MEET CLAIRE, COMMUNITY MIDWIFE
The short version.
- I believe that midwifery care should be available to all low-risk pregnant people who want this model of care
- I value community-based midwifery and health care
- I strive towards practicing ‘green midwifery’
- I believe in honoring diversity and providing thoughtful, quality healthcare
- I value collaboration and consultation with other healthcare providers when necessary
- I believe that a healthy midwife-client relationship is based on mutual trust & respect
- I feel that just healthcare & social justice are directly related
- I am personally & professionally committed to supporting global midwifery
The longer version.
I decided to become a midwife in 1996 while I was a college student studying in Ecuador. I spent several weeks with a community midwife who was known to everyone as 'Abuelita' and had attended the births of hundreds of people in her rural community. I was struck by the incredible wisdom she carried, the bonds she maintained with women and their families, and the commitment she felt to providing safe midwifery care to her community (I was also astounded by the fact that she walked miles & miles every day to attend births - without shoes!).
Upon returning to the US, I began to move towards midwifery myself, volunteering as a doula and home birth assistant while living in Philadelphia and Chicago and feeling out my options for training as a midwife. I chose to study both nursing and midwifery because I knew I’d continue to travel internationally throughout my life and I wanted a variety of clinical skills to carry with me. During this time, I spent a year working at a birth center on the Texas/Mexico border and had the opportunity to learn from some truly incredible midwives, as well as from the families who gave birth there. I moved to New Mexico to finish my training because of the rich, long history of midwifery in this state. I also wanted to feel prepared to work in rural settings as a midwife, so I spent time training in Silver City, NM and working with a homebirth midwife serving Amish clients in Lancaster, PA.
I completed my ‘official’ midwifery training in 2005, a week after giving birth - at home - to my daughter… and thus began my informal and ongoing training as both a mother and a midwife!
My life as a midwife.
Since then, I’ve attended births in homes, birth centers, and hospitals. My family moved to beautiful rural Zuni, NM and I was honored to provide midwifery care at the community health center there for almost seven years. During this time I also attended births in a hospital at Fort Defiance, AZ on the Navajo Nation. I gave birth to my son while living in Zuni, also at home (and with immense gratitude to our midwife, who drove from Albuquerque in the middle of the night to attend his birth!). When our family needed to move temporarily to Virginia, I was thrilled to join two other midwives at a small birth center in Richmond. And when we later spent a year living in Central America, I worked with a cooperative of Mayan midwives in Guatemala and with a community health program in Costa Rica. Now, back in Albuquerque again, I’m grateful to be part of a network of amazing midwives working in various settings around the state.
Background and Training
Training & Continuing Education
- I did my ‘official’ midwifery training at University of Pennsylvania (2001) & University of New Mexico (2005)
- I regularly attend midwifery workshops & conferences to make sure I’m up to date on best healthcare practices.
I’m currently involved with these fantastic organizations:
- Asociaciòn de Comadronas del Area Mam/Maya Midwifery International
- New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force
- Midwives for Haiti (I’m ‘twinned’ with their Carrie Wortham Birth Center; she was a good friend & was deeply committed to this amazing organization)
And check out some of my favorite birth centers:
When I'm not at births...
In addition to midwifery, I love spending time with my family, camping & traveling (when not on call!), being outdoors, reading, puttering in the garden, and dabbling in - though not perfecting - various kinds of fiber arts!
My overwhelming gratitude to:
- my family, near & far
- my midwife mentors, including my own fabulous midwife Ruth
- my midwifery community
- the skillful assistants who help me at births
- the families who trust me with their care