I am the mother of 5 wonderful boys who have each given me extensive and diverse personal birth experience. I am married to a supportive engineer, musician and kind soul, John. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Finance from Clark University, and had a brief career in the field before deciding it was not my calling.
In 1998 I became an accredited La Leche League Leader. I began leading meetings on breastfeeding, parenting and nutrition; while providing individual breastfeeding counseling. I began training to be a birth doula through ALACE (Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators) and started supporting women through the birth process in hospitals, birth centers and home settings in 2001. I completed a Midwifery Education Program with Woman Craft Midwifery in Amherst MA, while attending an average of 3-5 births a month as an apprentice midwife. I was fortunate to apprentice with 3 different midwifery practices over 5 years giving me a diverse knowledge base. In October 2009, I opened my midwifery practice, and passed the national exam/requirements to become a Certified Professional Midwife through the North American Registry of Midwives. I have a heart felt passion in international midwifery care, particularly in Haiti, and I am involved with an organization that helps to train local Haitian midwives and provide continuing education to OB’s and Midwifery/nursing students in the Central Plateau. I continue to attend 3-5 births a month while attending a variety of conferences, courses and educational programs regarding all aspects of midwifery.
I have certificates in the following:
- Newborn Resuscitation in the Out-of-Hospital Setting through MEAC (Midwifery Education Accreditation Council)
- Health Care Provider NNR through the American Academy of Pediatrics/American Heart Association
- Perineal Repair through ACNM (American College of Nurse Midwives)
- Knot-Tying Skills and Suturing Skills for Midwives taught by Nell Tharpe, MS, CNM, CRNFA.
- Advance Life Support in Obstetrics through the American Academy of Family Physicians
- Neonatal Resuscitation Program through the American Academy of Pediatrics
- CPR for Health Care Professionals through the American Heart Association
I began attending home births as a first year apprentice midwife in June 2007with New Life Midwifery and in 2009 as a second year apprentice with Black Stone Valley Midwifery in Uxbridge MA. In October 2009 I opened my own supervised home birth midwifery practice under the supervision Birth Services I became a CPM in August 2012 and work as an independent midwife in Central Ma. I continue to attend a variety of conferences, courses and educational programs regarding all aspects of midwifery. I attend on average 3-4 births a month.
Legal Status of Midwifery and Home Birth in Massachusetts
In 41 of our 51 states, direct entry (non-nurse) midwifery is legal. Midwifery is regulated in 21 and unregulated but not prohibited in 20. In the remaining 10 states, direct entry midwives are prohibited from assisting mothers in the birth process.
Massachusetts is an unregulated state in which direct entry midwifery is legal by Judicial Interpretation and Statutory Inference. Midwives are free to practice, but there is no licensure offered. To begin the process of legal recognition, midwives in MA and their supporters created legislation which is making its way through the legislature now.
To compensate for the lack of state regulation regarding the practice of direct entry midwives in MA, the Massachusetts Midwives Alliance (MMA) was established in 1984 as a professional trade organization to provide cooperation among midwives, establish practice guidelines, provide peer review and continuing education opportunities, arbitrate complains among midwives and consumers and promote midwifery as a way of improving health care for women and their families.
Three Types of Midwives
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
A CPM is an independent practitioner who has met all the certification standards set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). Certification includes a verification of knowledge and skills and the successful completion of both a written examination and a skills assessment. CPM credentials meet or exceed licensure requirements in over half of the United States.
Traditional/Direct – Entry Midwife
A DEM is an independent practitioner educated in the discipline of midwifery through self study, apprenticeship, a midwifery school, or college based program distinct from the the discipline of nursing. Legal status of a DEM varies by state. Currently in Massachusetts, DEM are legal, and licensing is not required.
A Certified Nurse Midwife(CNM)
Is a midwife who has a degree in nursing prior to entering midwifery, has graduated from an ACNM accredited graduate level educational program and has passed a certification exam.
I recommend that you carefully consider all your options, do research, and ask questions. In choosing home birth you assume a higher level of responsibility and control of your care.