Get to Know West Wing Midwife, Julie

woman standing in front of fence wearing stripped shirt

What path lead you to become a midwife? 

I loved my OB rotation in nursing school and knew I would want to do OB, labor and delivery, or newborn nursery nursing. After 10 years of doing all of those things, I decided I wanted to be able to “catch the baby” too, so I went back to school for a graduate degree in Nurse-Midwifery.

What are your favorite aspects of working and living in Homer and/or about this industry?

We have lived in Homer since 1999 and have raised 5 children here. The raw beauty of the place attracted us to Homer, but the people made us stay. Homer has so many kind, interesting, and supportive people. The friends I have made are like family now.  It was been the perfect place to raise children with a good mix of nature, a wonderful library, and good schools.

What’s one thing you wish more women were educated on pertaining to their health?

 The importance of good nutrition! It can help with so many aspects of our health.

Tell us one of your most memorable birth stories!

This story is from about 25-30 years ago, back in Maine, where I was a newborn nurse in a large hospital. There was a mom who thought she was having a single baby. Even the OB thought there was only 1 baby. However, after the first baby was born, it became apparent that there was another one coming right behind it!  It was a huge surprise, but both babies were healthy. I don’t think she had had an ultrasound.

What’s a common misconception you notice or a question you receive about midwifery? 

Many people don’t know the scope of practice of Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) and the educational requirements. There are many different paths to midwifery with different requirements and scopes of practice. We can care for women throughout their lifespan.

What’s one fun fact about women’s health (or anything!) that you love to share?

Women are one of only 3 mammal groups that experience menopause. Elephants and humpback whales are the only other species to undergo this biological change. Interesting, right?