SARAH BRANSON, CNM
As a high school student in a health services class, I was able to rotate through various departments in a hospital, shadowing the employees and helping out when appropriate. When it was finally my turn to follow a maternity nurse, I was very excited. However, though the nurse I followed was very nice, I was so sad that after a woman gave birth, she was moved to her postpartum room, the baby was put in the nursery, and the new father was sent home. It was then I first thought, this is not the way I want to have my own babies.
Fast forward to 1983 when my oldest son was born, I was able to find a freestanding birth center staffed by two nurse midwives in Milwaukie, Oregon. I received excellent care and was empowered to learn about my pregnancy and labor and birth in my own way and was never separated from my new baby or my husband. When we moved to Michigan and I was pregnant with my daughter, there were no practicing nurse midwives within three hours of my home. I then found a wonderful direct entry midwife who attended births at home. She and I became close and after my daughter was born in a fast but exhilarating labor and birth, I began to attend births with her as an apprentice. I worked with her through the birth of her son who was one of my first independent “catches.” Soon after I decided to attend nursing school and move towards nurse midwifery. After my youngest son was born in a third lovely birth attended by his family, my midwife and several supportive friends, I applied to Frontier Nursing University in 1992. I graduated from Frontier as a nurse-midwife with a Masters in Nursing from Case Western University in 1994.
After graduating, I worked in a hospital based setting as one of a group of midwives in Northern Michigan. We had approximately 30 clients a month and had an excellent working relationship with the physicians who also attended births and served as our consultants. After several years, I partnered with one of the midwives to open a smaller practice so women could have a more one-on-one relationship with their midwives. I also began to attend home births again. Later, I was faced with the need to draw back from midwifery’s demands on my timeto focus on my family. I moved into a science teaching position at my children’s charter school and still maintained a small home birth practice. In 2005 my husband and I moved overseas first to Brazil and then to Japan to work as international teachers. I was privileged to attend births in both countries. It was fascinating to see the differences in how birth was perceived and the constancy of the need for a midwife’s support.
Upon returning to the United States in 2011, I began to work with Susan Dodge, CNM as a birth assistant for home births and as a back-up midwife when necessary in the greater Annapolis-Baltimore-Maryland area. I have established a solo practice as of January 2015. I take only a very limited number of clients in order to give the personalized care I believe most women and families desire.
I have attended over 1000 births as either an RN, an apprentice, a student, an assistant or as a primary midwife. I have been the primary midwife at around 650+ of those births.
Licensed registered nurse (RN) and certified registered nurse midwife (CNM) in Maryland and the District of Columbia; carries a National Provider Indentifier Number.
Active member of American College of Nurse Midwives and American Midwifery Certification Board. Certified in adult, child and infant CPR; American Academy of Pediatrics Neonatal Resuscitation Program.