The International Maternity Institute ™ provides cutting edge, evidenced based educational programs, products and services for the maternity professional. Our educational continuum is designed to help today’s maternity professionals enhance their careers while empowering their clients to make informed decisions.
Launch your career in Maternity
At the International Maternity Institute, you’ll receive maternity education and business training through our online courses that will allow you to start a successful maternity practice as a baby planner, green birth educator, greenproofer, sleep consultant, and maternity stress management coach. We train you step-by-step to develop a practice or to apply your training to further your current career journey.
Learn from anywhere in the world
Since 2009, the International Maternity Institute has been at the forefront of maternity education, offering cutting-edge training and preparation. Our online learning format allows students from all over the world to experience our world-class training programs through our online maternity school and curriculum.
The Institute provides personalized training that enables students to develop a practice or utilize the education they receive to expand their current business offerings. The International Maternity Institute also hosts a variety of continuing education programs that are offered through their maternity affiliates.
As a subdivision of the International Maternity Institute ™, the International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals ™, a professional organization for those in the baby planning industry, leads and represents professional baby planners as well as set the standards for the Institute’s Baby Planner certifications and educational programming.
At the International Maternity Institute our mission is to inspire, support, and educate a global network of maternity professionals. It is the IMI’s desire to provide exceptional service to new and expecting parents through our eco-friendly initiatives, diverse educational programming, professional networking, and a commitment to professionalism.
The Institute is the educational body created by Mary Oscategui with the assistance of a talented advisory board, faculty, and certifying board that trains students in the variety of pre and post natal methods and practices developed over her fifteen years of private consulting and business practice.
The Institute’s online learning format allows students from all over the world to experience the finest and most diverse maternity training program through an online maternity school.
The Maternity Institute also provides consultation services for hospitals, birthing centers, retailers, corporations and individuals who wish to incorporate these methods into business, hospital and childbirth programs. By increasing the level of knowledge among professionals and the general public, the Maternity Institute aims to be a leading authority with an integrative approach to pre-conceiving, pregnancy, and post birth methods.
IMI and IABPP founder, Mary Luz Oscategui, authored the first book on the baby planning industry entitled “The Baby Planner: A Guide to Becoming a Baby Planner and Starting Your Own Business.” In her book, for the first time ever, the role of a baby planner and a baby planner’s scope of practice was definitively defined. The popularity of her book resulted in a second edition entitled “The Baby Planner Profession: What You Need To Know! The Ultimate Guide and Resource For Baby Planner Professionals” that is now available in paperback.
In addition to her avid support of baby planners and childbirth professionals, Ms. Oscategui is committed to eco-friendly parenting and educating expecting and new parents on the importance of green living. Ms. Oscategui introduced the first greenproofing training program through the Baby Planner Institute and provides expecting parents, parents and childbirth professionals with an in-depth look at the world of greenproofing through her latest book, “Green Body Green Birth.”
Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
She is the Founder and Educational Director of the International Maternity Institute (IMI), International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals (IABPP), Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants (APSC), and Sacred Biz Partner with Sacred Pregnancy.
Additionally Mary founded The Baby Planner, Physical Awakening, and WhollyWoman.us, offering holistic services in sacred pregnancy, baby planning, maternity and child sleep, health, fitness, nutrition, life coaching, stress management, yoga therapy and green living.
She has a multitude of trainings and experience related to business and health including: business management, sales and marketing, business start-up, business coaching, yoga instruction, yoga therapy, personal training, group exercise instruction, dance, wellness coaching, eco-consulting, baby planning, sleep coaching, and stress management.
Mary combines her business and health coaching to support maternity professionals, birth professionals, health professionals and mompreneurs. She offers individual consultations, workshops, and retreats.
Her enthusiasm, inspiration, creativity, and knowledge has helped a variety of businesses around the globe including:
Austria, England, France, Luxemburg, Bahrain, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Peru, Chile, Bermuda and throughout the United States.
She is a passionate visionary in health, maternity, birth and business education and has been consulting and coaching for the last 17 years.
She is the author of “The Baby Planner Profession: What You Need To Know! The Ultimate Guide and Resource for Baby Planner Professionals,” and her latest book, “Green Body Green Birth”.
Mary lives in Marin, CA with her two children Bella Luna and Taj Orion Sky.
For more information about Mary visit MaryLuzOscategui.com
Marie-Pier Villeneuve, IMI’s Executive Assistant, is a native of Quebec, Canada. She studied Fashion Marketing before leaving to Mexico, where she lived for four years. She speaks fluent French, English and Spanish. She is proud mother of the most incredible two year-old Mexican named Jacob Olivier. She is a certified baby planner and greenproofer via the International Maternity Institute. She is also currently training through the International Maternity Institute to become a Certified Sleep Consultant. Additionally Marie-Pier is a mompreneur as the founder and principal advisor of her baby planning company, Bedaine Urbaine, the first certified Baby Planner company in Quebec: http://www.bedaineurbaine.com/.
It’s with great pleasure that she has now agreed to fill the title of executive assistant for IMI.
Director of Continuing Education
Jessica Brodey is a maternity and child consultant and educator who supports families tackling many challenging parenting issues, including sleep, breastfeeding, maternity education and preparation, and educational, health and special needs advocacy. Through her company Eat-Sleep-Love, Jessica provides private consultations, group seminars and classes, and helps parents create and implement plans that are respectful of all parenting philosophies and tailored to each child’s unique needs. Additionally, Jessica mentors maternity business owners, helping them build their businesses, expand their expertise, improve their client services, and understand the legal framework for their business decisions. Jessica is also an attorney and public policy consultant with more than 15 years of experience in intellectual property counseling, litigation, and national education and advocacy to improve access to education, work, technology, community and activities of daily living for people with disabilities. Jessica has managed, developed and implemented numerous technical assistance and educational training programs for professionals, including educators, assistive technology professionals, and policy advocates.
Since the birth of her first child, Jessica has been interested in the relationship between healthy sleep habits and child development, particularly educational disabilities. Jessica has been actively involved in breastfeeding and parenting support groups, both in person and online, and supporting parents of children with disabilities identify resources and advocate for services for their children. She began connecting with other parents as a “mommy blogger,” writing about her own parenting challenges and experiences with her children, such as her daughter’s gastro-esopheageal reflux disease related sleep struggles when she was five months old. The issues she faced caused her to seek out information about helping children develop and maintain good sleep habits. Ultimately, she decided to pursue advanced training in this area and has been working with clients ever since.
Jessica graduated from Emory University and the New York University School of Law. She received her sleep training through Kim West’s Gentle Sleep Coach program and the International Maternity Institute‘s Maternity and Child Sleep Consultant program. Jessica is also a Certified Lactation Counselor through the Healthy Children’s Center for Breastfeeding, a Newborn Care Specialist through the Gentle Ventures training program, a Happiest Baby Educator trained by Dr. Harvey Karp, a Certified Babywearing Educator through the Center for Babywearing Studies, and has completed her coursework to become a Professional Baby Planner and an Eco-Maternity Consultant through the International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals. Jessica also serves as the Eastern Regional Director (USA) of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants, and the Special Needs Expert on the International Maternity Institute’s Advisory Board. She currently resides in Bethesda, Maryland with her family.
Sarah Sanesi, IABPP Director, is a certified baby planner, eco-maternity consultant, and a childcare placement professional. Hong Kong has been Sarah’s home since 2008.She is French-American, her husband’s Italian and they are the proud parents of a little girl who was born in Hong Kong, a true “Third Culture Kid” as her soon to be brother!
Sarah discovered her life’s calling while her best friend in France was going through a difficult first pregnancy. She casually provided her with education, support and unbiased information. Then one day, as she was looking for pregnancy groups that she could join for additional support, she came across the website of a French certified Baby Planner. A cartoon light bulb went off above her head. Things had never seemed so obvious or clear. She became a student of the International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals (IABPP) and within hours began her journey to what is now a busy certified Baby Planner, Eco-Consultant and Childcare Placement professional. Little did she know at the time that the course would open so many doors.
As a Baby Planner, Sarah loves providing couples with all the guidance, support and resources to make it an easy, fun and stress-free journey. She is passionate about giving parents a sense of confidence and comfort. She strives to make maternity and birthing a positive experience for the whole family, from pre-conception to post-partum.
As an Eco-Maternity Consultant, Sarah provides education, support and resources to families in order to allow them to protect their loved ones from unsafe exposure to potentially toxic substances in their home, on their body and in their environment. Sarah’s wish to become an Eco-Maternity Consultant through the International Maternity Institute (IMI) stemmed from her personal need to be more aware of her environment during her first pregnancy. Pregnancy and parenthood can trigger the need to become conscious of the potential toxic impact from one’s daily choices on their family.
As a Childcare Placement professional, while starting her business as a professional Baby Planner, Sarah noticed one recurring common concern amongst her baby planner clients was childcare. Hong Kong is home to 300,000 foreign domestic helpers and yet, everyone around her had horror stories and anxiety attacks about finding and hiring the right helper. As a result, Sarah used her experience as a trained Baby Planner along with that of being a volunteer for two domestic helper organizations in Hong Kong for several years in order to provide her clients with the additional service of domestic helper placement, the best Hong Kong has to offer!
Sarah’s varied expertise has allowed her to work with hundreds of parents from many different countries and backgrounds. She’s grown from a one woman show to a several employee business in less than two years and the continued opportunities for growth seem endless. She looks forward to transmitting the “Anything is possible” spirit that she caught when stepping through the doors of the IABPP and supporting the IABPP organization and its’ members.
Child Sleep Consultant and Advanced Child Sleep Consultant Instructor
Karen (Pollak) Schwarzbach is a well known perinatal and parent educator and subject matter expert on infant and toddler sleep. For over 14 years, Karen has mentored thousands of new and expectant parents and helped them thrive during this joyful but demanding time in their lives. Karen’s unique ‘babies to sleep system’ offers practical and effective solutions to day-to-day challenges which have aided new mothers and fathers enhance the quality of their family life and establish positive relationships with their young children.
Early in her career, Karen realized the significant impact that sleep deprivation had on new parents. Finding support and solutions to sleep struggles was an important, unmet need. In the years since, Karen has helped families achieve their sleep objectives in a compassionate and practical way. Her ability to understand each family’s unique situation and offer sensible solutions is the cornerstone of her success.
Karen began her parent coaching career in 1997 as Perinatal Educator.. For ten years she facilitated a portion of the nationally acclaimed “Marvelous Multiples” seminar series for couples expecting multiple. Realizing that the need for support only began once twins arrived, Karen founded DoubleTalk in 2001 offering highly acclaimed education and support workshops for new parents off twins.
In the fall of 2003 Karen further expanded her offerings when founding Babies to Sleep. In the years since Karen has provided sleep solutions to hundreds of families through North America. She has won contracts with hospitals to educate both parents and pediatricians on the importance of infant and toddler sleep. Most recently, Karen was invited to serve as a Founding Member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants an international organization supporting family sleep coaches. Further, Karen serves on the Advisory Board of the International Maternity Institute.
Karen and her well rested three sons live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
European Baby Planner Liaison and Alliance Representative at EABPP
Nadia Pawelczyk is a European Baby Planner Liaison and Alliance Representative at European Association of Baby Planners Professionals (EABPP). She is a certified Baby Planner from the International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals (IABPP) and a certified Maternity Stress Management Coach from the International Maternity Institute (IMI). She is currently working as a consultant at Mamas and Papas, one of the biggest UK maternity and baby company. Nadia is studying Ba Economics and Business with East European Studies at University College London.
Nadia loves supporting couples in the incredible journey to become parents. She thinks that having a baby is the most beautiful experience in life, that is why she is so passionate to help, educate and assist families.
Best selling co-author and speaker Justine Arian, is the founder of the Empowered Birth Method™ and Empowered Birth Coaching™ comprehensive, cutting-edge programs which put power back in the hands of the birthing woman and her partner. Justine is a professionally trained life coach specializing in individual and group coaching and trainings for mamas and pregnant women, empowering them to claim their inner power and reach their full potential through birth, as mamas and in life, and educating them to make the best choices—from the heart—for themselves and their families. Justine is a labor support doula (DONA), an independent childbirth educator and a former Bradley® teacher. She recently hosted a popular podcast series, “The Conscious Birth & Mama Show” at The Women’s Information Network, online. Justine is a certified feminine success leader and an RTA-trained personal renewal group facilitator and holds a degree in psychology and social behavior from UC Irvine.
Justine lives in Southern California with her two young children, both born naturally at home. Connect with Justine at www.ThePregnancyCoach.com and www.EmpoweredBirth.com.
Holistic Childbirth Educator
Sarah Searle RN, BSN, CCE, RPYT, inherited respect for natural healthy living at a young age. Raised in a small town in the Midwest, she grew up with local, fresh foods and parents who made the most from the simplest of things. With health paramount in her life, she studied nursing and graduated from KU Med School of Nursing in 2000. Working as a Labor & Deliver + Postpartum Nurse she connected the dots of how deeply a mother’s health impacts the health of her child. Desire to further educate parents and foster these connections led Sarah to pursue additional education. Her training and experience has allowed her to support numerous families not only as a Nurse, but also as a Childbirth Educator, Doula, Infant Massage Instructor and Pre/Postnatal Yoga Teacher.
In 2007 Sarah became a parent herself. Determined to create a healthy environment for her family, she implemented ”green living” practices into their life. Accessible “Eco” options were not necessarily abundant or affordable at that time. Through collaboration and networking she found additional resources. Given her ability to start a movement, she formed a natural living parenting group. The group was a success as it promoted community, eco-mindedness and healthy + happy parenting for better living.
Sarah’s vision is for parents to take as good care of themselves as they do their children. With our children, families and communities depending on us, she believes this is a necessity we need to create. In her commitment to support parents in parenting while remaining true to one’s self, Sarah launched her own business, Apple & Tree. Providing education + wellness + creativity + community, Apple & Tree helps raise eco-conscious, healthy and happy families. Sarah is the driving force behind her business offering services which integrate baby, body, beauty and balance
Leading by example in the community she supports, Sarah is an active mother and educator. She resides in La Jolla, CA and is the proud mother to her son, Lucas.
Adriana Lozada, IMI’s Newsletter Editor, loves helping women become confident, calm and fearless mothers. Through her work as a certified Baby Planner (IABPP) and Greenproofer via the International Maternity Institute (IMI) and Birth Doula (DONA), she is committed to educating, empowering and giving expecting parents the support they need to have rewarding pregnancy, birth and postpartum experiences.
Adriana’s background is multi-layered and multi-cultural. She has a B. A. in Communication Studies from Concordia University (Montreal, CA), and ample experience as print and online editor. Born in Caracas, Adriana speaks 5 languages, and has lived in Japan, Canada, Brazil, the Caribbean and the U.S.
Adriana is an active member of the maternity community in Rochester, NY, where she lives with her husband and daughter, serving as a steering committee member for both the Doula Cooperative of Rochester, and the Rochester Area Birth Network (RABN). http://www.birthful.com/
Kelly Ragan has dedicated her life to the pursuit of wellness and is committed to sharing her experienced knowledge to empower women to pursue their own paths. Her passion for what we eat and how it affects our mental and physical wellbeing, which has been nurtured while working at a local health food store, led her to enroll at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Here, she gained more in depth training in nutrition and coaching, and graduated as an AADP certified Holistic Health Coach. While studying over 100 dietary theories and practical lifestyle management techniques with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts at IIN, she found her true calling: preconception, pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
She is currently working on her certification from the International Maternity Institute for specialization as a Maternity Nutrition Coach. Never satiated, she has immersed herself into the world of maternity and is currently interning at IMI while pursuing other opportunities at the institution, as well as taking an Advanced Women’s Herbal Training at the Birth Arts International.
She is proud to live in her home county of Chester County, PA with her husband and animal family. They are currently planning to expand, using the preconception practices she know so well.