CARA ON BECOMING A MIDWIFE

"I have been a Midwife my entire adult life. I was 19 years old when I felt the initial stirrings of the call to Midwifery. By that time, I had lived in, and/or traveled to several different countries. I knew that what I wanted to do had to bring me into contact with all people, with absolutely no exceptions (all cultures give birth). I also knew that I would not spend many years obtaining mastery in a pursuit, and then allow my life’s work to be rendered obsolete with the invention of some new technology. During my adolescence and early adulthood, I realized how much my personality fit with a life of service. Growing up the second oldest in a family of five girls was a good foundation for understanding how similar and yet uniquely individual each woman’s personal expression can be. That was the beginning.

After almost 30 years of learning and practicing Midwifery, I have come to realize that I have chosen well. With each passing year, I discover that the work that I naturally love to do has many rewards that I never anticipated when I began: the art of refining clinical judgment calls, for one. I have realized that being in a healing profession is a natural extension of my character. It is what I am made to do. It is what I am called to do. I watched a movie about two Italian doctors in Afghanistan, taking care of soldiers from both sides of the conflict. The doctors just wanted to make everyone better, heal the wounds, and see them back on their feet; no partisanship. I related to those guys. As I matured from my ideological beginnings, I have come to realize the joy in facilitating each woman’s unique expression and empowerment.

How and where a woman gives birth has a profound affect on her life thereafter. At home, in a protected space, where intimacy can exist, families experience joy and triumph as they give birth according to their own values, upholding their own priorities. I am honored to be a player in this great event."

A B O U T  C A R A  M U H L H A H N,  C N M

CURRICULUM VITAE

CARA L. MUHLHAHN, CNM


EDUCATION

State University of New York, College of Health Related Professions, Brooklyn, NY
Certificate of Nurse-Midwifery, 1991

Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, NY
Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 1985


EMPLOYMENT

Cara Muhlhahn Midwifery, Homebirth & Gynecology Practice, New York, NY
Certified Nurse-Midwife, Full-scope Midwifery in a private practice setting, 1996-present

Maternity Center, Inc., Manhattan's Birthing Center since 1975, New York, NY
Certified Nurse-Midwife, Full-scope Midwifery in a private practice setting, 1992-1996

Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY
Certified Nurse-Midwife, Full-scope Midwifery, 1991-1992

Allen Pavilion of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY
Registered Nurse/CN-1, Labor & Delivery, Postpartum, and Well Baby Nursing, 1989-1991

Sloan's Center for Women, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY
Registered Nurse/CN-1, Labor & Delivery, 1987-1989

Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, NY
Registered Nurse/staff, Labor & Delivery, 1985-1986


EXPERIENCE

ACNM, Midwifery Public Relations for NYC Chapter, New York, NY
Graphic design and database update of Midwifery Services in the New York area, 1985

Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Thoracic and Abdominal Surgery, NY, NY
Student Externship, 1984-1985

North Central Bronx Hospital, Shadow Program in Midwifery, Bronx, NY
Observation, labor coaching, translation (Spanish), 1983

Lay-Midwifery Clinic, El Paso, Texas
Birth Assistant, presence at 65 births, both in home and clinic, all prenatal care, childbirth preparation in Spanish for Mexican population, neonatal baby exams, postpartum care and six week follow-up exams on mother and baby, 1979-1980

Rural Lay-Midwife, Corvallis, Oregon
Birth Assistant, Prenatal care, observations of home births, 1978-1979


HONORS & AWARDS

State University of New York
Dean's List, Joan B. Ditchik Memorial Award, 1990

Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
Award for Excellence in Patient Care, 1988

Columbia University
Dean's List , 1985


PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

American Nurses Association
New York State Nurse's Association
NAACOG Nurses' Association of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
ACNM American College of Nurse-Midwives


LANGUAGES

Fluent French and Spanish


APPEARANCES IN PRINT & FILM

ARTICLES

"Home Delivery" by Sandra Gordon, Parents, April 2001

"Home Delivery Is Available" by Anemona Hartocollis, New York Times, June 2005

FILMS

The Clouds That Touch Us Out of Clear Skies directed by Lynn Shelton, 2000

The Business of Being Born directed by Abby Epstein, 2007

In this candid and eye-opening documentary, director Epstein and producer Ricki Lake tackle the controversial debate between at-home and hospital births in the U.S. This film reveals shocking facts regarding the historical and current practices of the childbirthing industry contrasted with the realities of childbirth at home.

The Business of Being Born has been acquired by New Line Cinema and will be released on DVD for purchase in May 2008. For showtimes, locations, tickets and further information, please visit the film's website: www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com.