1. What is your Childbirth Profession?
I am a certified nurse midwife, certified family nurse practitioner, and international board certified lactation consultant.
2. Describe your profession and why someone would want to choose your profession for support in pregnancy and/or childbirth.
(I will talk mostly about my role as a certified nurse midwife.)
Nurse midwifery is a profession that has a background in nursing and also midwifery. Midwife means “with woman” and that is exactly what a CNM does - spends time with women. They care for women in all stages of their life cycle from adolescence to menopause.
Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) provide primary care during all stages, but are most known for the care they give women and their families during pregnancy and childbirth. CNMs can practice in hospitals, birth centers, and homes. Here in South Dakota, CNMs are not able to practice in all places concurrently and due to the laws currently in place, I made the decision to practice as an out of hospital nurse midwife.
I love my profession because I have gotten to apply the knowledge and skills that I acquired from years of education and experience in the traditional hospital setting, and now I use it to care for women and their families in the home setting. I get to know my patients very well and support their decision to birth at home. I very much enjoy the work and travel I do to assist patients with labor and birth in their homes.
My background as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) and international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) have given me a solid knowledge of primary care, well child care, emergency medicine, and lactation. These certifications both enhance the degree of services I can offer my clients in the out of hospital birth setting.
3. Why did you get started in your profession?
I was first certified as an IBCLC while working as a labor and delivery nurse. I then went back to grad school to complete the family nurse practitioner program. I was working out in rural SD and realized that women in our state had very limited options for pregnancy and obstetrical care. I had always wanted to be a nurse midwife, but the distance to a program was the hardest thing for me considering I had several young children of my own.
While working as an FNP in central South Dakota, I had come across several patients in a couple weeks time that really needed a nurse midwife. Their options were limited and since I could not do intrapartum care, I felt moved to pursue midwifery training. I had contemplated this for a long time, but those couple weeks in my life moved me to make a phone call to the University of Minnesota nurse midwifery program. In 2 days I was signed up for a class doing post graduate work to become a Certified Nurse Midwife.
4. In detail, what is your personal childbirth philosophy?
I believe that women should have the resources and available providers to make the decision that is best for her and her family. We need to have hospitals and physicians available, but for low risk patients the hospital is not always the appropriate place to labor and birth. When women come into the hospital setting, it is easy for hospital routines and practices to “just happen”, even if the woman and her family have strong reasons for attempting to avoid certain interventions.
A woman knows how she should birth. As a certified nurse midwife doing homebirths, my job is to ensure that whatever a woman decides is safe for her and her unborn child. I believe that it is my job to thoroughly screen my patients and make sure that any women that I am caring for remains low risk. I want to have the time to get to know my patients on a personal level and build a relationship of trust, so that should the need to abandon a planned homebirth arise, we already have that trusting relationship and we can work together on the appropriate and necessary steps to take.
I don’t believe that any women should have to birth unassisted. Women should receive support from the healthcare community to do what is right for them and that includes hospital birth, birth center services, and homebirths. Women should be able to make the choice where they want to birth and have access to trained birth attendants in all settings.
5. If you could tell all pregnant women in the world something, what would it be?
Every pregnant woman has the right to decide what type of care is right for her. If something does not seem right for you, then investigate your options and make an informed choice.
6. How long have you been in your profession? Are you certified? If yes, by who?
I have been a Certified Nurse Midwife since 2010 - I am certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board and am licensed in SD.
I have been a Family Nurse Practitioner since 2005 and am certified by the American Nurse’s Credentialing Center and am licensed in SD, IA, and Alaska.
I have been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 2002.
I have been a Registered Nurse since 1992 and am licensed in SD and Alaska.
Additional certifications include: CPR, NRP(Neonatal Resuscitation Program), ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), ALSO (Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics), and ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support).
7. Do you have a business name? How can people contact you for pregnancy and childbirth support?
Journey Home Midwifery
Call my phone to set up an appointment (605)769-0807.
My website is still under construction, but more is going up everyday:
8. Where do you practice?
I am currently seeing patients either in my home or a small office space that I rented in Salem, SD at an old chiropractor clinic. I will be moving back into my home office early in the spring to my rural Montrose home. I am approximately 30 miles west of Sioux Falls.
I will travel to births in the eastern South Dakota, approximately 2 hours from my home.