I am the mother of five children all born naturally between 1997 and 2006. After the birth of my third child, the first born at home, something changed in me. I felt empowered by the experience and profoundly rooted in the normalcy of birth.
When my children were small, I became a Montessori preschool teacher. The educational philosophy resonated with me as a homebirth mom: Create an environment where the child can access their own interests and abilities, remove barriers to success, make sure it’s safe and then stand back and watch independence and individuality emerge.
In 2006, with these values in mind, I became a birth and postpartum doula and created Birth Partners Doula services. I learned about healing herbs for the childbearing year and established Birth Partners Tea. I became a childbirth educator, and turned my attention to supporting families to have the beautiful powerful birth experiences they deserved.
After several years of working within the system, I could no longer stand witness to the lack of evidenced based care, the soaring induction and cesarean section rates and the trauma of newborns. I decided if I was to continue serving as a guardian of safe, physiologic, normal birth, It was time to become a midwife and practice at home. I enrolled in the National College of Midwifery and became an apprentice at Seventh Moon Homebirth Midwifery Services. I have been working as a New Jersey licensed CPM since 2014. I am honored and blessed to continue to welcome babies earthside and to guide, educate, and protect families on the journey of parenthood.
Janis and I met when she became Vicki’s student at Seventh Moon in 2014. I was working as a young midwife in Vicki’s practice and I mentored Janis through her apprenticeship. She and I have been working together ever since! I am grateful to have her as part of the Birth Partners team as my “left hand woman” and trusted second midwife. She is an invaluable mentor to our student Mia. Janis is an integral part of most prenatal visits and births. She steps in as primary midwife at times when I am unable to attend a birth for any reason and her work makes our practice more sustainable and whole.
“I have been a birth worker for over 40 years. I was called into this work before becoming a mother, and the experience of bearing 4 children and raising them has opened my eyes and deepened my commitment to being a voice which uplifts the normalcy and power of the natural birth experience. My path to becoming a midwife has been experiential, beginning with my own home births, then serving as doula and educator to women and families navigating their unique birth journeys. I graduated from Birthwise Midwifery School in Bridgton, ME and became licensed to practice in NJ in 2017. I embrace the truth that pregnancy and birth are healthy processes and that the knowledge of how to birth emerges from within, an innate connection. I believe in establishing a culture of community, in which each birthing person is accompanied along the continuum of birth as it has existed throughout time. I acknowledge that providing culturally humble care is integral to creating a safe and respectful space for birth to happen and I welcome the opportunity to serve all families in that light.”
I met Mia in the role of midwife and caught both her daughters into my hands. She adds a beautiful dimension to Birth Partners as an experienced doula, childbirth educator and dedicated student midwife.
“I am a homebirth and homeschooling mom of two. After experiencing the deep and lasting care of homebirth midwives, I was inspired to become a doula to help support other birthing families. In late 2020 I began my training to become a CPM through the National College of Midwifery. I am loving the apprenticeship model of learning the craft of midwifery care under the mentorship of Raizy, Vicki and Janis”.
I owe my career as a midwife to Vicki. Vicki and I have known each other since 2006 when she provided me exceptional midwifery care as an advanced student midwife during my fifth pregnancy and birth. Soon after, Vicki trained me as a birth and postpartum doula and eventually became my preceptor and mentor, training me as a midwife. I first worked for her as a new midwife and then we worked as partners until Vicki moved to Ocean Grove, NJ in 2020. Vicki is my trusted and dedicated back-up midwife, and you might meet her in the role of second midwife at a birth. We are currently co-mentoring our student and former homebirth client, Mia.
“I have been attending births for 25 years, first as a doula and childbirth educator and for the past 13 years as a licensed midwife in NJ and NY. I have been in private practice and partnerships with wonderful midwives and mentor students through the process of becoming a midwife in the apprenticeship model. I believe birth is sacred, and that the sovereignty of the birthing person must be kept in mind throughout pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Keeping reproductive justice at the forefront of the work midwives do is critical to reducing maternal and infant mortality in the U.S. I believe that midwives have a responsibility to that work and are the answer to the maternal mortality crisis we are facing. I have had multiple leadership roles at both state and national levels and continue my volunteer work helping to move midwifery forward in both NJ and NY with the goal of recreating systems so that birthing people can have access to the equitable and culturally congruent care they deserve. I am the mother to five amazing adult children and Grammy to three precious grandchildren (and one more on the way)!”