How awesome is it that we have an entire week to celebrate and recognize how amazing midwives are?!?
While we appreciate the work of midwives everyday, October 1-7 is National Midwifery Week, where we are taking the opportunity to recognize just how awesome the work of midwifery is and highlight our very own at Midwives at Brookhaven, who bring the best service to our clients.
Midwifery is an art which brings the power back into the hands of women.
Midwifery is filling the gap in maternity care across the country are filling the gap in maternity care.
Here’s to keeping midwifery alive and giving it the recognition it deserves. We will forever be in awe.
Midwife Misty Ward, CPM and Brookhaven Owner
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.
MIDWIFE ZAZI MULLER, CPM
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.