Midwife of the Week: Lisa Uncles

lisaunclesLisa B. Uncles, MSN, CNM graduated Magna Cum Laude from Frontier Nursing University and earned a Masters of Science from Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. She worked at The Developing Families Center in Washington, DC, a city with some of the worst maternal and infant outcomes in the country. The Center collaborates with local nonprofits to provide quality care and social services to low income families. The trailer for Making Mothers, a film by Fanlight Productions that profiles Lisa and her work at the Center, can be viewed here. Ms. Uncles has also served as Clinical Director at the Family Childbirth and Children’s center at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, and currently provides midwifery care at SPPS Metropolitan OB/GYN at Mercy.

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: Claudia Booker

claudiabookerOver the last eight years, Claudia Booker has served over 600 birthing women in the Washington D.C. area, and works in several other capacities. She is certified as a doula through DONA and ICTC, a La Leche League certified breastfeeding peer counselor, a CAPPA certified childbirth educator, and, most recently, a Certified Professional Midwife in the state of Virginia. However, she was first an attorney, and now uses her legal skills to remain active in social justice issues in midwifery, serve on D.C.’s Infant and Child Mortality Review Committee, and act as her state’s representative for ICTC. While working as a doula and midwife assistant in 2004, Booker founded a volunteer labor support program at The Family Birth and Health Center. It was the first program of its kind in the area and helps some of the poorest citizens of Washington D.C. The founding of this program earned her the American Association of Birth Centers Community Service Award in 2006. Booker now owns and operates Birthing Hands, L.L.C. Even though she is now a CPM, she continues to offer doula services to her community. Learn more about Claudia and her work at

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!

BONUS Midwife of the Week: Community of Hope Family Health and Birth Center

Have you watched House of Cards? Scandal? These popular and edgy programs show fictionalized drama in our nation’s capital. Unbeknownst to many is the real-life drama of bringing new life into this world, playing out at Community of Hope Family Health and Birth Center, an active Washington, D.C. midwifery practice. The FHBC provides birth services based on the midwifery model of care and integrated family health services to women and their families. Kevin Spacey and Kerry Washington may not be roaming the halls, but the midwives, doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, and other staff that help this community’s families are the real stars. We are excited to share more about this busy practice as part of our Labor Day Bonus!

The Family Health and Birth Center provides midwifery-model prenatal care, but with a twist. From their website: “For the first half of your pregnancy, you will have monthly individual visits with a midwife…For the last half of your pregnancy, you will be encouraged to receive your care in groups. You will join a group of women whose babies are due in the same month as you.” Group visits are held every two weeks and include prenatal education, prenatal yoga, meditation, and childbirth education. What an exciting way to provide care and also build community among the mothers and their families!

In addition, the center offers integrated health programs for the whole family, providing well and sick visits as part of their pediatric care, whole family care, gynecological services, family planning services, HIV/AIDS testing, chronic disease management, and breastfeeding support and education.

Center staff includes 4 Certified Nurse-Midwives, a nursing director and 3 nurse practitioners, and 2 MDs. The CNMs, who have privileges at a nearby hospital, assisted in 265 births at the center in 2012. Unfortunately, a scarcity of midwives has led the center to move births to the hospital until appropriate staffing levels can be achieved. Mothers nevertheless receive the benefits of intensive prenatal care, much like the model used in Jennie Joseph’s Easy Access Clinic (see our earlier post). You can read more about the FBHC at: http://www.communityofhopedc.org/healthcare/other-healthcare-services-your-family.

Midwife of the Week posts originate on FoMM’s Facebook page and are archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment! This post was written by Anna Boone.