The use of midwives has seen a powerful comeback in recent decades and for good reason. In low-risk pregnancies, midwives have been linked to better birth outcomes due to fewer medical interventions, less bleeding and tearing, and a smaller chance of preterm birth. From the first precious weeks of pregnancy to the months following the arrival of your newborn, your midwife will work closely with you, encouraging your involvement throughout this beautiful experience by getting to know you and truly listening to your needs and concerns. This important partnership between midwife and mother helps to ensure those positive outcomes.
So, what does it take to become a midwife? While the regulations can change from state-to-state, Florida has a number of requirements a midwife must meet before becoming certified. They must graduate from a three-year academic program and pass a state exam. They are also required to have hands-on experience which includes completing eight semesters of a clinical internship and attending 75 deliveries, personally managing at least 50. With their professional insight and rigorous training, midwives are able to safely deliver your baby at a birthing center, a hospital, or your home.
At Celebrate Birth, our midwives each found their passion through their own natural births. They know this period can be a wonderful experience and want to empower women considering their options. Our birthing center, originally founded as Labor of Love in 1985, is where our current midwife and owner, Melissa Conord-Morrow, delivered two of her own babies. Melissa decided she wanted to dedicate her life to helping other moms and started working as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor at WIC as well as a Perinatal Educator and a doula. She completed her midwifery education through Miami Dade College and became licensed in 2004. After working at Labor of Love for fifteen years, she and her husband, James, took over and renamed it “Celebrate Birth.” The pair later founded the nonprofit organization, The Nest, where Melissa currently serves as the lead lactation counselor.
When Michelle Hannah was deciding where to deliver, she found Labor of Love and used Melissa as her midwife. Michelle grew passionate about natural birth and realized she wanted to help other women through their deliveries. She worked as a doula before becoming licensed as a midwife in 2015. Michelle was born in Puerto Rico and is bilingual, helping parents of various backgrounds to feel welcome.
Our third midwife, Lanee Webb, is a transplant from Kansas. She came to Florida to finish her licensure in 2016 at Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery in Winter Garden, Florida. She has had the unique experiences of studying natural childbirth in both rural and urban settings and is ready to use this knowledge to assist the families at Celebrate Birth.
When it comes to preparing for your birth, having your preferences acknowledged and honored whenever possible is a significant part of planning for a positive experience. Our midwives at Celebrate Birth understand this. They will use both evidence-based knowledge and professional experience to help you plan for your best birth, whether you choose to deliver at home, in our birth center, or in the hospital. Their training and their unique backgrounds makes Celebrate Birth a perfect choice for the families of Central Florida who are seeking a more personalized experience during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.