Passionate, driven, and knowledgeable. This year’s community cohort immediately impressed us with their focused professional goals, their strong calling to the practice, and their thoughtful views on the philosophy of birth. Get to know the next generation of Birthwise midwives by learning what inspires and motivates each of them.


Elyana Bass of Chicago, Illinois

“My goal is to become a midwife who is known for her honest dedication to her patients and family. I want to be known for fostering a safe, joyous birthing environment where humor and gentleness lead the way in care. I want to educate others in a way that is relatable and lead by example.…I truly want to make a difference, and I know that I can make an impact by following my passion and becoming a midwife.”


Lindsay Bowers of Kenora, Ontario

“Becoming a midwife has long been a dream of mine, and it is a career I wish I had considered when I was in high school and was initially applying to colleges. I spent 12 years working in health care, both in urban and rural clinical settings throughout Ontario, and I have come to realize that I love working with women, children, and families. I am passionate about midwifery because I love health care, and working with women.”


Sarah Canale of Austin, Texas

“For me, midwifery care and philosophy represent and intersect with feminism, women’s autonomy, social justice, and reproductive freedom. Midwifery spans time and cultures. Midwifery care honors the physiology and the psychology of labor and birth by holding space for a laboring person in their chosen environment and on their terms. Midwives believe birth is normal and that the process is safer and smoother when the person in labor feels safe, free, and at ease, and when the process isn’t alter (or impaired) by interventions, except when medically indicated. Midwifery is empowering. It reminds people that their bodies are strong and capable, and made to be able to birth their babies.”

Gabrielle Carpenter of Bogota, New Jersey

Gabrielle Carpenter of Bogota, New Jersey

“It would be my ultimate dream to be able to teach and coach women through a natural and beautiful experience. Women deserve necessary time to prepare physically, mentally and emotionally for this amazing experience. I want to honor each family’s spiritual and cultural ways of life and use them to plan the best journey through pregnancy and birth.”


Myranda Cook of Cudahy, Wisconsin

“Reading about midwives and their work made me think about pregnancy and childbirth as more than just science, but rather a holistic experience. Midwifery is about caring for the mind, body and soul – not just the physical body. The idea alone that a woman can choose the way her child enters the world was powerful enough.”


Leilani Digmon of Lahaina, Hawaii

“I wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of midwifery care, benefits that last lifetimes and help to heal ancestral trauma associated with birth and sex that have been ingrained from generations of oppression and cultural genocide. I know from experience how amazingly deep of an experience pregnancy and birth can be, and I want more Hawaiian families to experience this depth of care.”


Samantha Magpiong of Haddonfield, New Jersey

“My philosophy about birth is that it is a normal physiological experience and that it should be treated as such unless complications arise. For mothers who desire an out of hospital birth, my job as a midwife will be to provide evidence based care and let them make informed decisions. What I love about being a CPM is the autonomy and the quality of care provided especially when compared to the medical model.”


Hannah Morgan of Baltimore, Maryland

“I believe birth is a normal, natural event. It is not a medical event. Normal birth does not require a highly trained medical professional. Birth does not require narcotics and dozens of tests and does not happen in a predictable time frame. Birth requires attention to the mother. Birth requires patience, support, and trust.”


Dawnn Ollie-Stanford of Burlington, Vermont

“My only objective is to give power back to women in my community. As my practice grows, I hope to make my services available to any woman who wants and needs it. I want to be the midwife who is there for normal, for healthy, for simple. Alternatively, and just as importantly, I want to be the midwife who is there for difficulties, for heartache, for discomfort and dis-ease.”

Michelle "Meshell" Orozco

Michelle “Meshell” Orozco

“With the debates about homebirth and midwifery on the forefront of healthcare politics, I feel incredibly driven to stand up for what I believe in. I believe that birth, in all forms, is a human right. I believe that all persons regardless of color, socioeconomic status, and culture should have the ultimate say over what happens with their body, in any case really, and especially with regards to pregnancy and birth. I believe that all persons should have access to the Midwifery model of care, and know that their experience is valid and worth listening to.”


Sianna Plavin of Providence, Rhode Island

“I feel called to this career and lifestyle by the profound sense of clarity, rootedness, and joy I have caught a glimpse of in my birth work. The more I learn about the work of CPMs, the more I appreciate home birth midwifery as an intersection of justice, self and community care, and an opportunity to be my best self through serving others at a critical moment in their lives.”


Tarae Ramos of Whitman, Massachusetts

“With the proper education, I believe that I could provide women with the care I know they deserve. The more midwives we integrate into our communities, the greater impact we will have in changing the birth culture here in the US. I am fully inspired to contribute to better birthing outcomes, and raising our standard in maternal care in our county, and specifically in my hospital driven community.”


Marquita Taylor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“Midwifery has never truly seemed like a choice, like a career or a job I was choosing…I knew the work that was ahead of me. As a black woman, I know the struggles that are constantly against us when it comes to our bodies, birth, our children, our families, our legacy, and our culture…I see this as the only reasonable solution to eradicating many of the issues in the black community and in the struggles of black people.”


Ariana Vazquez of Bloomington, Minnesota

“When I was given the opportunity to become a birth assistant, I started to realize that this is my calling. I love being part of people’s care and birth experiences. I understand the need to be respected for their choices and lifestyles and believe that is very important to having a healthy pregnancy and birth.”


Latonia Westerfield of Coupeville, Washington

“There is no power on earth quite like the power of pregnancy and birth. Pregnancy, birth, and parenting are life events that cause all who experience them to transcend their individual self and become something more—part of a family, part of a community, a deeper and stronger root of humanity.”


Saychelle Youngberg of Savannah, Georgia

“I believe that the way we treat women in their vulnerable moments can help to shape and change them. We need to become more sensitive to the light that this treatment can give us as women of color and for our nation as a whole. This is the movement that I will be a part of for the rest of my life because it brings joy and justice for all influenced by it.”

Learn more about the community midwifery program.