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Meet the Leaders

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Samantha Konikoff

Sam is a mom of 2. She met Becky in 2016 and they both knew that they wanted something more for moms in our community. Sam always wanted to give this community something she needed but never had. She does the work so that no one else has to go through motherhood alone. She had PPA/PPD/PPOCD with her first and it was isolating. She wants to keep making change locally as well as nationally to help parents see this doesn't need to be done alone. 

Melissa Burden

Melissa is a patient advocate and dedicated volunteer for those who are struggling through perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Melissa attended her first support group, the Village Circle, 3 months after the birth of her son, Elliott. In the depths of postpartum anxiety, this is where she found the help and voice that she needed. A year later, Melissa attended the GPS training through Perinatal Support Washington, so she could give back to her community what was so valuable and life-changing for her in her early motherhood journey. Through this, she has discovered her life commitment and passion to find new ways to reach those who are struggling, and remind new parents that they aren't alone and that they can be well. She also works full time as the Warm Line Program Specialist at Perinatal Support WA, offering support to families all over WA as well as to the volunteers who help answer. 

Dani Giddens

Dani is thrilled to be part of the Village Circle Collective & to positively impact new families in our community. She currently works for Postpartum Support International (PSI),  supporting the Climb Out of the Darkness Event and its leaders worldwide, and is energized by co-leading Team Bellingham's Climb Out of the Darkness event in June. Additionally, she volunteers as a Mentor in PSI's Peer Mentor Program.

After becoming a mom in 2009, she would stumble through a thick fog of Postpartum Anxiety, Depression & OCD without telling a single soul. The catalyst for her involvement in perinatal mental health can be pinpointed to one pivotal moment, while listening to a podcast. A friend (& fellow leader Sam) recounted her transition to motherhood, including a debilitating battle with Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMADs). Dani was completely empowered by hearing someone speak their truth. While Sam's story was different than Dani's, she certainly could sympathize with the words her friend spoke. She discovered that there is strength in processing trauma and empowerment in sharing stories. If Sam's story could help her feel brave and less alone, then surely Dani’s story could help others as well. 

Outside of this important work, Dani is mom to 3 rambunctious kids. If she’s not therapeutically weeding her garden, you’ll find her trail-running, hitting the slopes at Mt. Baker & planning future travels.

Melody Eastman

Melody is a mama of three kids. Her firstborn has a complex medical history and her first season of postpartum life was spent at Seattle Children's Hospital. Her next kiddo didn't sleep, requiring her to navigate working full time outside the home and intense nighttime mothering. Her last little one was born in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic. Her daughter's hard birth, the isolation of the pandemic, and the death of a dear friend created a postpartum that was exceptionally dark. She experienced significant anxiety and depression; it felt like the world had lost its color. At the time she didn't think she would ever feel better, but slowly with the support of therapy, medication, an extended maternity leave, and the Village Circle she began to find stability and color in her world again. 


Melody joins the Village Circle facilitators with lived experience of three very different postpartum seasons, each difficult and yet special in their own way. She believes our stories matter and sharing them, even the hard parts, is healthy and can promote healing. Speaking these truths out loud together breaks down walls of silence, isolation, shame, and guilt giving room for authenticity, community and hope. 

Shay Anderson

Coming soon ...

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