As a birth doula, I have the opportunity to work in a variety of birth locations, and meet many different care providers in Baltimore and the surrounding communities. Many of the midwives I have worked alongside have inspired me in my doula work, through their dedication, knowledge, and compassionate, respectful care. I realize that the average person looking for a care provider for pregnancy and birth doesn’t always have the same opportunity to meet the many wonderful midwives we have in the Baltimore area, so it is a joy for me to be able to introduce some of them through this series of blog posts.
For my first post in this series, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Bayla Berkowitz, a Certified Nurse Midwife. Many in the community may know Bayla from her years as a midwife at Mercy Medical Center and UM St. Joseph Medical Center. She recently expanded birthplace options for those who choose her care, with the opening of a private practice through which she will attend home births within approximately a one-hour drive of her office in Pikesville, MD, and hospital births at UM St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, MD.
Meet the Midwife: Bayla Berkowitz, CNM, MSN
How long have you been a midwife, and what type of training do you have?
I’ve been a midwife for eight years. I have a BS in Nursing and a MS in Nursing, specializing in Midwifery.
In what settings have you attended births, and where do you currently attend births?
I have attended hospital births and am currently attending home and hospital births.
What is your general philosophy of labor and birth?
My philosophy is that our bodies were created to give birth and know what to do. Left alone, our bodies will surpass our expectations and everything will go smoothly with little risk of complication.
Do you have children? If you have given birth, have your own birth(s) influenced the care you give to other women?
I have three children. I think my births help me care for women every day. I am always thinking about how I experienced different events and encounters and incorporate that into my care of others. It helps me empathize tremendously.
What is one thing you’d like your clients to know before they give birth?
It’s important to prepare yourself for birth. Not just buying baby gear. Delve into yourself and explore your fears about birth and bringing a new person into your life. A good childbirth class is important for first time parents. Breathing and relaxation are crucial skills for all birthing women. Find a mentor – friend, mother, sister, cousin, doula – to help with the process.
Thanks so much, Bayla! For more information about Bayla’s practice, A Better Birth Midwifery, check out her website, www.abetterbirthmidwifery.com. Bayla also holds periodic “Meet and Greet” events at her office to learn more, so be sure to follow her facebook page, www.facebook.com/abetterbirthmidwifery to be updated about current events!