Birth Matters Chapter Prince William County Opens

Marilyn Alger and Sharon Hamon-Boomer are opening a new local chapter of Birth Matters Virginia ( in Prince William, with the goal of building bridges in the community between care providers and the women they serve. Both women are doulas; Alger is also a massage therapist and Hamon-Boomer co-facilitates postpartum support groups for Latinas at Manassas Midwifery and Women's Health Center.

Birth Matters Prince William will be part of a statewide organization with local groups of parents and professionals who share information, offer support and affirm the rights of women and families to make informed choices throughout the childbearing years. Local chapters like Birth Matters Prince William have been active throughout the commonwealth, including Northern Virginia. Birth Matters Prince William will also participate in celebrating individuals who offer superior care to women with annual awards and recognition.

Birth Matters - Sheryl Rivett
Freelance writer and women's health advocate Sheryl Rivett is active in Birth Matters Virginia's Northern Virginia Chapter.

The push to form a local chapter came after two educational sessions - a February 9 "Grand Rounds" at Prince William Hospital and a March 8 meeting with Birth Matters Virginia member and women's health advocate Sheryl Rivett - revealed a lack of support for births attended by midwives who are not doctor employees, lack of support for natural birth options and lack of support for breastfeeding as outlined in the Healthy People 2020 Initiatives.

Birth Matters - Rosemary Wlaschin with doula Sharon Hamon-Boomer and student midwife Susana Vega
Lactation consultant and registered nurse Rosemary Wlaschin with doula Sharon Hamon-Boomer and student midwife Susana Vega

"The common ground is, we all want a safe place to express ourselves and share our unique birth stories," says Hamon-Boomer.

Birth Matters - Massage therapist Kerri Bundy
Massage therapist Kerri Bundy, Prince William Health Department family planner Hannah Cutts, and Bradley childbirth educator Cathy Harris.

Birth Matters Prince William meets the second Thursday of the month at 5:30 pm at 8425 Dorsey Circle, Suite 102, Manassas. Next meetings are April 12 and May 10, 2012. For more information, call 703- 330-3285 or visit

Birth Matters - Doula and massage therapist Marilyn Alger
Doula and massage therapist Marilyn Alger and certified nurse midwife Kathleen McClelland.

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