E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 591 341 344
People often ask me how I got into midwifery or what inspired me to be a midwife. I like to say that I was “born into it”. I was born into the hands of midwives in an old school bus that was our home in the backwoods of Tennessee on an intentional community called The Farm. In this community women birthed at home with midwives so I grew up thinking that this was the norm. In fact, The Farm is somewhat famous in the birthing/midwifery world because their midwives have assisted in thousands of births and boast some of the best birth statistics in the world (to view their stats go to http://www.thefarm.org/charities/mid.html). When I was a young girl my mother attended births as an assistant to the midwives. She would come home and tell me the stories and I was fascinated. From about the age of twelve I wanted to be a midwife. Eleven years later, on my 21st birthday, I witnessed my first birth and knew I had found my calling.
I began attending births in 1995 as a doula, a woman who provides emotional and physical support to the laboring woman. I volunteered for the Berkeley Free Access clinic, providing labor support for low-income, mostly single women who didn’t have much support. I also took part in a Kaiser Permanente research project that was studying the effects of having a doula with rates of intervention and birth outcomes.
I began my midwifery training with Elizabeth Davis’s three month introductory course in San Francisco and then returned to The Farm that summer to apprentice with the midwives. A year later I moved to Miami to attend a 3 year midwifery program and graduated with honors in 1999. One of my joys is traveling and doing international work. As a student I had the opportunity to attend births in Jamaica and Haiti. Once I graduated and was practicing I acted as a preceptor for midwifery students attending births in a low-risk hospital in Honduras. I returned to Miami Dade College in 2001 and completed a nursing program. As a nurse I worked in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), caring for sick and premature infants. I feel that this experience compliments my midwifery practice as it gave me more experience/expertise with the babies.
I have been a member of the Midwives Association of Florida for 10 years and I served 2 years on the NACPM (National Association of Certified Professional Midwives) board, a group of courageous and inspiring midwives who are working tirelessly to make sure that women all across the country have access to midwifery care.
Perhaps the most important and profound part of my journey as a midwife came when I became a mother myself. Although I had been attending births already for 12 years, it was quite different to be on the other side! I found myself facing the most challenging, powerful, and humbling experience of my life. The moment I touched her precious little head while she was still inside, just before she was born, I was flooded with a love far greater than anything I had ever known….and a deep gratitude for the incredible privilege of giving birth, in the comfort of my own home, surrounded by family and supported by my three fabulous midwives! My beautiful daughters, Nehama Renat and Jade Amina are the loves of my life and motherhood continues to humble and teach me each and every day.
Apart from midwifery, my other passions are music and dance. I have studied and performed numerous styles of percussion and dance, including Afro-Haitian, Afro-Cuban, West African, ballet, modern, and Belly dance. In 2002 I founded the Takada Women’s Ensemble, an all female percussion ensemble that performed in Dade and Broward counties. In 2014 I wrote, produced, directed and danced (at 36 weeks of pregnancy) in “Shatki Rising: Maya’s Labyrinth”, a multicultural exploration of pregnancy, loss, fertility, birth, and motherhood. We had a cast of 30 drummers, dancers and singers, including several midwives and many mothers. It was part of an evening dedicated to raising awareness about the racial disparities in infant and maternity mortality and included a panel discussion after the show. You can view it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILadnRkfjWQ. I currently perform with Venus Rising, a multicultural female dance and drum troupe ( http://www.venusrising.net/index.phpg).
To see a feature article about my practice in the New Times go to;