Education and Experience —Michelle is a Certified Midwife (CM). She graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois in 1998 with a B.A. in Business/ Economics and from SUNY Downstate in 2007 with a Master’s degree in Midwifery. Before joining Full Circle, Michelle worked in a high volume, diverse hospital in Queens, NY where she “caught” over 300 babies and cared for hundreds of women. She practiced as a doula in New York City during her midwifery training, and she spent two years in Benin, West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer working at a small village maternity center.
Areas of Interest —I am especially interested in childbirth education, breastfeeding and postpartum adjustment. Being in the midst of raising two young children, I know the balancing act that mothers experience daily. I enjoy helping mothers and families find community and support.
In addition to all things related to women’s health and holistic healing, I have a wide variety of interests: I love being outdoors, camping and hiking. I love exploring new places and cultures through travel. I enjoy reading, cooking, farmers’ markets, CSAs, gardening and yard sales. And most of all, I love spending time with my husband, Mike, and my two sons, Miles (5 ½) and Matteo (1 ½). With this position at Full Circle, my family moved from Queens and is excited to be exploring all that Westchester has to offer.
My Path to Midwifery —My discovery of midwifery began with the discovery of home birth. I lived with a family of eight one summer during college, and for the first time heard of birthing at home with midwives. I resonated with the concept of birth as a natural, empowering life event, rather than a medical condition requiring the most advanced technology. I realized that like all mammals, women need to feel safe and secure in order to give birth. While I found myself intrigued with these “alternative” choices in childbirth, I discovered that midwives applied this concept of empowerment into all areas of women’s health, including gynecological care and family planning. Midwifery embodies my passion for women, holistic health and empowerment. I knew that I had found my calling.
My intrigue with women’s health continued throughout my experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, West Africa. For two years, I absorbed the life and culture of my Beninese neighbors, where pregnancy, birth and raising children are as normal as sleeping and breathing. I became a regular in the maternity center, fascinated with the natural rhythms of pregnancy and motherhood in this different context. I also came to realize firsthand the intricate correlation between poverty and health, as mothers struggled to feed themselves and their babies.
Returning from Benin, I began my midwifery training and cared for women as a doula, supporting women of various cultures, incomes and education. The core components of midwifery care-- woman-centered, continuous care and helping women to make their own choices in their health-- cemented themselves in my belief system.
In my practice as a midwife, I feel privileged to support women and their families during this transformative period in their lives. I have seen women feel empowered both at home and in hospital settings. I am especially grateful for the empowering environment that is at Phelps Memorial Hospital. In contrast to many other hospitals, laboring mothers are able to freely move without continuous monitoring, use water for labor and birth, and be active participants in all decisions of their care. The entire staff works to support the needs of mother, baby and family.
My Hope for Clients —My hope for you is that you find the resources you need at Full Circle to grow in health physically, spiritually and mentally. I hope you will feel nurtured and empowered. And I hope we can help you find support for your goals through the rich community and various services that we offer. Welcome to Full Circle Women’s Health!