Tel Viehmann Cunningfolk
LM, CPM, AAP
My journey to midwifery started with birth.
I was born in a hospital birth center into the hands of certified nurse midwives (CNMs). My mother proudly birthed me and my sister at the same birth center with no medication or unnecessary interventions. This experience deeply influenced her life and mine – I grew up hearing the story of my birth again and again throughout my childhood. At every baby shower (after my aunt shared that the best way to give birth was to ask for drugs before you even left the hospital parking lot), my mother stalwartly reaffirmed that natural birth was possible, breastfeeding was desirable, and cloth diapering was do-able. It stuck with me.
Even so, I still didn’t know that homebirth was an option until my senior year in college. I had been searching for a way to make a career out of reproductive health when I came upon an advertisement for a midwifery school. Shortly after, I took a labor doula course through CAPPA with the pressing, nagging thought that being a doula sounded nice, but at the end of the day I really wanted to be a midwife. Then my cousin’s wife had a baby boy and invited me to be their doula. It was my first birth. I was smitten, and when I walked out of the hospital that day I knew for certain that I was meant to be a midwife.
I am a California Licensed Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife located in Sacramento, California. I am also an Advanced Arvigo Practitioner, trained in the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®. I graduated from Birthwise Midwifery School in Bridgton, Maine. Prior to midwifery school, I earned my BA from Mount Holyoke College. As a midwifery student, I trained in intensive apprenticeships with seven midwives all around the country in Topsham, ME; Austin, TX; Mesa, AZ; and finally in Los Angeles, CA. It is a very unique aspect of my training that I was able to work with so many midwives, learning from their wisdom and practice styles and incorporating the very best of it all into who I am as a midwife and how I practice.
I love serving families as they grow and expand during the childbearing year. The processes of giving birth and becoming a parent (whether for the first or seventh time) is beautiful, intensely powerful, messy, and transformative. I see myself as a facilitator, helping you give birth to yourself throughout the entire experience of pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum.
I live in Sacramento with my partner Alexis, our daughter Juniper, and our scruffy rescue pup, Basil.
Photo Credit: Little Wonders Photography