Author Amy Wright Glenn, originally from American Fork, is returning to Utah to speak on motherhood, becoming a chaplain for the dying and her role as a doula, or nonmedical childbirth assistant.
They are the subject of "Birth, Breath, & Death," a self-published book released early this year. They also will be the topic of a lecture during the Empowering Fearless Birth event on Sept. 21 in Provo.
"Birth, Breath, & Death" is the first book for Glenn, who has a master's in religion and education from Teachers College at Columbia University. She also taught for over a decade at The Lawrenceville School, a New Jersey boarding school.
She now lives in Florida, where she mentors doulas and writes.
Years ago, while helping with her sister's birth, a midwife suggested Glenn become a doula.
"There are incredible things we can learn if we put those things together," Glenn said during a recent telephone interview, including "listening with deep compassion, putting aside my own agenda."
As a teenager, growing up in Utah County, Glenn began to question her family's Mormon faith. She started church-hopping, attending Baptist, Roman Catholic and Pentecostal services. She eventually broke away from the Mormon religion and found peace practicing Eastern religions and has made the Unitarian Universalist church her religious home.
She said that while the break has made for an estranged relationship with her mother, years of meditating, aiding women in childbirth and having a son helped her come to terms with that hardship.
They also helped her define her own role as a scholar, spiritual person and childbirth assistant, she said.
Suzanne Arms, an author who advocates for creating supportive environments for women in labor, praised Glenn's work.
"You don't get any more basic, if you want to create a better world, than creating better beginnings," she said.
P Author and Utah native Amy Wright Glenn is one of 60 professionals participating in the "Empowering Fearless Birth" event. Workshops, classes and films will discuss supportive childbirth options for women including natural, at home and waterbirth.
When • Saturday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where • Walden School of Liberal Arts, 4230 N. University Ave., Provo
Cost • $39 for daytime workshops; $10 for evening event only or $15 per couple
Details • 801-805-1659 or empoweringfearlessbirth.com