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Staff & Specialists

Kellie Wicklund, MA, NCP, LPC: Licensed Psychotherapist, Clinical Director of the Maternal Wellness Center
Kellie Wicklund is a licensed Psychotherapist with 20 years of experience, and is the Clinical Director of the Maternal Wellness Center. Her experience with both private and community clients has nurtured an interest in the area of reproductive health psychology- a specialty that acknowledges the complexity and trials of the developmental process of parenthood. Kellie has extensive and specialized experience with peripartum mood and anxiety disorders, and understands the unique pressures that modern motherhood brings. Kellie is adept at supporting women through their journey into parenthood, whether that be the hardship of infertility, the overwhelm of the postpartum period, or the profound grief following a loss. Kellie is a local provider for Postpartum Support International (PSI), and is currently working toward PSI’s newly established ‘Certification in Perinatal Mental Health’. She has lectured about peripartum mood and anxiety disorders at Abington Hospital - Jefferson Health, and the City of Philadelphia’s Maternal Health Conference.  Kellie also serves on the Medical Advisory Committee for the Breastfeeding Resource Center.

Joseph W. Danial, MD: Psychiatrist
Dr. Joseph Danial, MD serves as Medical Consultant at the center. He is a Physician with Abington Hospital - Jefferson Health. He is a psychiatry specialist in Warminster, PA and has been practicing for 38 years. He has been treating and consulting on perinatal disorders for twenty years, in both hospital settings and private practice.

Abington Health Center - Warminster
205 Newtown Rd, Stein Building, Suite 212
Warminster, Pennsylvania 18974
Office: 215-481-5450


Heidi Lengel, MMT, MT-BC: Psychotherapist & Certified Birth & Bereavement Doula CD (SBD)
Heidi Lengel received a dual Master of Music Therapy & Professional Counseling degree from Temple University in 2012, and is also certified as a birth and bereavement doula. Heidi offers a warm, accepting space where people can explore difficult topics while remaining emotionally safe. She uses a combination of traditional psychotherapy tools combined with therapeutic music experiences (as desired) to help people discover new avenues of wellness and health in a way that is unique and individualized to each person and/or family. Heidi recognizes that not every person or family's path is the same, and that challenges associated with fertility issues, miscarriages, emotional distress, "normal" pregnancies & births, or infant loss are complex and important. Heidi is passionate about supporting the development of healthy families in order to create peaceful, transformational, & intergenerational change in our world. Her areas of research interest include medical music therapy program development and best practice recommendations in perinatal music therapy. Heidi is a local provider for Postpartum Support International (PSI), and is currently working toward PSI’s newly established ‘Certification in Perinatal Mental Health’.She has presented research and clinical work at regional, national, and international conferences. Heidi was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Benedikte Scheiby "Pioneering Spirit Award". This merit-based award recognizes someone from The Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association who has worked to expand music therapy by crossing traditional theoretical and practice-oriented boundaries to meet the diverse needs of the people we work with. As an author and educator, Heidi provides lectures, supervision, & clinical programming solutions to healthcare professionals throughout the United States & Canada.

Sheri Hovdestad, MA, LPC, NCC, PMH-C: Psychotherapist 
Sheri is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Nationally Certified Counselor, and Certified Perinatal Mental Health Counselor. She earned her Master of Arts in Counseling and an Advanced Counseling Certificate from Montclair State University. Sheri has diverse experience working with adult client in various settings. Sheri has received advanced training in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders as well as infertility counseling. Are you telling yourself "It isn't supposed to feel like this." Are you wondering "Am I the only one?" You are not alone. Sheri is keenly aware of the expectations women often place on themselves in hopes of living up to the ideal of the "perfect" mother. She can help you navigate the journey of motherhood in a way that allows for you to be open and honest in your expectations and experiences. In May 2016, she joined the Maternal Mental Health Coalition in Washington D.C. as part of a delegation from New Jersey that met with members of Congress to advocate for support of the Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in the 21st Century Cures Act.

Shaily Nandra, MA, LPC
Shaily is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has a Certificate in Perinatal Mood Disorders Components of Care through Postpartum Support, and is currently working toward PSI’s newly established ‘Certification in Perinatal Mental Health’. She received her Master’s degree in Counseling Education from Wayne State University in Michigan. Shaily has been working with families and mothers in transition for the past several years. This includes her position at Thomas Jefferson University’s Family Center, where she delivered individual and group therapy to pregnant women and mothers struggling with both peripartum mood/anxiety disorders and substance abuse/use disorders. Shaily draws from an integrative approach to therapy, which heavily favors person-centered and humanistic philosophy, while also incorporating directly supportive techniques. Shaily is skilled at helping people identify and manage the stress in their life, and support adaptive and healthy coping skills. Her specialized training helps new or expecting parents navigate the challenges and adjustments of growing a family. Shaily's clients can expect a thoughtful and discerning listener, who will draw upon years of experience to establish a quick rapport and personalized therapy plan.


Christa Aikins, CD (DONA): Program Coordinator + Yoga Instructor (200 Hr.)
Christa Aikins has been working as a birth doula for over five years and is the Program Coordinator for the Maternal Wellness Center. She serves on the advisory board of the Philly Doula Co-op and is a member of midwife led Birth Choices, in Thessaloniki, Greece. Christa brings her experience of living and working abroad for many years with diverse cultures and is passionate about working with international and immigrant families. She has supported single mothers, and families who have used hypnobirthing, mindfulness, and evidence based birthing practices and has attended various birth related workshops and trainings in Philadelphia, including on pregnancy and loss. Christa began practicing yoga in 2008 while pregnant with her second child and as a way to maintain health and to deal with issues around chronic back-pain. Initially her practice centered around decreasing pain but eventually grew into exploring breath and relaxation for her own birthing experiences but also in her work with clients as a doula. In 2019 she completed her 200 hr. teacher training under the guidance of Sophie Simpson and Jake Miller at Blue Banyan Yoga Studio of Mt Airy. She is certified in the Vinyasa flow tradition and is adept a creating a safe holding space, where people can feel nurtured and empowered. Christa has also completed an 8 hr. training in the principles of Trauma-Sensitive yoga.

Jessica Sieracki, LMT: Massage Therapist
Jessica is a dedicated licensed massage therapist and has been practicing since 2005. Her massages are therapeutic and aim to focus on problem areas while instilling a relaxation of the entire body and mind. Jessica truly believes that in order to take care of others you must first take care of yourself. Women and mothers especially benefit from the therapeutic benefits of massage. Jessica graduated from The National Academy of Massage Therapy and Healing Sciences. She has always had a passion to work with pregnant women as well as those trying to conceive. She loves sharing the journey through conception and pregnancy into motherhood with each of her clients. Jessica is certified in Prenatal, Postnatal and Fertility Massage as well as other modalities such as Oncology Massage, Orthopedic Massage and Reiki. She also specializes in Deep Tissue Massage.

Jamie Seibert, LMT: Massage Therapist
Jamie loves sharing the gift of massage, and is a firm believer in the value of self care. Wherever you find yourself on your journey to motherhood Jamie will help you melt into blissful peace, while all your worries and to-do lists float away. The combination of deep muscle work, aromatherapy and undisturbed relaxation proves to elevate mood, boost circulation and improve sleep, energy, health and vitality. Jamie graduated from the Cortiva Institute in 2001 and her passion is supporting families. Jamie is a practitioner of Traditional Swedish, Prenatal and Deep Tissue massage. Jamie is thrilled to bring her work to the Maternal Wellness Center and its many deserving clients.

Ashley Lugo: Volunteer Coordinator
Ashley Lugo has been working with mothers and families on a volunteer basis since 2015 and is the volunteer coordinator at the Maternal Wellness Center. She serves on the board of the local chapter of the MOMS club of Jenkintown. Ashley has coordinated fundraisers to help send essential care items to refugee families, ran informational programs about foster care, and is trained to facilitate peer-lead support groups with the organization MotherWoman. Her passion is creating community for mothers and families. 

Maria Silver Pyanov, CCE, CPD: Doula and Childbirth Educator
Maria is certified childbirth educator, postpartum doula and regular contributor for BellyBelly, who has been working with prenatal and postpartum families since 2006. In addition to serving as a doula and providing childbirth education, she co-created both the Birth Works postpartum doula training program and the International Doula Institutes childbirth educator certification program.  She strongly believes there is no “right” way to give birth, only that each person deserves the opportunity to make fully informed decisions with caring support along the way. The goal of her childbirth classes is that parents leave feeling confident in their ability to make choices, to feel safe to explore their options and to know they have support regardless of what they choose. Her goal for postpartum families is to make sure they feel safe to make the choices that feel best for them. She provides evidenced based information and supports families as they choose what is best for their unique circumstances.

History & Mission

photo by Natalie McKnight

photo by Natalie McKnight


The Maternal Wellness Center was originally founded in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia in 2004. After a hiatus, the Maternal Wellness Center, under the new direction of Kellie Wicklund, is reborn in Abington, Pennsylvania. The Maternal Wellness Center ascribes to a “whole-person” wellness model that views birth and becoming a parent as natural, transformative life event, while also recognizing how challenging, and emotionally vulnerable the transition can be. The mission of the Maternal Wellness Center is to augment traditional perinatal health care with high-quality, supportive services, that take into account a woman’s emotional needs as well as her physical needs. Maternal Wellness Center believes that when women and their families are supported and informed, birth and postpartum outcomes are greatly improved, and women and families thrive.


What are PMAD’s:
Peripartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders

photo by Nick Kelsh

photo by Nick Kelsh


The journey of becoming a parent can evoke powerful emotions, changes in relationships, and questions about oneself.  It is an all-encompassing experience that is filled with incredible joys, but also baffling contradictions and challenges. For many parents, the mixture of sleep-deprivation, financial stress, work changes, role & relationship changes, and the demands of a baby can introduce or exacerbate anxiety and/or depression. Memories and experiences from childhood can also return with new relevance, and power — and may require updated understanding for this new chapter of life.


PMAD’s are the most common complication of childbirth, affecting 20-25% of women — not a surprise being that following delivery is the most psychologically vulnerable time in a woman’s entire life. The postpartum time is a “perfect storm” of events, with physical pain, hormonal shifts, feeding challenges, exhaustion and round-the-clock care of a newborn - your life as you know it is turned on its axis. Not to mention that there can be other children who have needs, financial / work stresses, relationships that start feeling strained, a baby who is hard to decipher and soothe, and possible health complications / NICU stay, or multiple babies, a profound loss or a scary medical situation.


For women who have a history of depression, the risk is higher for developing a postpartum depression.  It can feel very isolating, and shameful - people often hear from well-meaning friends and family; “Isn't this the most wonderful time in life?”, or, “How can you feel depressed when you look at this baby?”  These opinions can make a suffering mother feel even worse. It’s important to know that postpartum depression is common, 100% treatable, and the sooner you get help, the sooner you will feel like yourself again. 


Baby Blues can last for three weeks postpartum, and this time can be marked by mood instability.


Postpartum Depression is an anxious depression that cycles around from “good days” and “bad days” — the more “bad days” you are having in a week, likely the more severe the state you’re in.  Here is an online evaluation tool that may be helpful to help you understand the severity of how you feel: 


Some common symptoms of postpartum depression & anxiety are:

  • tearfulness/weepiness

  • feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and guilt

  • irritability and restlessness

  • anxiety or feelings of panic  

  • insomnia or difficulty sleeping

  • loss of appetite  

  • feeling overwhelmed / fear of being alone with the baby

  • obsessive or repetitive thoughts or worries ("scary thoughts")

  • anger / loss of patience

If some of this list sounds like what you are experiencing — please let someone know because prolonged depression and stress is not healthy for mom or for baby.


Sometimes the anxious symptoms are much more pronounced and can begin to be a peripartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Symptoms of perinatal Obsessive-Compulsive symptoms can include:

  • Obsessions, also called intrusive thoughts, which are persistent, repetitive thoughts or mental images related to the baby. These thoughts are very upsetting and not something the woman has ever experienced before.

  • Compulsions, where the mom may do certain things over and over again to reduce her fears and obsessions. This may include things like needing to clean constantly, check things many times, count or reorder things.

  • A sense of horror about the obsessions

  • Fear of being left alone with the infant

  • Hypervigilance in protecting the infant

  • Moms with postpartum OCD know that their thoughts are bizarre and are very unlikely to ever act on them.


Postpartum Psychosis is a very rare condition, occurring in 1-2% of births, and onset is usually sudden and within the first two weeks postpartum.  It is an emergent situation that requires immediate emergency medical treatment. Call 911, or go to the nearest crisis center.


Symptoms of postpartum psychosis can include:

  • Delusions or strange beliefs

  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)

  • Feeling very irritated

  • Hyperactivity

  • Decreased need for or inability to sleep

  • Paranoia and suspiciousness

  • Rapid mood swings

  • Difficulty communicating at times


Opportunities at MWC

photo by Natalie McKnight

photo by Natalie McKnight


Maternal Wellness Center is hiring a part-time psychotherapist (10-12 hours a week, flexible), experience with peripartum disorders is preferred, and clinical supervision is included.

If you are a mental health provider in the Philadelphia Metro area, we’d love to know about your practice and/or organization. Contact us if you’d like to be listed in our provider network.