RN, IBCLC, Doula, Apprentice Midwife
Hi, I'm Paula, a proud "homegrown" Arkansan! I received my RN license in January 1997, began working in Women & Children in 2004, and I’ve been caring for new and growing families ever since.
I began occasionally assisting midwives at home births in 2008, became a doula in 2013 and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2015. I finally began a midwifery apprenticeship with Deb Phillips, CPM, LLM in 2016. I am in the "primary under supervision" phase of apprenticeship, with Deb supervising my work at appointments and births. (I have passed the NARM exam and am just waiting for the state licensure exam in a couple weeks!)
My calling into this line of work began shortly after my first child was born. Midwife Ina May Gaskin said:
“Whenever and however you choose to give birth, your experience will impact your mind, emotions, body, and your spirit for the rest of your life."
That quote has resonated with me. Giving birth changed the direction of my life and planted the seed in my heart that would eventually bloom into supporting new and growing families.
Although I am already a nurse, I am on the path to become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) rather than a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM.) I chose the CPM path for a variety of reasons, but mainly because because I prefer attending home births over hospital births. Spending time getting to know families in the months leading up to the birth...watching labor, birth, and bonding unfold in the family’s own comfortable environment...continuing that relationship after the baby is born...these are rewarding aspects of homebirth midwifery.
I believe in the Midwives Model of Care. I believe our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made, and I trust in our ability to give birth. I believe that for most healthy mothers and babies, the less we interfere with the process, the better the chances of a good birth outcome.
I also believe that there is no "right way" to give birth--the most important thing is that women are aware of their options, have access to accurate evidence-based information, and feel respected and supported during the process. Each family, each pregnancy and birth experience, each child is unique.
On a personal note, I am a Christian who believes that my work should be rooted in love and respect for all people. Whatever your circumstances may be, I am committed to providing loving care.
I have been married to my Greg for 20 years and have birthed seven beautiful children.
To ensure that I am giving my best to others, I make a point of regularly carving out time to replenish my mind, body, and soul. Some of the things that keep me feeling peaceful and joyful are my faith, practicing martial arts, playing guitar and piano, concocting herbal remedies, and enthusiastically cheering at my kids' activities.
Apprentice midwife under Deborah Phillips, CPM, LLM
Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certified