see our midwives for care, you will receive a renewal membership for a YEAR.  We offer primary care and well-woman care.  If you come see us once a year for your annual exam, you’ll never pay for a membership!   

You can also pay a discounted annual rate of $120.

How do I set up a membership?

Every Nest event will have a sign-in sheet.  Please sign in at every event, and we will contact you after your first event to set up your membership! 

I have more questions.  Whom do I contact?

Call us at 602-314-7755 or email with any questions!

We look forward to having you as a member of our community! Be sure to also join our Facebook group by searching “Babymoon Inn Mommies” on Facebook or clicking here.






8 Signs You Need a New Provider for Your Pregnancy

July 5, 2016

Recently, a study was released that found women are more afraid of childbirth than previously thought.  As a doula and childbirth educator, I opened the linked article with interest, expecting to find that women were scared of pain or fearful that they or their babies may not be healthy.  Instead, their greatest fears included being abandoned by their provider or that their providers wouldn’t treat them with respect or listen to their concerns.  They also feared being “expected to bear the brunt of decision-making responsibility.”  The article called the findings “a lukewarm endorsement at best of the maternity care given to mothers in the United States.”

One of the first choices you will make when you become pregnant – before you find out the sex or choose the nursery theme or plan your shower or hire a maternity photographer – will be the care provider who sees you through your pregnancy.  Here’s a list of red flags that may indicate your provider is not the best fit for you.

  1. unspecified-4You have different goals for your birth. Are you planning to go into labor naturally? Find out your provider’s policies about induction.  Is a Cesarean birth something you want to avoid?  Inquire about your provider’s Cesarean rate and the reasons he/she most often performs this surgeryAre you planning an unmedicated birth?  Ask your provider what percentage of her patients birth without epidurals or narcotic pain relief.  This goes the other way too – I recently met a woman who planned an epidural, only to discover that her provider doesn’t “allow” them after a certain dilation (see number 2).  She was unaware of this policy until she was already in active labor.  She left the hospital traumatized by her birth.
  1. Your provider doesn’t practice client-centered care.  He may use words or phrases like “allow” or “try” or “we’ll see.” An ideal client-provider relationship will revolve around shared decision-making. Are you hoping for a VBAC with this new pregnancy?  How did your provider respond?  A supportive provider might say: “I’ve looked at your history and think you’re a great candidate for VBAC. I love supporting women seeking a VBAC, and my success rate is high.  Let’s do everything possible to help you reach your goal and still have a healthy mom and baby.”  Consider it a red flag if the response is something similar to, “Well… Let’s see how things go and perhaps I’ll let you try for a VBAC.” With a trusted provider, you will come to decisions together about what is best for your baby and for you.
  1. Short appointment times or lack of personalized care. Are you peeing in a cup, waiting for a nurse to take your vitals and weight, and then sitting in an exam room waiting again for a provider who then spends 5-10 minutes with you, checking items off a list on his or her computer?  Are you given the time to ask questions, to discuss concerns and fears, and to get to know your provider?  Do you feel rushed?  It is impossible to provide personalized care in such a short amount of time.  Avoid cookie-cutter care that is the same for every patient.
  1. Dismissive of your concerns. It is frighteningly common to hear about pregnant women who brought concerns to their providers, only to have them dismissed with the response, “Well, that’s normal.”  It’s true. Pregnancy DOES often bring with it a variety of odd ailments and afflictions.  They may in fact be “normal.”  But your concerns or discomfort should not be dismissed.  A supportive provider will take the time to explain why you are experiencing the symptom and help you find ways to alleviate it. When you ask questions, you shouldn’t feel demeaned or unintelligent.  The response should be in layman’s terms and absent of medical jargon. It should be compassionate. You should feel like you are being heard.
  1. Poor communication. Is it easy to reach your provider outside of your appointments when you have a concern? Is there an on-call number for you to reach him/her directly? If not, how quickly do you get a phone call back?  It should be easy to reach your provider 24 hours a day, and this communication should be welcome and encouraged.
  1. Lack of evidence-based care. Do you find yourself having to advocate for things you know are best practice?  For example, intuition and an overwhelming amount of evidence support the golden hour after birth (baby skin-to-skin with mom and no one but the parents touching baby).  Is this standard practice for your provider and hospital?  What about delayed cord clamping?  Intermittent monitoring?  Be wary of a provider who labels you as high-maintenance or even high-risk for questioning or declining certain practices and interventions.
  1. unspecified-6Bait-and-switch. This is the hardest one to prepare for, and the one that happens so heartbreakingly often.  Maybe you were told that your hospital has L&D rooms with beautiful tubs.  But you weren’t told that you can’t get in one if your membranes have ruptured.  Or that they don’t have waterproof monitoring and you will have to get out of the tub every time a nurse needs to check heart tones.  Or that you can’t actually birth your baby in the tub – it’s just for labor, not birth.  Or that only some of the rooms have tubs and there’s a chance you won’t even have one in yours.  Were you told intermittent monitoring is acceptable and available?  Does that mean the use of a wireless Doppler during contractions? Or does “intermittent” mean 20 minutes out of every hour spent on your back in bed with two bands around your belly while you are denied freedom of movement.  Were you promised a “birth center” and instead given a dressed-up hospital room with all of the same hospital protocols and interventions you were trying to avoid?  Did you choose a respected doctor who is an amazing surgeon but doesn’t support physiological birth?  Did you, looking for a natural approach, choose midwives but find that they aren’t practicing the true midwifery model?  That they order unnecessary tests and ultrasounds?  That they have a financial stake in your birth and it influences your care?  If you’ve experienced any of these red flags, consider looking for alternatives. Pregnancy, labor, and birth proceed best in a calm, peaceful, environment free of stress.  If you are entering your birth experience already on the defense, or you’re caught off-guard by surprises you weren’t prepared for, you’re creating stress hormones that will impede labor, opening the door to the cascade of interventions, poorer outcomes, and dissatisfaction with your birth experience as a whole.
  1. It doesn’t feel right. This is the last item on the list but arguably more important than all of the others combined. Trust. Your. Gut.  Do you feel anxious at appointments?  Does your provider use scare tactics? Do you dislike calling him or her because you feel like are being a bother? Did your provider call you by the wrong name or forget an important detail about you or your pregnancy?  It may not be quantifiable, but you know something doesn’t feel right.  Or… is the opposite true.  Do you look forward to prenatal appointments and get a warm, fuzzy feeling when you tell your friends about your provider?  Do you chat like old friends and hug at the end of appointments? Do you pop into the office just to say hi, greeted by smiling faces happy to see you?  Is the office staff pleasant on the phone and in person?  If all of these things are true, you likely have no need to worry about 1-7 above.  But if you sense something is off, or you sense you need more from your care, honor that instinct and explore other options.  It’s almost never too late to switch providers or birth locations and choose a provider who is on YOUR team.  Don’t take your chances and promise to do something differently “next time.”  This birth counts too.


Diana Petersen received her journalism degree at the University of Arizona.  She is a DONA-certified doula and Lamaze-certified childbirth educator at Babymoon Inn, an accredited birth center and full-scope midwifery practice in Phoenix, Arizona.  For more information about Babymoon Inn, please visit  To follow Babymoon Inn on Facebook, click here.

© 2016 Babymoon Inn.  All Rights Reserved.


You didn’t fail at birth

June 9, 2016

HandsDear Mama,

I need you to know something.  You didn’t fail at birth.

That beautiful birth you planned at the hospital with your partner.  The one where you labored quickly and easily and then started pushing, reveling in that primal power unleashed by a woman giving birth.  The one where your baby’s heart rate started decelerating and wouldn’t recover.  The one where you were rushed to the OR for an unplanned emergency Cesarean.  The one where you met your baby in an operating room instead of catching her with your own hands like you’d dreamed of.

You didn’t fail at birth.

That unmedicated birth you planned at a birth center.  The one with your favorite midwife in the big room with the beautiful jetted tub and the baby footprints on the wall. The one where you labored for 24 hours and tried everything to get your baby to descend. The one where you finally agreed to transfer to the hospital for intervention. The one where you got an unplanned epidural. The one where you pushed out your baby on a hospital bed in a room full of people and lights and white walls that you never wanted.

You didn’t fail at birth.

That quiet, hypnotic birth you planned at home.  The one where you planned to close your eyes and sway and hum and breathe your baby out.  The one where you yelled and growled and cursed.  The one where you cried and begged the midwife to get the baby out.

You didn’t fail at birth.

That vaginal birth you planned after a Cesarean with your first child.  The one where you hired a midwife and a doula.  The one where you took all the childbirth preparation classes and read all of Ina May’s books. The one where you saw a therapist to release fears and process birth trauma.  The one where you tried everything and your body didn’t progress past seven centimeters and you birthed by Cesarean a second time.

You didn’t fail at birth.

That birth you tried not to plan.  The one where you didn’t care who the provider was or where you gave birth or how you gave birth, just as long as your baby came out healthy.  The one where your baby didn’t come out healthy.

You didn’t fail at birth. 

It’s OK to cry.  It’s OK to grieve.  It’s OK to mourn the loss of this experience that was robbed of you.  But please, sweet mama, never doubt yourself.  Never feel like anything other than the warrior that you are. Allow yourself the same love and grace you will show your children. You are not a failure.

You didn’t fail at birth.


Diana Petersen received her journalism degree at the University of Arizona.  She is a DONA-certified doula and Lamaze-certified childbirth educator at Babymoon Inn, an accredited birth center in Phoenix, Arizona.  For more information about Babymoon Inn, please visit  To follow Babymoon Inn on Facebook, click here.

© 2016 Babymoon Inn.  All Rights Reserved.

Announcing Babymoon Inn’s New Clinical Director

March 29, 2016

So far, 2016 has been a year of exciting growth and change at Babymoon Inn. During the past year, we solicited feedback about how we could provide even better care while reaching still more families who may previously have not considered birth centers or midwifery care. In listening to the thoughtful feedback from our families, who primarily expressed the desire for a more holistic model of care with full-scope midwifery (to include gyn and women’s primary care), we have expanded our program of care to include hospital births (both planned hospital births and transfers from the birth center) and have expanded our midwifery team to include a broader skill set in both alternative medicine as well as gyn and women’s health.

It takes a passionate and committed team to provide the excellent holistic care we strive to offer our families. And, that passionate team needs strong clinicians! After a national search, we are so pleased to introduce Maribeth Diver MSN, CNM, who has been one of our part-time midwives for the past few months, as Babymoon Inn’s full-time clinical director. Maribeth brings to Babymoon 15 years of wide-ranging experience in midwifery and looks forward to utilizing her holistic and evidence-based approach to care with the families we serve.

Maribeth is a true believer in out-of-hospital birth for healthy, low-risk women, and was previously a midwife and the clinical director of a high volume birth center offering home, birth center, and hospital births. She is also an accreditation specialist for the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers, performing site visits at birth centers across the country.

Maribeth has spent time in Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Seattle, and Boston. Her experience includes serving Amish families in Pennsylvania and working as a volunteer midwife in Laos for two years. She currently lives in Scottsdale with her daughter, Liana, her parents, and her two dogs, but she plans to move to Central Phoenix this summer.

Maribeth will be an integral part in continuing to realize our vision to support women before, during, and after their pregnancy and birth. If you haven’t had the chance to meet Maribeth at a prenatal appointment or a Babymoon event, she is a full-scope midwife who is happy provide your well-woman care as well. We are thrilled to welcome Maribeth as our new clinical director – we know you will love her as much as we do!

A huge thanks to our interim clinical consultant Tanya Belcheff, who assisted us in our search and strategic planning for the practice growth and birth center care.

BIG news from Babymoon Inn…

January 20, 2016

Babymoon has BIG news.  We could not be more excited to announce a significant addition to our current program:

11196234_1053340168027635_3605429687964902431_nBabymoon Inn’s entire program of care is now available to women who require or choose hospital birth.

Babymoon Inn began with the intent to be a vehicle for women to access midwifery care.  And for more than four years, Babymoon and our midwives have touched countless lives and been witness to the creation of countless new families.  But it’s also weighed on our hearts that we couldn’t offer this care to MORE women. Our new program allows us to further our mission of providing loving, evidence-based midwifery care to every woman. 

What this means for our current birth center clients:

  1. Continuity of care if your low-risk status changes during pregnancy. Mothers whose low-risk status changes before the birth of their baby will now remain under the care of Babymoon Inn midwives and will subsequently birth at the hospital, also under the care of Babymoon Inn midwives.  The Babymoon Inn love, care, and support remains the same – only the location of the birth changes.  Your Babymoon midwife and Babymoon doula will be your birth team at either St. Joseph’s Medical Center or Banner University Hospital.
  1. Continuity of care in the event a transfer is necessary during labor. “Transfer” can be an intimidating word to families who plan to birth at Babymoon Inn, and we understand that.  Under our new program, if a mother is in labor at the birth center and circumstances require a transfer to the hospital, the mother will transfer to the care of Babymoon Inn midwife at the hospital.
  1. Meeting our hospital team! Our midwives with hospital privileges will be seeing mamas in our office each week.  This means that if an intrapartum transfer of care is necessary, you will be transferring care to a Babymoon midwife you already know!

What this means for future clients:

  1. Midwifery care for more women. Mothers who are not eligible or interested in birthing at the birth center can now receive Babymoon Inn’s entire program of care and then birth at a hospital.  This includes mothers seeking a VBAC, mothers who have conceived through IVF, mothers for whom hospital birth is a safer option, and mothers who prefer a hospital birth for personal reasons.  All of these women now have access to Babymoon’s entire program of care – full-scope midwifery, childbirth preparation classes, prenatal massage, doula support, basic birth photography, and more.
  1. A choice of birth locations. Birth centers provide a comfortable, safe place for low-risk women to give birth.  Evidence has repeatedly and overwhelmingly confirmed the safety of birth centers and the high rates of patient satisfaction regarding their experience.  But there is a multitude of reasons why a woman may need or choose to birth in a hospital as well.  Some women may have added risk factors making hospital birth necessary, others may feel more comfortable in a hospital environment, and others may desire midwifery care but still prefer the pain-relief options available in the hospital.  Under our new program, Babymoon Inn can now embrace ALL of these women and help them have the birth desire in the location they desire.
  1. Babymoon’s providers will now be contracted with most major insurance companies. The facility itself (the birth center) may still be considered out-of-network. Our team works hard to maximize your insurance benefits and request gap exceptions to have our facility covered in-network as well, but we are not always successful in this regard.  If you desire Babymoon’s program of care but your insurance will not cover the facility, you now have the option of receiving care at Babymoon and birthing at an in-network hospital with a Babymoon Inn midwife.

We are so excited to move forward with this addition to our program! Please feel free to call us at 602-314-7755 or email with any questions or to set up a tour.


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