Kathy LeBaron, LM, CPMKathy is a NARM Certified Professional Midwife and has been a Licensed Midwife in Idaho since 2010 (the same year that midwifery became legal in Idaho). She holds current certification in Neonatal Resuscitation and Adult/Infant CPR. She has studied herbology and holistic health extensively and has been active in midwifery since 1982.
She is a true “grand” midwife who first began informal training in a small rural community in Chihuahua, Mexico. She assisted the local Partera (midwife), and gained experience the old-fashioned way- hands on, one birth at a time. When her mentor left the community, Kathy was called to be the primary Partera to over 100 births. After returning to the United States to live in the early 2000’s, Kathy began formal studies with Ancient Art Midwifery School and began training with a local preceptor midwife. Before Idaho made midwifery a legal, licensed profession, Kathy completed requirements and exams to become a CPM through NARM in 2009. Kathy is the Student Director & Facility Coordinator at SMC and also keeps us all smiling and well-fed. Kathy was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and moved to Mexico with her family in 1965. There she met her husband and began her own family. She birthed and raised 12 children(11 whom are living, 2 are still at home), and has 27 grandchildren! Besides being a mother and grandmother extraordinaire, she also enjoys playing the piano, quilting, hiking, riding horses, and gardening. Kathy says “Birth has been a passion since a young age. The gift of pregnancy and birth is a blessing and an empowering experience for each woman. My desire is to help every woman I care for achieve the birth of her dreams and remember the experience forever.”
My name is Lauren Garcia, and I have wanted to be a midwife since I was 7 years old. My desire to become a midwife started when I witnessed my mother give birth to my two youngest sisters at home with a midwife. As soon as I was old enough, I started to research as much as I could about how to become a midwife. I attended my cousin’s birth as a support person when I was 17 and that only made me want to work more toward the goal.
After graduating from high school, I had a plan to attend ISU, become an RN, and then train to become a Nurse Midwife. During that first semester, I decided that I did not want to become a Nurse Midwife. I went back to researching other paths to becoming a midwife. In 2013 and 2014, I attended Stevens-Henager College. I graduated in 2014 with a 3.98 GPA, and received an Associate’s degree in Medical Specialties. I now have a certification as a Medical Assistant and Phlebotomist. In February of 2014, I began attending births with Kathy LeBaron, Licensed Midwife. I chose to become a midwife through a program known as the PEP – Portfolio Evaluation Process. This program is an experience based training. For the academic portion of Midwifery training, I chose to enroll in Mercy In Action’s Distance Academics Program.
The last three years have been extremely challenging. Becoming a midwife has been the most exhausting, but also the most rewarding experience of my life. I am certified in CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation.
In 2015, I graduated from Idaho State University with my bachelor’s degree in anthropology. While taking a class in global health I uncovered an immense fascination for different birth practices around the world. I was mesmerized learning about pregnancy and childbirth in a globalized context – as a normal, natural, physiological process with meaning expressed through cultural rituals and practices – a stark contrast to the medicalized version I was familiar with in the United States. My senior year of college I studied abroad in Thailand. I researched maternal care in a northern rural village. I became more aware of the importance of providing women a birth that is both safe and meaningful to them. I realized the need to provide holistic care to women, encompassing not only their physical condition but also their spiritual and emotional well-being. I was drawn to midwifery. While in Thailand I was presented with the opportunity to volunteer at a hospital in Pakistan. I spent a summer shadowing nurses, doctors and midwives in Pakistan where I experienced the highs of birth and the lows of preventable complications as they occur in the developing world. I knew this was the passion of my life – to provide compassionate, culturally-appropriate and sensitive midwifery care to women around the world. I enrolled in Mercy In Action College of Midwifery where I am pursuing my CPM. Simultaneously, I have been accepted as a student at Selah Midwifery Center where I am gaining clinical skills and first-hand knowledge of the birthing process and midwifery care. I am certified in CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation.