Beginnings

A Center for Childbirth and Parenting Education

Program Director

Hannah Christiansen, M.Ed

Instructors

Tricia Cassi, BSS, IBCLC

Jessilyn Dolan, RN, CIMI

Ara Finlayson, BJ, CCCE

Lorraine Rigutto, LICSW, ICCE

Erin Savery, LPN

Amy Young, RN

Tricia Cassi is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Tricia joined Beginnings in 1995 as a childbirth education instructor and currently teaches breastfeeding classes. Tricia is the State Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Vermont Department of Health WIC Program and also works as an outpatient Lactation Consultant for the Obstetrics and Midwifery Service at the University of Vermont Medical Center. She was accredited as a La Leche League leader in 1994 and organizes the annual Vermont Lactation Consultant Association Professional Lactation Conference. Tricia is the mother of four children.

Hannah Christiansen joined Beginnings as the Sibling Preparation instructor, and is now the Director of the program.  She is also currently pursuing her CCCE certification.  Hannah is the mother of two very busy children, and a baker who recently started her own in-home bakery business. Hannah holds a BA in theater arts and a teaching license/Masters in K-12 Theater Arts education and has taught theater to children of all ages. She enjoys working with children and hopes to provide the siblings-to-be and their families the knowledge and understanding they need to get ready to bring a new baby into their homes. Hannah lives in Williston with her husband, two children, and their dog.

Jessilyn Dolan has been working with families in a variety of capacities for over 16 years, as a massage therapist, labor doula, childbirth educator, yoga instructor, and a registered nurse.  She currently works as a nurse manager at Lund, a residential and community treatment program for young pregnant and postpartum mothers. Jessilyn teaches Prenatal Infant Massage for Beginnings where she focuses on the importance of touch and communication in child development.  Jessilyn lives in Underhill with her husband and children.

Ara Finlayson is a CAPPA certified Childbirth Educator and Labour Doula, and is delighted to bring her passion for pregnancy and childbirth to Beginnings. As a mother of two small children, she understands how nervous expectant parents can be – as well as how a positive birth experience can be a wonderful, empowering and life changing event for both the mother and her partner. Ara works at a local marketing agency, lives in Burlington with her husband, two kiddos and neurotic cat, teaches rock climbing in her spare time and gets out into the mountains whenever possible.

Lorraine Rigutto is an ICEA certified instructor who has been teaching childbirth classes since 1994. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works in the school environment providing support to children with behavioral and developmental needs. Lorraine lives in Huntington with her husband and three children.

Erin Savery worked as a nurse at a local OB/GYN office for over 7 years, where she enjoyed interacting with expecting parents and teaching them about pregnancy, birth and the postpartum process.  Erin is now a stay-at-home mom of two children.  In her childbirth preparation classes, she shares her wealth of knowledge and experience with new parents, hoping to help ease some of their anxieties and build their confidence.  Erin, a Vermont native, and lives in Fairfax with her husband and children. 

Amy Young is a labor and delivery nurse at the University of Vermont Medical Center and former elementary school teacher who joined Beginnings in 2014. She facilitates a support group for families coping with pregnancy and infant loss, and has also worked as a Clinical Instructor for junior students in the University of Vermont’s Nursing program. Amy lives in Burlington with her husband and four children.

Our Pediatric CPR classes are taught by instructors from Northeast Emergency Training Solutions that provides CPR classes for the Chittenden County area.  All of the instructors – Stephen, Jason, Tim and Andrew – are firefighter-EMT’s who collectively have numerous years of experience teaching infant and adult CPR.

Key to Certification

BA = Bachelor of Arts

BJ = Bachelor of Journalism
BS = Bachelor of Science

CCCE = CAPPA Certified Childbirth Educator
CIMI = Certified Infant Massage Instructor

EMT = Emergency Medical Technician
IBCLC = International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
ICCE = ICEA Certified Childbirth Educator
LCCE = Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator
LICSW = Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
M.Ed = Master in Education

RN = Registered Nurse