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.