|About Catharine (Miller) Chichakian
“Preserving the sacred art of birth is her vision”
Back from Africa…
After over 20 years of providing midwifery care here in Encinitas, Catharine went to Africa with 'Doctors without Borders' and offered midwifery care with the local midwives to over 400 birthing women per month.
"Seeing the resilience and the indomitable spirit of the women in spite of the fact they lived in an environment of systematic human rights violations was life changing."
Read more about Catharine's trip to Africa here.
Upon return from Africa, Catharine has been refocusing her energy and is very excited to announce new services. Her calling in life continues to be women, babies and families, but her vision of 'preserving the sacred art of birth' has expanded to include the ‘birthing our own inner being' at each cycle of our lives.
She will continue to offer wholistic pregnancy care, birthing and postpartum care, including all the elements of midwifery care that have always been provided by First Breath, but there will be a more focused energy on the emotional and spiritual body.
And so… First Breath now offers tools for transformation for new beginnings in all stages and changes of life, for women as well as men. Breath work, yoga, meditation, movement, guided imagery, dreaming, journaling are some of the 'tools' utilized.
Her consulting practice will also offer life coaching in the areas of women's climacteric, the third phase of life. This cycle of a women's life is called 'The Change' for good reason. Walking through it, we are given the opportunity to shed our old ideas, break open, and prepare for the vast ocean of possibilities available to us in this most incredible time of our lives.
New ways of relating to our body have to be developed. More attention needs to be given to inner balance and healing practices for our 'interiority', in order to flow with the unstoppable river of change.
New ways of expressing our creativity will be examined, as well as getting in touch with our inner vision. This time of life often involves career change, relationship change, geographical change…
Whichever of these changes occur, if they are honored by the willingness to walk this path with attention and intention, the voyage of self-discovery is accompanied by a powerful re-awakening.
As Angeles Arrien puts it in her book The Second Half of Life…
“Authenticity is the expression of what is genuine and natural. It commands great respect because, unfortunately, it is so rare. The desire to be accepted, or to engage in competition and comparison, drives us to limit our behavior to what falls within narrowly prescribed, predictable norms. Ridding ourselves of old patterns and accessing the authentic self are entry ways to freedom and the domain of wisdom. In fact, as we discover how to befriend these processes, ageing and renewing our character can be what Carl Jung called, “A winter grace.” Jung believed that if we do not develop inner strength as we age, we will become defensive, dogmatic, depressed, resentful, and cynical. Our homeland of authenticity is within, and there we are sovereign. Until we rediscover this ancient truth in a way that is unique for each of us, we are condemned to wander, seeking solace in the outer world where it cannot be found.”
Midwifery services will continue to be offered by Catharine on a limited basis. These include prenatal, birth, post-partum, and newborn care - all in your own home. In addition to offering these midwifery services, Catharine is a pregnancy massage therapist, a prenatal yoga teacher, and a birth educator. She has apprenticed and educated many aspiring midwives, several of whom are now licensed.
Catharine Miller is a Licensed Midwife (LM) of over twenty years, recognized both by the state of California and nationally certified through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM).
She trained through the apprenticeship model, working with different midwives in her community, and at a high-volume birthing clinic in Texas. She also trained with a physician who had a home birth practice in San Diego.
Having worked in midwifery since 1985, she has been involved in keeping the home birthing option open for families, and in promoting the women’s right to choose the best birthing path. She is active in her state organization, the California Association of Midwives (CAM) and has served on their Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA).
Practicing and teaching Yoga since 1980 has allowed Catharine to observe the incredible benefits that can be achieved. She offers yoga, breath work, meditation and guided imagery in her classes, and in one on one private sessions. She has experienced these benefits first hand, both during her own pregnancy, birth, postpartum period, and in all the following years.
A creative and inspiring teacher who has created her own childbirth course, Catharine was also a major contributor for Deepak Chropra’s series “Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives”. She also created the Yoga Program, and instructional video for the course.
Catharine has written several articles on midwifery and yoga that have been published in midwifery journals and birthing magazines. A lifetime student as well as a teacher, she continues to explore women’s studies, and healing practices in depth.
Catharine grew up in a small town in Canada, within a very large extended family. Surrounded by her two sisters, many aunts, uncles, cousins she enjoyed the benefits of a very strong family bond.
After completing her education in her hometown, she left for Europe where she discovered a love for travel. Having lived and traveled around the world has given Catharine the opportunity to observe a variety of diverse cultures. The attitudes towards women as well as different belief systems regarding family and raising children have provided insight for her wholistic practice.
After three years of journeying around the world, she landed in California and has lived in a little seaside town ever since.
Catharine loves dancing, drumming and spending as much time in nature as possible - hiking, swimming, and exploring new places. She enjoys long walks on her local beach, where her 26-year-old son, an avid surfer, also lives.