I have been a birth worker in the Richmond area since 1997.  

My journey to becoming a midwife (CPM) began with the birth of my son by cesarean, because he was in a breech position. I later had a natural birth and VBAC with my daughter. I started out as a birth doula in 1997 and from there I became a postpartum doula and nanny in 2001. I began my journey to becoming a home birth midwife in 2006 when I realized the absurdity of the number of unnecessary c-sections that were being performed in the area and the limits of my scope of practice as a doula. I graduated from National Midwifery Institute and received my CPM (certified professional midwife) in 2013. I have attended over 200 births with over 50 being in an out of hospital setting such as at home or in a birth center. I have apprenticed (trained) with 7 different midwives. Each birth teaches me something different as no woman, no pregnancy, no birth, and no baby are the same-even when the client is a repeat client. There is so much to learn about the birth process and I emphasize with my clients the importance of trusting the birth process. 


VBAC (vaginal birth after a cesarean) is near and dear to my heart. In my work as the leader of ICAN of Richmond and now the River City VBAC Support group, I have learned that there are many reasons that a doctor decides to do a cesarean. My goal is to help the women who have had a cesarean to process her experience emotionally and prepare herself through education and support for a different outcome with her next child.  


My overall philosophy about birth is that BIRTH IS NORMAL. Before it even occurs, if the mother is healthy and is doing her best to nourish and grow a strong and healthy baby.  Our bodies are beautifully and wonderfully made. Every woman has the strength within herself to have a normal natural childbirth. It is my role to guide you through this process and help you to become empowered. I believe in the principle of matrescence as defined in Birth Models that Work by Robbie Davis-Floyd, University of California Press, 2009.  "Midwives manifest intuitive like responses: non-verbal, empathic actions that spring from spontaneous insight and awareness." Forming a protective and nurturing environment for the mother to do her work of birthing her baby. Birth should be calm and gentle.  




 


Considering a home birth? Contact me at

 804-382-8222 to see what your options are.


"Attending births is like growing roses. You have to marvel at the ones that just open up and bloom at the first kiss of the sun; but you wouldn't dream of pulling open the petals of the tightly closed buds and forcing them to blossom to your timeline." - Gloria Lemay

​​Richmond Virginia Homebirth

Mary Callender, CPM