|Midwife and Founder ACHI: Tonya Brooks|
Tonya Brooks was characterized by one reporter as “one of the most gifted midwives of our time.” She combines a massive amount of knowledge of alternative medicine with up-to-date science and the personal experience of over four thousand births spanning a 43 year career.
Tonya Brooks is a research scientist, midwife, educator and author. She founded the Association for Childbirth at Home International (ACHI) in 1972, while a graduate student in Boston, for the purpose of returning the power of birth back to women. Mrs. Brooks is a frequent lecturer at Medical and Midwifery conferences and has published over 60 papers in lay and professional journals. She is the author of Giving Birth at Home, The Parent’s Guide to Perinatology, and a soon to be published book on post partum depression, and numerous training manuals. Through ACHI, she researched, wrote, and implemented training programs for Midwives, Midwifery Assistants, Doulas, and Childbirth Educators both nationally and internationally. Mrs. Brooks has written midwifery programs for a number of “third world countries” and continues that work. From 1993 through 1997, as a community member of the licensing committee, she assisted the Medical Board of California in developing state licensing for midwives in California. That work continues to the present day in the form of seeking to protect the rights of midwives and mothers and submitting information and suggestions regarding regulations and protocols of practice. After successfully delivering over 1,700 babies at home, Mrs. Brooks founded a freestanding birth center in California in 1984 that does home, birth center, and hospital births. The Natural Birth and Women’s Center was a show place for ACHI’s research. The Center practiced integrated midwifery combined with nutrition, homeopathy, herbology, nutraceuticals, medicine, and cutting edge science. The result produced outcomes for mothers, infants, and women’s health care that were nothing short of spectacular. Since 1996, she has been doing research on preventing obstetric hemorrhage and new approaches to management of gestational diabetes. However, the most important work Brooks has done is to devote a forty year career to preventing brain injury in newborns. She is married and lives in Southern California with her husband, Dr. Robert Brooks. Five of her seven children were born at home.