With our birth team, you are in good hands!
Latonia Westerfield, Student Midwife
My first introduction to birth was witnessing my mother labor with my little sister. I’d never seen someone so beautiful, strong, and vulnerable all wrapped into one. I remember the emotions, smells and sounds—deep, ancient, and primordial—that captivated me. This process was made even sweeter by the new human being who entered the world—tiny, pink, wailing, and a sight to behold! When I was pregnant with my girls, I would vividly recall my sister’s birth, and I looked forward to experiencing the wonders of birth and motherhood. It was through these personal experiences that I discovered a power and resiliency that I did not know I possessed. Birth is a powerfully transformative force and an everyday miracle!
These experiences led me down the path of birth work, first as an anthropology student studying maternity health outcomes, then as a doula and childbirth educator. I am now a midwifery student at Birthwise Midwifery School (located in Maine), where I have completed my academic work and have entered my primary experience.
My philosophy surrounding midwifery care is informed by the deep belief that midwifery care is a safe and empowering option for pregnant people and families that leads to healthier babies, families, and communities. I approach midwifery care from the perspective of birth and reproductive justice. All pregnant people, families, and communities deserve to have community-based midwives that provide them with care that is evidence-based and culturally appropriate. And this rings especially true for families and communities that have been historically marginalized and are currently lacking representation in modern midwifery care.
I am excited to continue to grow as a midwife and to learn from and alongside Crystal! I am a homeschooler of my five daughters, I love to cook and bake, and enjoy spending time at the beach with my family.
Hillary Edwards, Registered Nurse, Certified Lactation Educator and Specialist
Breast milk is a remarkable substance, alive and active, busily at work. Think of it as white blood. Immunoglobulins, growth hormones, vitamins and more all rushing and moving to grow and strengthen the developing new babe. The science nerd in me could go on and on about its amazing composition and capabilities. Science aside, however, breastfeeding is about more than nutrient dense milk, it is about relationships.
Why is it that a woman can cry about her breastfeeding story a decade after weaning? Because the process of all involved is deeply relational. It is about our relationships with not only our babies, but our own bodies and what they accomplished postpartum. Breastfeeding isn’t just about putting a baby to the breast and letting it drain while we catch up on Netflix. Although that is a perk, it is about all we envisioned happening when our child first came to the breast. It is whether our envisioned desires for self and child came to fruition. As women we undergo incredible transformations in pregnancy and childbirth, but it doesn’t stop there. We continue to be shaped by the feeding relationship we create with our children.
When I first became a mother I learned that this dance between child and self was teaching us both to communicate, trust, attach, and respond to eachother. It was felt both physically and emotionally between us. I myself walked a fine line between success and failure in the breastfeeding of my first born. Bewildered by my struggles, I turned to a lactation consultant for support. This made all the difference. She normalized my experience for me and empowered me to return home and stay the course. Breastfeeding can simultaneously feel so natural and so difficult at the same time. How many times have I had a woman process this statement with me, “How can something be some hard if it is so natural ?”
Years have passed since I lived those sleepless nights of newborns. Since then, I have acquired over 15 years of experience as a registered nurse, along with specialized training in lactation services. I assist in the labor and delivery of newborns, alongside the talented Crystal Ogle LM, CPM. As well, I work as a triage nurse to patients across the lifespan. Yes, I know what to do if your kiddo swallows a worm or a dime. What draws me, however, to mother baby services is my heart. I deeply care about this unique time between new parents and their babies. It is such an honor to me to be present in these intimate moments. I deeply desire to empower all of my clients, and remind them of their innate strength and knowing. As I sit with you and teach you techniques, as we tweak the little things that are causing hiccups; I hope you know, that inside my joy is coming from knowing that with a gentle nudge, you and your child will stay the course you have sought out for yourselves. Blessings to you, I so look forward to our meeting.