As promised, we are sitting down with each our midwives to discuss with them their philosophy of midwifery.
Barbara is one of the most well respected and experienced nurse midwives in the Albany area. She comes from a practice in Schenectedy.
AOG: What drew you to midwifery?
Barbara: After delivering my first child, I realized how important education, informed consent and participation in decision making were for all women. At the same time, I was ready for a change from neonatal intensive care nursing. I began working as a labor and delivery nurse, hoping to have an earlier impact for moms and babies. My work with women during labor and birth resonated with total amazement in their power and grace during this life changing event. For several years, I watched some women with complete trust in their bodies, have uncomplicated birth and great outcomes. I felt all women deserved that experience. This was when I discovered midwifery and felt called to this profession. During my life, I’ve cared for, educated and supported women at every aspect of their lives, from nursing homes to neonatal intensive care nurseries, and midwifery is the completion of that circle.
AOG: What experiences have influenced your practice as a midwife?
Barbara: I had amazing midwifery instructors during school. I have been blessed with many gracious mentors in my career, including nurses, physicians, midwives, doulas, students and lactation consultants, throughout many years as a nurse and midwife. Each woman and each experience taught and influenced me as a person and midwife. Incorporating each lesson, from personal challenges with my births, to working with women who birth naturally, had PTSD, mental heal concerns, fast births, or complicated births, I have expanded my view of midwifery. My experiences with young women helped me understand their need of self-reliance and courage, while making difficult decisions. Working with women, who had more social needs than healthcare needs, profoundly humbled me and strengthened my compassion. Helping mature women navigate their changing bodies and needs, offered me opportunities to learn about nutrition, herbal medicine, body work and homeopathy as options in women’s care. I am graced to have many opportunities for growth daily in my career. The understanding and support of family and friends enhances my work as well.
AOG: What do you hope to achieve for your patients?
Barbara: Ultimately, that my patients feel listened to, cared for, supported and educated to make personal choices in their own health. Each patient is empowered to be an active participant in her journey.
AOG: What specific areas in women’s health are near and dear to your heart?
Barbara: Mental and spiritual health concerns are so pervasive in our world and seem to impact many women in their capacity for self-love and self-care; I believe this is a developing area in women’s health that needs more attention. I have always had passion for working with young women in healthcare with the hope to impact their choices for future health. The journey of pregnancy and birth never ceases to amaze and delight me. I enjoy working with mature women and the multitude of challenges menopause brings. A diverse blend of clients really keeps my interest in women’s health.
Barbara: Health care is a really a team approach. All specialties and expertise are needed in meeting women’s goals for wellness. I’m thrilled to be expanding the midwifery-physician relationship in offering a team approach in providing care to women.
We would love to hear about your experiences with Barbara…just leave comments below!