For Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15), we are highlighting Hispanic/Lantinx midwives.
I am a Hispanic-born midwife from Miami, Florida. My parents are from Central America and the Caribbean. My father is from El Salvador and my mother was born in Cuba of Chinese Jamaican parents.
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?
Midwifery is about the journey of women in learning to trust their bodies through the unknowns of pregnancy and birth. It is about listening to what is not said and seeing beyond what is visible. It is about communication and making connections into each individual’s world to understand their journey to meet their child or children. Midwifery is sacred; it deepens my appreciation of God and the miracle of life. I feel honored to have been chosen to be a midwife.
In the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, I would love to celebrate all of my midwifery preceptors that passed down their knowledge and skill into helping me build a solid foundation in midwifery.
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?
I completed an Associate’s of Science in Midwifery at Miami Dade College, which allowed me to practice as a certified professional midwife in the state of Florida. Thereafter in 2018, I completed a Master’s of Science in Midwifery at Frontier Nursing University. This program had a companion DNP option, which I accepted and am proud to say that as of June 2020, I completed the program. Since 2018, I work at a Florida Health Community Center with the underserved population providing obstetric and gynecologic care.
I started at the tender age of 14 assisting women in my family or friends in labor. I did not know about midwifery until the birth of my niece. It was then when I realized that what I loved to do for my family and friends was my calling. I switched my major from architecture to midwifery and I have never looked back. I am thankful to the many women and babies that taught me what it meant to be a midwife. I am thankful to the certified professional midwives, Jennifer Mitchell, Antoinette Thomas, and the nurse midwives, Maria Valentin-Welch and Mary Kay Miller that were instrumental during my enrollment in the midwifery program. These women are a phone call away, still ready and willing to give me 110% of their support.
Tell us about your practice: Where do you practice? What is your patient population like? What voices in the community are you trying to uplift, or issues are you trying to alleviate in your practice?
I serve in a small metropolitan area known as Port Saint Lucie in Florida. I work with a group of doctors and midwives whose efforts are to provide obstetric and gynecological care to the underserved community. It is difficult to provide excellent care in less than 15 minutes per patient, but it is possible to empower them during their prenatal care. In a small project conducted over 90 days, using four PDSA cycles and shared-decision making tools, the primary cesarean rate decreased from 24.4% to 16%. This was such a great example of including the voice of patients through the use of shared-decision making, utilizing evidence-based practice guidelines, and teamwork to improve patient-centered care.