Midwife of the Week: Jill Kent

jillkentA pioneer of home birth in Minnesota, Jill Kent became the state’s first licensed midwife in the year 2000. Having for many years advocated for midwife licensure, Jill founded the Minnesota Association of Midwives in 1985. In 2002, Jill opened The Stork’s Nest, Minnesota’s first freestanding birth center. It closed two years later because of insurance reimbursement issues. After delivering hundreds of babies, Jill retired in 2006. She passed away from multiple myeloma in 2012. For more information on Jill Kent or midwifery in Minnesota, visit http://bios.marquiswhoswho.com/jill_kent/midwife/6730351 or http://www.minnesotamidwives.org/MCCPM/About_MCCPM.html.

This Midwife of the Week post was written by Valerie Meharg. It originated on FoMM’s Facebook page and is archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!

Midwife of the Week: Marinah Valenzuela Farrell

With roots in the southmarinahfarrellwestern United States and in Mexico, Marinah Valenzuela Farrell learned from family members who believed in healing through plants and herbs, in accordance with Mexican and Indigenous traditions. Years later as a CPM, Marinah merges this traditional midwifery care and natural healing with modern evidence-based medicine. She is the current president of the Midwives Alliance of North America and has served many other activist organizations. Marinah owns an established home birth practice in Arizona and remains dedicated to activism, particularly relating to the lack of access to midwifery care for women of color, undocumented immigrants, and in communities with poor outcomes. For more information about Marinah Valenzuela Farrell, visit http://mana.org/about-us/mana-board-of-directors.

This Midwife of the Week post was written by Valerie Meharg. It originated on FoMM’s Facebook page and is archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!

Midwife of the Week: Stacie Smith-Hunt

staciesmithhuntTrained by the midwives at The Farm in Summertown, TN Stacie Smith-Hunt, CPM, LM has been a part of their practice for more than fifteen years. She is also a massage therapist and certified herbalist, and teaches several workshops at The Farm. In 2013 Stacie founded Whole Woman Wellness and Education Center in St. Joseph, TN, where she offers midwifery services and well-woman care, and hosts community events and workshops. For more information on Stacie Smith-Hunt, visit http://wholewomanwellnesscenter.com/.

This Midwife of the Week post was written by Valerie Meharg. It originated on FoMM’s Facebook page and is archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!

Midwife of the Week: Mannie Odaimy Shahdan

mannieodaimyshahdanMannie Odaimy Shahdan was born in Beirut in the early 1850s. She married an Egyptian man and had six children with him, but migrated alone to the United States in 1891. Mannie lived in the Syrian Colony in New York, located in what is now the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Having succeeded in the risky endeavor of coming to a new country and starting a business, she became the busiest midwife in the community. It is not known how many babies she actually delivered, as birth certificates were often not created for Syrian immigrants. Mannie passed away in 1908. For more information about Mannie Odaimy Shahdan, visit http://news.chass.ncsu.edu/?p=12737.

This Midwife of the Week post was written by Valerie Meharg. It originated on FoMM’s Facebook page and is archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!

Midwife of the Week: Laurie Zoyiopoulos

lauriezoyiopoulosLaurie Zoyiopoulos, CPM started her midwifery journey by offering postpartum care for some of her own midwife’s clients. A few years later, in 1990, Laurie began an apprenticeship with that midwife. She became a Certified Midwife through the Michigan Midwives Association in 1996 (a credential that is no longer offered) and went on to earn her CPM credential in 1998. Laurie owns Faithful Guardians Midwifery Service in Marion, MI and is a board member of the Michigan Midwives Association. She is active in supporting upcoming legislation to license and protect Michigan CPMs. Laurie also does her part to protect the future of midwifery by taking on apprentices in several different geographic areas. For more information about Laurie or the Michigan Midwives Association, visit faithfulguardiansmidwifery.com or michiganmidwives.org.

This Midwife of the Week post was written by Valerie Meharg. It originated on FoMM’s Facebook page and is archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!

Midwife of the Week: Afua Hassan

afuahassanAfua Hassan, LM, obtained a degree from Brown University and went on to graduate from the Houston School of Midwifery. Originally from Connecticut, Afua moved to Houston in 1983. She attended home births until 1995, when she opened The Birthing Place birth center. Afua believes in building solid relationships with her clients, and to that purpose holds a group prenatal meeting for her clients each month in addition to clients’ monthly private visits. She is the mother of four children, all born at home. For more information about Afua Hassan, visit http://thebirthingplace.com/.

This Midwife of the Week post was written by Valerie Meharg. It originated on FoMM’s Facebook page and is archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!

Midwife of the Week: Hannah Sandusky

hannahsanduskyHannah Sandusky, a European Jewish immigrant, came to Pittsburgh in 1861. She brought with her a wealth of midwifery skills learned from her mother. She also studied at a midwifery school for one year when she traveled back to Europe in search of medical care for her son. Sandusky was referred to by her clients as “Bobbe Hannah”–“Granny Hannah” in Yiddish. Some also called her “The Angel” or “The Saint.” The number of deliveries she attended was not recorded until 1870, when the Birth Registration Act went into effect. From that time until her retirement at age 82, she delivered 3,571 babies, often charging nothing for her services. In her honor, the Midwives Center for Birth and Women’s Health, a free-standing birth center in Pennsylvania, created the Bubbe Hannah Fund to provide care to low-income women. She died in 1913 at the age of 86. For more information on Hannah Sandusky or the Bubbe Hannah fund, see this 2010 article in The Jewish Chronicle.

This Midwife of the Week post was written by Valerie Meharg. It originated on FoMM’s Facebook page and is archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!

Midwife of the Week: Aisha al Hajjar

aishaalhajjarAisha al Hajjar, BSM, CPM, LM, an American citizen who now lives and works in Saudi Arabia, was named 2013-14 Student of the Year by the Midwives College of Utah. She is a midwife, Certified Bradley Method® Instructor, blogger, and mother of eight. Aisha is the founder of AMANI Birth Worldwide, which provides Islamic childbirth education to families, as well as doula and childbirth educator training. She serves as Saudi Arabia’s representative of the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative and travels extensively to speak about physiologic birth and women’s rights. To learn more about Aisha al Hajjar, visit her blog http://saudibirthstory.blogspot.com/ or http://www.amanibirth.com/.

Midwife of the Week: Mary Carol Akers

marycarolakersMary Carol Akers, CNM, PhD, practices in Elizabethtown, KY. In the course of her career she has midwifed more than 6,000 babies, while also serving as a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and Certified Lactation Consultant. Akers was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Nurse Midwives in 2013. In 2009 she began a quest to open Kentucky’s first free-standing birth center, The Visitation Birth and Family Wellness Center. During a Certificate of Need hearing, required by Kentucky law, three local hospitals objected to the opening of the center, claiming they already offered the same services that the center would provide. The hearing officer denied the Certificate of Need, but last month a Franklin County Circuit Court judge reversed the hearing officer’s decision on appeal. His grounds? The hospitals did not have the right to object, because the proposed birth center’s services were considerably different from those offered by hospitals. To read read more about the case, visit http://birthmonopoly.com/kentuckybirthcenters/.

This Midwife of the Week post was written by Valerie Meharg. It originated on FoMM’s Facebook page and is archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!