Midwife of the Week: Josefina Saraf

josefinasaraf Josefina Saraf is a Florida Licensed Midwife practicing at The Birth Center in Winter Garden, Florida. Josefina immigrated to the United States from Chile in 2012, having earned a degree in Nurse Midwifery from the University of Frontera in 2007. Subsequently, she served as a nurse-midwife in Chile’s Health Department, providing prenatal care, birth control and gynecology services, as well as counseling women on sexual and reproductive health issues. In the Orlando area, Josefina is one of the bilingual midwives, nurses, and doulas who facilitate a support group, childbirth classes, and clinical exams for Spanish-speaking women and their families. This Latina Midwife lives the Center’s vision that “all women deserve a healthy pregnancy, birth and baby.” For more information about Josefina Saraf, please visit http://www.commonsensechildbirth.org/our-team/.

 Midwife of the Week post was written by Anna Boone. It originated on FoMM’s Facebook page and is archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!
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Midwife of the Week: Gladys Milton

gladysmiltonIn the late 1950s, Florida’s Walton County Health Department, hoping to offer midwifery care to low-income African-American residents, arranged for Gladys Milton to be trained in Alabama. After she received her midwife license in 1959, she attended her clients at home until 1976, when she opened Florida’s first birth center, now named Milton Memorial Birthing Center. By this time, most Grand midwives of the South had been forced out of practice. Those that remained provided care for poor, rural women, unacknowledged by local health departments. When middle-class women began to lobby for midwife licensure in the early 1980s, the state of Florida took notice of Gladys Milton and attempted to phase her out. The “home birth renaissance” enabled Gladys Milton to not only stay in practice, but to become the first traditional Grand midwife to be professionally licensed under the new law in 1984. Gladys Milton attended more than 3,000 births in her long career. Her legacy continues through her daughter, Maria Milton, continuing the family tradition as a midwife at Milton Memorial Birthing Center. Gladys passed away in 1999 at the age of 75. To learn more about Gladys Milton, visit http://miltonmemorialbirthingcenter.com/id6.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: Joni McCann

In 2003 Joni McCann, LM, CPM, CCE opened the Birthing Center of South Florida, a full-service birth center that turns no one away, regardless of ability to pay. Joni was trained at the Miami-Dade midwifery program and holds a post-graduate certificate from the British Institute of Homeopathy. (Side note: the Miami-Dade program was the first in the U.S. to be offered in a public institution; sadly, it has just closed). She is a certified childbirth educator, is fluent in Spanish, and speaks some Haitian Creole. Her practice spans 37 years and between 2500 and 3000 babies.

Joni is featured in a video documentary series published on YouTube by Creative Bird Productions. Catchin’ Babies follows Joni and her assistant Andrea Casas as they strive to educate and empower women through home birth. The series was created to counter the negative stigma attached to home birth. Access the series at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY-rAssiPZokR-c1n-B8unQ.

Midwife of the Week posts, written by Sirene-Rose Lipschutz, originate on FoMM’s Facebook page and are archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!

Midwife of the Week: Jennie Joseph

British trained midwife Jennie Joseph used her skill and years of experience to develop the J.J. Way, a “high-touch, low-tech” approach to maternity care aimed at eliminating race and class disparities, and improving experiences and outcomes for at-risk mothers and babies. Jennie runs the Birth Place, a birthing center in central Florida based on this practice model, where no woman is turned away due to inability to pay. She is also the founder of Commonsense Childbirth Inc., an organization that builds on the success of the Birth Place by offering community outreach, training for lactation consultants, childbirth educators, and doulas, and a licensed, three-year program for direct entry midwives. For more info about the JJ Way, and lots of statistics, follow the link: http://www.amchp.org/programsandtopics/BestPractices/InnovationStation/ISDocs/JJ-way.pdf.

Midwife of the Week posts, written by Sirene-Rose Lipschutz, originate on FoMM’s Facebook page and are archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!