“After Birth” is a four-minute auto-ethnographic digital story of the birth of my second son. It details the emotional and spiritual struggles I experienced after his birth and ultimately how these struggles were resolved, in a large part, by correcting the biological imbalances resulting after birth. My personal journey through this time deeply inspires my own research. As a graduate student at the University of Colorado, Denver studying Biological Anthropology, my goal is to perform research that has tangible, real-world impacts. My primary focus is to apply the broad lens of anthropology to maternal/infant health in a way that advances both research and policy to enhance outcomes for women, children and families. Specifically, I am interested in developmental plasticity and how maternal stress can act to modify birth outcomes. My thesis research investigates the neuroactive steroid allopregnanolone and its relationship with preterm birth. While it is challenging attending school and being the primary caregiver to my two young sons, this is my passion and I draw great inspiration from this work. When I am not doing schoolwork, I can be found playing at the Boulder Circus Center where I share my enthusiasm for my avocation as a circus performer with the next generation.
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