Modern Mama Services, LLC

The Founding of Modern Mama

Emily Bowler and Kara Schamell met at Birthwise Midwifery School in 2013 and quickly discovered their strong personal connection and philosophical alignment, which included a passion for informed, transparent care during the uniquely special and sensitive childbearing year.  They attended their first birth together as primary midwives in 2015 and founded Modern Mama just a year later.  As doulas and midwives, Emily and Kara served nearly a hundred families in their first two years in practice as Modern Mama, when life shifts sadly moved Kara to California in 2018.  Although Kara is no longer a part of Modern Mama, she will always be an integral part of its founding and grounding philosophies.  Thank you, Kara! 

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The Midwives

Emily Bowler, CPM

​Emily's first steps into the world of birth work were inspired by attending the births of her nieces and nephews, as well as teaching reproductive health and childbirth every semester as a health teacher in New York City.  She trained as a doula and childbirth educator in 2011 and has been attending births in the Greater Boston Area since 2013.  She loved (and continues to love!) supporting families through her work as a doula and childbirth educator, but she knew early on that she also wanted to have a clinical role. She enrolled in Birthwise Midwifery School’s 3-year MEAC accredited program and fell in love with home birth midwifery care. Emily worked with 6 different midwives in her 3 years of apprenticeship, and she's been attending births as a primary provider since 2015. Emily earned her credential as a Certified Professional Midwife in 2016 and opened her own practice. She is CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation certified and an active member of the Massachusetts Midwives Alliance. In 2018, Sarafina, Jessica and Emily decided to merge into a three midwife model to continue providing personalized, holistic care to families across Eastern Massachusetts.

Sarafina Kennedy, CPM

Sarafina has been attending births since 2005. She began her work as a doula after training with the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators. For her formal midwifery education, she attended and graduated from Birthwise Midwifery School, a MEAC accredited school in Maine. Her clinical midwifery training has included a two and a half year apprenticeship with two different midwives, as well as a 2 month intensive midwifery training at a high volume birth center in El Paso, Texas. Sarafina has spent time in both Indonesia and the Philippines doing low resource, high volume midwifery. She is CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation certified. She is a member of the Massachusetts Midwives Alliance, where has served on the board for several years. Sarafina also holds a masters degree in Sociology and Gender Studies from Brandeis University, where her studies focused on childbirth and motherhood. She is a certified Hypnobirthing instructor and is also trained to teach general childbirth education.

photo credit Jessica Lynch Photography

Jessica Petrone, CPM

Jessica's experience in birth includes her work as a doula, her completion of a 3 year midwifery apprenticeship in a very busy home birth practice and being a mother of four, with the last being an unassisted home birth attended only by her husband and herself.  Her own births led her to become a doula which led her to become an apprentice and, in turn, a midwife. But that’s the abbreviated version! Jessica has been attending home births since 2006. She is co-president of the Massachusetts Midwives Alliance, a member of ALACE (Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators), and a member of the Birth Year Network (a Southeastern Mass, Cape and Islands Birth Resource Network). She holds certifications in CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation. She completed her formal education remotely through the National College of Midwifery in Taos, New Mexico, where she earned a degree in the Science of Midwifery.  Most recently, Jessica has completed a Bachelor in Science in Nursing, which included a 6 month preceptorship in a high volume/high risk maternity unit at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Photo credit Jessica Lynch Photography

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The Doulas

Emily Bowler

Emily was a teacher for eight years in New York before her official entry into the world of birth work. As a health educator, she researched and taught about pregnancy and birth every semester, and it was always her favorite unit.  Emily was further inspired when she had the opportunity to attend the births of her nieces and nephews, and she decided to train as a birth doula in 2011.  It was on the last day of training that she found out she was pregnant herself and started the birth journey on a much more personal level. Emily stopped teaching when her little one was born, and she moved to Massachusetts shortly thereafter. While she was busy figuring out motherhood in the following year, her thoughts returned to professionally caring for women and families in their childbearing years. Emily started up her Boston doula business in early 2013, and quickly became acquainted with nearly all the area hospitals and the amazing local birth community.  While working as a doula, Emily also completed her schooling as a Certified Professional Midwife and began teaching a home birth centric childbirth education class. Emily founded Modern Mama with her midwifery school colleague, Kara Schamell, in 2016 and felt honored to support nearly a hundred families in the first two years in business. Emily is excited to expand Modern Mama's offerings and continue supporting her clients through the childbearing year.

Lead Doula

Doula Mentee

Currently accepting inquiries for the next doula mentee.  See the mentorship program description here.

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