Why I became a midwife: Two midwives share their stories
We asked a few of our Certified Nurse-Midwives what drew them to the career and what they love about helping women through major milestones such as pregnancy and menopause.
‘The best job in the world’
Lizzi Brink, CNM, ARNP, is a Certified Nurse-Midwife at MultiCare Women’s Center in Tacoma.
Brink is new to midwifery, having graduated from midwifery school last summer. She’s been a registered nurse for seven years and previously worked as a labor and delivery nurse at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital.
Brink’s experience during a nursing internship in the Philippines in nursing school inspired her to become a midwife. There, she caught a baby for the first time and marveled at the unmedicated births that are commonplace.
“It was such a powerful experience to see how strong women are,” she says. “These women were so confident and brave in spite of the circumstances. It was inspiring to form a connection and find a way to support them.”
But midwifery is about more than catching babies, she says, which is another reason she loves it.
“It’s about education and empowerment of patients and giving women options and informed choices,” Brink says. “It truly is the best job the world.”
There are sad moments, too, such as when a patient loses a pregnancy — but it’s an enriching experience overall, she says.
“As midwives we really value the relationships we create with women,” says Brink. “It’s such an incredibly humbling experience that women trust me with their care and want me to walk beside them in this health journey.
“It’s interesting that 10 years ago I didn’t know what a midwife was and now I am one.”
Meeting women where they are
Bree Herndon, DNP, CNM, ARNP, a Certified Nurse-Midwife at the MultiCare Women’s Center in Auburn, says midwifery is something you have to have a calling for.
“Babies come when they want to come,” she says, pointing out the long hours and challenging nature of the job. “It’s really rewarding and I love it.”
Before becoming a midwife, Herndon initially became interested in midwifery while working toward her bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology. Next, she worked in administration for the Department of OBGYN at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
There, she got to know a lot of midwives and other providers, which led her down the path to becoming a midwife herself.
“I chose midwifery particularly because I wanted to focus on low-risk, normal physiological birth and reproductive care, supporting women through their life transitions from first period through first pregnancy through menopause,” she says.
“Midwifery seemed like a place where I could meet women where they are. I really love getting to know my patients, being part of really awesome moments, and able to support them through terrible moments too.”
About The Author
Roxanne Cooke is our senior content editor and manages Vitals, Kite Strings and Bring Happy Back, plus special projects such as 24 Hours at Tacoma General Hospital and The Healthy Futures Project. She tells stories in words, photos and video. You can reach her at [email protected]More stories by this author