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Maya Johnson (she/her)

Program Manager

     Maya believes that everyone deserves a wonderful and individualized care, filled with love and informed choice in  all stages of life, including pregnancy, childbirth, after birth and new family phase. Maya was born and raised in Brazil, and when  she started Midwifery school in 2008, she did not know what to expect. In Brazil, the public universities are free, and strongly  research oriented. Maya was accepted to one of the best public universities in South America, University of Sao Paulo, and currently  the only one offering a college level direct-entry midwifery program in Brazil. Maya has been involved with evidence-based care  in midwifery since. In 2009, she became a Doula, Prenatal and Baby Yoga Instructor, and Shantala Baby Massage Instructor. Her  passion for the parent-child dyad has grown since then. Maya has volunteered as a Doula and Yoga instructor while attending  Midwifery School, and she learned the meaning of empowerment as she observed pregnant people become parents. 

Maya’s maternity care experience started inside both public - free care - and private health clinics, as well as in public birth  centers in which she offered doula and perinatal services, prenatal care, childbirth, and postpartum care. During her practice in  Brazil, Maya has recognized system flaws in two different types of care between public and private, which included psychological  violence, obstetrical violence, sexism, xenophobia (specifically against Bolivian immigrants) and racism against pregnant and birthing people. The majority population Maya worked in Brazil were low-income people and teenagers ranging from 13-19 years  old and both populations added another layer to the system flaws mentioned above. Living this experience, made her invested in  building a solid evidence-based foundation to her practice and advocating for women’s rights and choices. 

     Maya moved to United States in 2012 pursuing her dream to further her studies and get a Master’s Degree in Maternal-Child  Health, which she believed would help her become stronger in her advocacy for the care every pregnant person deserves. Since  moving to Seattle, WA, she trained as a Doula (2013) and Childbirth Educator (2015) through Simkin Center at Bastyr University,  she trained as a Birth Assistant (2015) with Northwest Birth Assistants, she is currently certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation  (CPR) and Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP), and graduated from Bastyr University with the Master of Arts in Maternal-Child Health  Systems in June/2017. 

     Through her master’s program, Maya’s projects were mainly dedicated to marginalized groups such as immigrants and people  of color. She successfully held a power and privilege mini workshop with guest speaker, Wendy Gordon, LM, CPM, MPH,  addressing microagressions and racial disparities during midwifery care. Maya also developed a gap analysis between the curricula  from a direct entry midwifery program in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Washington, USA based on international standards. The passion  for advocacy and education led Maya to become faculty at the Birth Equity Leadership Academy from Health Connect One located in Chicago, IL, member of the Division of Access and Equity from the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), member of  the Board of Directors from Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC), member of the Quality Management Program  of Midwives’ Association of Washington State (QMP - MAWS), and Teacher Assistant at Bastyr University. 

Along with Maya’s work with community and education, she developed a birth assistant collective – Puget Sound Birth  Assistants – with two other birth workers to maintain her midwifery skills and help midwives during birth and immediate  postpartum. In 2018, Maya became Licensed Midwife in Washington State, and she has been currently providing midwifery care  and assistance for several practices in King and Snohomish Counties. 

     Recently, Maya expanded her work internationally (once more) when she joined PRONTO International – A non-profit  organization that offers an evidence-based approach to obstetric and neonatal emergency simulation training. Some of PRONTO’s  goals include contextually-appropriate curriculum which adheres to the country’s protocols, and targets the country’s highest needs  for maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. PRONTO’s methodology includes simulation and debriefs for healthcare  workers to improve communication and maternal-neonatal outcomes, while practicing respectful maternity care. Maya had the  opportunity to facilitate trainings (hemorrhage, neonatal resuscitation, and respectful maternity care) in the African country  Mozambique in November 2019, online support through the COVID-19 pandemic, including curriculum translation, and onsite  once more in June 2022 while pregnant with her 1st child! In one year (October 2019 – September 2020), the percentage of deaths  due to maternal and infant complications in Mozambique went down from 40 to 10% (more information can be found at PRONTO  international website). 

     Collectively, Maya has 400+ births which includes national and international experience. In November 2022, Maya welcomed  her first child at home. Although Maya has paused her clinical work since the birth of her child, Olivia, she continues to support  midwifery work through Rainier Valley Midwives, PRONTO international and as a member of QMP MAWS. During her spare  time, she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and sharing her Brazilian Culture with people. Maya is honored to be a midwife  and maternal-child health consultant, who envision to improve maternal and infant outcomes andprovide birth equity through  evidence-based practice.

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