YNM Member Story: Laure Sinnhuber-Giles, CM, LM, CLC, LCCE

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Share your story: What does midwifery mean to you? What would you like to be celebrated in the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife?

To me, midwifery is about enabling women to tap into their inner strength. It is about supporting women’s growth. 2020 is a year of unprecedented challenges, given the COVID-19 pandemic. I view 2020 as an opportunity for nurses and midwives to demonstrate courage, resilience, stamina, generosity, curiosity, competence, integrity, and growth spirit.

In the state of New York, whilst practicing midwifery is less constrained than in other states, there is much to be improved. COVID-19 has brought on an unprecedented recognition for the need for better access to midwifery. Midwives have finally opened the first midwife-led birth centers in New York. Licensing and birth facilities privileging barriers in neighboring states have been removed. Despite the physical distancing that is required, midwives are demonstrating their ability to serve women not only as patients but as whole persons. I am proud to be part of this profession.

Tell us about your background: Which midwifery education program did you attend or are currently attending? What are your areas of specialty? Who mentored you along the way in your career? What inspired you to become a midwife?

Midwifery is a second career for me, after advertising. I chose the CM pathway at SUNY Downstate. I am dedicated to learning as much as I can about physiologic birth and how it is supported around the world. So far, I’ve had the privilege to shadow midwives in the UK, the Netherlands, Amish Pennsylvania, and Canada. COVID-19 interrupted my plans to go to France and Germany, but those are only postponed.

My first inspiration was the midwife who attended both of my daughters’ births; she enabled me to find a strength I never knew I had. I have since met so many inspiring midwives who I consider my mentors on this path! They all share the qualities Aristotle listed that midwives should have: “a lady’s hand, a hawk’s eye, and a lion’s heart”.

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