The Calm Birth Team


Robert Bruce Newman, Founder


Calm Birth was developed from Robert’s years of work with doctors, childbirth educators, midwives, nurses, and doulas. It's based on methods he learned and was authorized to teach during his more than 20 years of apprenticeship with Tibetan meditation teachers and doctors. He has presented more than 100 hospital and conference training seminars in the Calm Birth method since 1997.

Robert has presented the method at four congresses of the Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health, at the University of Michigan Medical School, and at Bastyr University. He has taught at the University of Colorado, Naropa University, and the City University of New York. His books include: Calm Birth: New Method for Conscious Childbirth (North Atlantic Books, 10/05); Empowered Care: Mind-Body Medicine Methods (Portal Center Press, 12/2012). Published feature articles include: The Emergence of Mind/Body Medicine (Sentient Times, 8/99).

Anna Humphreys, Co-Director


Anna, CD(DONA), CEIM, has been involved with the Calm Birth program since 2012. Her work as a doula within and outside of the hospital system has been empowered by the Calm Birth method, and she has seen a range of success stories with her own eyes.

"The application of meditation to childbirth can be key to a positive birth experience, however it unfolds," Anna says, "and this practice can only lead to a life of greater physical and spiritual health for everyone in the family. As Co-Director to Calm Birth, a meditator, and a doula, I am deeply honored to be contributing to the growth of this program."

Anna is also administratively involved with the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH), and is a Certified Educator of Infant Massage.


Betsy Smith, Co-Director

Betsy Smith has over 17 years' experience as a Certified Nurse Midwife and 42 years as a nurse. She has also managed and supervised emergency and labor and delivery units in hospitals, as well as a free-standing birth center in South Carolina. As her practice has evolved over the decades, she has turned to a more holistic approach to childbirth, which includes meditation, massage, and acupressure.


Her separate interests in childbirth and meditation combined when, in 2005, she discovered Calm Birth. Her connection with the program was instantaneous, and she attended many teacher trainings and has served on the Board of Directors for a number of years. In 2014, she accepted the position of Co-Director.

Betsy brings compassion, wisdom, and reverence for the miracles of birth and life into every experience. She lives in Vancouver, Washington, where, in addition to facilitating Calm Birth teacher training and activities, she runs an in-hospital midwifery partnership.

Christine Novak, Co-Director

Christine has worked in the field of childbirth as a childbirth educator, doula, and holistic Labor and Delivery nurse at the Frank and Mimi Walsh Maternity Center at the Atlantic Health / Overlook Hospital in Summit, New Jersey for over 20 years. Her work integrating Calm Birth into hospitals in New Jersey is highly regarded, and she was rewarded with the 2008 Nursing Excellence Award from Overlook Hospital and the 2009 Best for Baby Award from the March of Dimes.

Says Christine:"I remain true to my vision that it is possible for us to approach birth with deep respect and reverence, as an opportunity for a healing, transformative process. I encourage everyone in the childbirth field to learn about Calm Birth, and am dedicated to bringing the program into maternal-child health centers and hospitals globally. Calm Birth is a gift for complete prenatal care, and I am honored to carry this work forward." Christine serves as Co-Director from New Jersey, and co-facilitates group teacher trainings.


Adrienne Bergthold, Teacher Trainer


Adrienne has been practicing massage, yoga and childbirth-related services for over 20 years. Born and raised in California, she had access to some of the greatest childbirth educators, yoga, massage and meditation teachers around. These highly skilled teachers of birth and healing wisdom shared their knowledge with her and she is honored to be able to share this body wisdom with her clients and community.

She says, "I never intended this direction for my life (I wanted to be a forest ranger!) yet have found there is nothing I would rather be doing. It is my joy to serve families during one of the most intimate and transformative events of one's life, the birth of one's child. I am so excited to be able to share with parents how to bring calm into childbirth using the incredible meditation practices of Calm Birth."