Midwifery care is about creating an environment where women play an active role in their health, pregnancy and childbirth decisions. Nurse-midwifery combines the strengths of midwifery – guiding women in the healthy, natural processes of pregnancy and childbirth – with current evidence and modern medical resources where appropriate.
Nurse Midwives in the United States are health care providers who offer services to women of all ages and stages of life. With their advanced education and their focus on research and partnering with women, they are among the most modern, forward-thinking health providers in the United States today.
Founder and Owner of Hearts & Hands Women's Care
History: I’ve wanted to be a midwife for as long as I can remember. It’s not a stretch to say my journey into midwifery began with my own birth, as the stories I heard from my mother about her care was empowering and memorable. I was born at home in the Netherlands, where the majority of births are with midwives and many still take place at home.
I founded Hearts & Hands Women's Care as a solo midwife shortly after the arrival of my own daughter, delivered in the care of a midwife at home in Peterborough in 2010. Since then the practice has grown into a vibrant practice adding roughly 40 births a year in the community as well as compassionate, evidence-based prenatal and well women's care.
Education and Training: My roots in New Hampshire run deep. I attended Pine Hill Waldorf School and graduated from ConVal High School before attending the University of New Hampshire, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After working as a labor and delivery nurse in multiple settings (from New Hampshire to California, from small community hospitals to high-risk tertiary care centers), I enrolled at the University of Washington in Seattle, where I completed my studies to become a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in 2010. I moved back to the Monadnock Region, where most of my family still resides, in 2010 and have been providing care and support to patients here in Southern NH and into Northern MA since then.
Areas of Interest: Evidence based medical care, shared decision making, cost conscious medical care, compassionate methods of educating in health situations, exploring family models and their affect on health.
Membership: Evidence Based Birth®
History: I am Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) who has enjoyed caring for families with Sarah Bay over the past two years as a birth assistant and student throughout my midwifery program. I am licensed to provide care for women through their pregnancy and delivery as well as routine gynecologic exams, menstrual problems, vaginal infections, STI testing, family planning, preconception counseling in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Education: I graduated with my BSN degree from Fitchburg State College in 1995 and began my nursing career on a medical surgical floor. I found myself yearning to care for women and which lead to my placement on labor and delivery in the community hospital setting. Over the next 23 years I provided perinatal care for women and children as a certified OB nurse at the bedside as well as in leadership roles. I am a neonatal resuscitation provider instructor and have enjoyed working with peers to develop skills to provide high quality care to women and infants in the hospital setting. Over these years I worked with many wonderful nurse midwives, who inspired me to pursue midwifery training. I graduated in August of 2018 with my master’s degree in Nursing (MSN) from the University of Cincinnati and I am excited to begin caring for women in the community as part of Hearts and Hands Women’s care as well as at St Joseph’s in their hospital based practice.
Personal Statement: I believe in empowering women through education and helping them make informed choices about their healthcare and the birthing process. Caring for women in the out of hospital setting, with Sarah as a mentor over these past 2 years, helped me to see my real calling. I gain strength and love from each mother that brings life into the world. I feel blessed to have worked with families & honored that they have invited me into their homes & included me at their births. I am always in awe of the strength & ability that birthing women possess, and how the presence of loving support & gentle encouragement can empower them in childbirth.
Willow Graham has been a registered nurse since 2007. She has worked in several different care settings, but spent the majority of her time in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), as both a nurse giving direct patient care and in various leadership roles. She left the hospital setting to complete a graduate degree in Health Policy in New York City, and spent the next few years working for a health care advising firm doing quality and compliance work all over the country.
Personal Statement: Seeing our health care system through this lens made me realize the importance of a strong, caring, human connection that is often lacking, so when I moved to New Hampshire to start my family, I sought out a midwife to deliver my daughter and help guide me through the process of becoming a mother. Aspen was born at home, and I fell in love with a different model of care than I was accustomed to. It is empowering to trust your body and see what it is capable of! Understanding the importance of support, not only throughout the pregnancy but also after, led me to become a Certified Lactation Counselor and I’m currently working on becoming a Board Certified Lactation Consultant. This process includes both additional classroom education time and clinical hours through working with Sarah. I will also be assisting at births and being part of the practice both before and after the baby is born.
Midwives focus on what is most important to each woman’s unique situation and values and often work with other members of the health care team.
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