Certified Professional Midwife, Owner, Clinical Director
I began my path to midwifery at the age of 16 after attending the birth of my nephew. When I was supposed to be doing my algebra homework I was reading pregnancy-related books! For Christmas 2000 my dear friend Melaine Copeland gave me a copy of Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. I was immediately hooked and knew that midwifery outside of the hospital was where I belonged.
Soon after, I began my midwifery studies while also completing my bachelor’s degree at Eastern Mennonite University, getting married, and giving birth to my own two children! Those were busy years and so very precious. In 2014 I gave birth to my third child in the Willow Suite tub.
My midwifery training has been a reflection of my commitment to caring service: I have worked with 9 different Virginia midwives, volunteered with Medical Ministry International (Dominican Republic), African Birth Collective (Senegal), interned at Casa de Nacimiento (El Paso, TX), and birth assisted at Heartland Health Clinic (Dayton, VA). I received my Certified Professional Midwife certificate and my Virginia License in 2010. On Labor Day of the same year I opened Brookhaven Natural Birth Center. I have been a certified preceptor from the beginning of my career and have trained more than 13 student midwives that have gone on to become licensed providers. I have attended over 700 births and thousands of prenatal and postpartum visits.
I currently serve as the President of the Virginia Birth Center Alliance, Vice President of the American Association of Birth Centers, as well as sit on the DEI committee, and am the liaison to the Standards and Education committees at AABC. I am also back at Eastern Mennonite University working on a Masters Certificate in the Trauma and Resilience in Health Care program.
Certified Professional Midwife, Licensed Midwife
I’ve had an interest in birth since childhood. At the age of nineteen, while browsing through various book titles at a local bookstore, I discovered ‘Spiritual Midwifery’ by Ina May Gaskin. Like others, I was captivated by the images and words written by women fully engaged in the birthing process; welcoming and celebrating the process of childbirth. Several books on childbirth later, I began my midwifery studies at the National College of Midwifery and the Northern New Mexico Women’s Health & Birth Center in Taos, New Mexico. Having graduated and completed my training, I sat for the NARM exam in August of 2003 achieving the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential. Later that year, I became a mother with the birth of our son, born at home into the hands of a midwife and friend.
In 2006, I opened a small community home birth practice, Rockbridge Midwifery. Over the years I’ve enjoyed caring for women and their families, while also growing my own family with the birth of our second son in 2006 and our daughter in 2012.
Birth is powerful as are women! I believe in the intuition of mothers and that birth works best when a woman is in the environment she feels safest, with the people of her choosing. I’m happy to be working with the families of Brookhaven as we collaborate for the safest and most satisfying birth possible in the birth center or at home.
I am licensed to practice midwifery by the Virginia Board of Medicine, certified in neonatal resuscitation and adult CPR and a member of the Virginia Midwives Alliance.
Certified Professional Midwife, Licensed Midwife
My journey with midwifery has been lifelong. Born at home myself, I am the daughter of a midwife and homebirth mother of five. I live with my family on a homestead in Pendleton County, West Virginia near the Virginia border. I homeschool my children and enjoy gardening, preparing and preserving natural foods, making body care products and textile arts, and using herbal teas and medicines.
I built a foundation of commitment to out-of-hospital birth as a young woman through my mother’s practice: reading books from her library, joyfully witnessing and participating in all aspects of midwifery care. My first two babies’ gentle and empowering births taught me more than words can say and gave me an even stronger desire to help women experience natural birth.
My training consisted of a combination of formal education, self-directed study and apprenticeship. I graduated from Sacred Mountain Midwifery School in 2009, participated in a wide variety of training workshops and study groups and had my third child. During 2014-2016, I underwent an intensive and fulfilled a two year apprenticeship here at Brookhaven Birth Center, attending home and birth center births, under the tutelage of my friend and mentor Misty Ward, among other midwives.
I am fortunate to have worked and learned with 11 different midwives, attending over 100 births and hundreds of prenatal and postpartum visits during my training. Traditionally, midwifery has been passed down as an art. To me, apprenticeship is a hallmark of midwifery and I am very grateful to my preceptors as well as the child-bearing women whom by sharing their experiences with me, enabled me to learn so much.
After obtaining my CPM certification and Virginia License in 2016, I worked as a midwife at Heartland Health Clinic until the birth of the first of two more children. In the years since, I have worked with midwives in my area and enjoyed having a low volume private practice. These experiences have helped solidify and expand my midwifery skills. I am so excited to be back at Brookhaven as another step in my journey with midwifery, serving the birthing community.
I maintain certification in Neonatal Resuscitation and CPR, participate in continuing education and peer review and am a member of my state professional organizations: Virginia Midwives’ Alliance (VMA) and Midwives’ Alliance of West Virginia (MAWV) in which I serve as treasurer. I follow the Midwives’ Model of Care, which is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes. I believe in Evidence-Based Care and Informed Consent. I am honored to support and encourage women and their families in their own ways of moving through pregnancy, labor and birth, nurturing an open and trusting relationship with the goal and benefit being a safe and beautiful birth experience.
My interest in midwifery stems from my experiences supporting friends during pregnancy and early parenting. Many of these friends were in situations that were not ideal and most were unsupported by family. I was able to help them with relaxation and stress reduction and in gaining confidence in their parenting skills once their baby arrived. I hope to continue this legacy of supporting all mothers as a midwife, whether they have family support and especially if they do not. My passion is to serve and support young and single mothers with unintended pregnancies.
For the past ten years I have been working in assisted living facilities as a Certified Nursing Assistant as well as Registered Medication Aide. I really enjoy assisting the elderly with mobility and independence and love bringing them comfort. Honoring them where they are and acknowledging their feelings is a skill I feel I possess. I find end of life care to be not so different from the beginning of life care. It is a sacred space to bear witness to.
I grew up in central Virginia and met and married my loving and handy husband 11 years ago. We have a ten year old child that I consider my mini-me – they are crafty and loves animals. We have two cats and several goats that feel like family!
When I am not working you will find me in my yard gardening, collecting vegetables to can, herbs to be dried, working on the nearly hundred-year-old house we decided to fix up, or talking, playing, and relaxing with my goats. In the fall and winter, I get into making some herbal tinctures and teas to use throughout the year in my skincare products, and I also love reading and knitting.
Once I am a Certified Professional Midwife and our child has graduated high school my husband and I plan on making a major life move across the country to start a health center. Until then we want to keep them in a place that they know and can flourish into the bright young person we know they will become. I am truly excited to get started on my midwifery apprenticeship at Brookhaven and getting to know the mothers that make it possible.
Emma Gould– Midwife Apprentice
Although I may not always have been aware of it, I feel that my whole life has been leading me to the work of midwifery. I have always desired to be in service of others. When I was in 7th grade I formed a nonprofit to benefit children orphaned by AIDS in my native South Africa. I received a dual degree in International Relations and Peace & Conflict Studies from West Chester University where I began to focus my interests on women, and how the world at large would benefit from uplifting them and valuing their unique contributions to society. I realized that by supporting women who chose to birth and care for their families and homes (which is 50% of society, after all) that more harmony could be created in the world.
Patricia Liggins– Midwife Apprentice
Patricia’s passion for maternal and child health started in 2018 where she began her training at
Mamatoto Village, learning how to navigate health disparities within her community and to support families through pregnancy as a doula. From there she began teaching women and birthing people how to advocate for themselves and building allyship between health care providers and community birth workers in order to create new pathways for better health outcomes. Today, Patricia paves the way for better birthing options in her community by leading the charge as a board member of organizations such as Dr. Shalon’s Maternal Action Project, the Reproductive Health Equity Alliance of Maryland, and the American Association of Birth Centers – all organizations that are dedicated to building pathways towards healthy pregnancy and birth options for all.
Erin Hurst LMT, BCTMB