Journey to Birth Midwife Team


Cathy Gallagher
Midwife Founder
LM, CNM, BSN

My journey was triggered by my own homebirths. That I had my last two babies at home after an initial Cesarean helped to make the experience all the more precious. My own experience with homebirth, motherhood and grandmotherhood is perhaps my best credential and guides me regularly. The privilege of being allowed into a family’s most loving, personal, and pivotal life event is more than an honor for me—it’s  exhilarating.

My other credentials include my Midwifery Certificate from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. I am licensed in New York and Connecticut, hold an ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) from SUNY/Westchester and BSN (Bachelor's degree in Nursing) from SUNY Empire. As a midwife, I helped more than one thousand women bring their babies into the world!  My first seven years as a midwife were at the Hudson Valley Hospital Center. I left there for the opportunity to work in Connecticut at the only free-standing, out-of-hospital Birthing Center. I spent the next seven years there. 

Then it happened, that Ah-ha moment, when I knew it was time to get back to where it all began for me…homebirth. Which I have been doing since 2013, and couldn't be happier.  

My experience in women’s healthcare is long and varied. Childbirth Educator, Doula, Grassroots women's health community leader, new-mothers groups, VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) classes, sibling classes, have filled the spaces in my heart, head and hands, and shape the midwife I am today. I am proud to be serving women and their families, and thrilled to be offering homebirth in my community.

 


Susan Schmidt
Midwife Founder

LM, CNM, MSN

I found myself on the path to midwifery after my own births. My first birth, a planned homebirth, ended as a disappointing Cesarean Section of a beautiful baby boy. After much soul searching and self-education, I had an incredible home VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) of a beautiful baby girl. Shortly thereafter, I began helping other women to birth with intention and I longed to be a homebirth midwife. And so my journey began: childbirth educator, doula, nursing school, then finally midwifery school.

I received a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BSN) from Pace University in 1994, my Midwifery Certificate (CNM) from Frontier Nursing University in 1997, and a Master’s degree in Nursing (MSN) from Case Western Reserve University in 2000. I also have a Bachelor’s degree in Business (BBA) from the University of Wisconsin in 1981.

I taught childbirth classes and attended many births, mostly at home, while going through nursing and midwifery schools. I was gaining as much practical knowledge and experience as I was learning academically. I have practiced full-scope midwifery in many settings since 1997. No matter how medicalized the setting, I have always relied on and trusted the innate normalcy of the birth process and the strength of women’s bodies. I have been and still am a staunch advocate for a woman’s right to labor, birth and to live as she chooses.

I have attended more than one thousand births, happily guiding women and their families as they realize safe, gratifying birth experiences, and cared for countless women for their gynecological needs as well. My specialities are woman-centered prenatal, labor and birth care; young women’s first GYN exams; and holistic peri-menopausal and menopausal counseling that incorporates natural treatment plans.  

Now, after 18 years in mainstream midwifery practice, and with my two children well into adulthood, I find myself at the perfect juncture in both career and life: to continue on my midwifery journey, returning to homebirth, just as the young-mother version of me envisioned so many years ago.

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Nancy McDaid 
Midwife Assistant
CD(DONA), CCE 

The births of my children were life-changing events. I have four children, including twins. I was amazed at what my body was capable of and I knew I wanted to share that feeling of empowerment with other women in the world. I am thrilled and honored to be able to attend homebirths and to assist other women as they slip into the transformative role of motherhood.

I have been a homebirth midwife assistant since 2007 and joined Journey to Birth from its beginnings in 2013. I am certified as a birth doula through DONA International, and have been attending births since 2002. completed the Midwifery Home Birth Assistant course in Summertown, Tennessee, at Ina May Gaskin's Farm, and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience as a labor support doula, assisting in the office, at homebirths and during postpartum visits. 

With Cathy and Susan's encouragement, I have now begun my own midwifery journey by returning to school. I am currently working on the prerequisites to become a certified midwife. I plan to graduate with a bachelor's in public health in 2016 and complete my masters in midwifery by 2019.