What is a Licensed Midwife?
A Florida licensed midwife is a professional practitioner providing expert prenatal, labor, delivery, and postpartum services to women having normal, healthy pregnancies. In order to qualify for licensing, candidates must graduate of a 3-year academic and clinical midwifery education program. License requirements meet established national and international professional standards.
- Quality care, with informative, family-centered guidance through the childbearing cycle.
- International track-record of excellent maternal-child health outcomes.
- Lower maternity care costs, in part through reduced reliance on cesarean surgery.
For more information of licensed midwifery visit the Midwives Association of Florida website, at www.floridamidwives.org.
Debbie Marin is the owner of the Hollywood Birth Center and has been a licensed midwife for over 20 years. In 1983 Debbie had her first daughter, a water birth at home in a state where direct entry midwifery was not legal. That experience was just the beginning. For several years Debbie attended births as a lay midwife and in 1998, upon returning to Florida she attended the South Florida School of Midwifery for 3 years. Debbie was instrumental in helping to change the midwifery law to allow more licensed midwives to practice in Florida including serving as president of the Broward chapter of Friends of Midwives. She wrote a midwifery curriculum that was implemented in a National School of Technology in South Florida and was the clinical director, administrator, teacher and a student in that program. The two classes of women she graduated have gone on to become midwives in Florida. Debbie opened The Hollywood Birth Center in 1993 and has since trained countless midwives. She has dedicated her life to empowering women and keeping birth safe. She has two daughters of her own, Ariel and Munirah.
Betty Bilbao was born in Havana, Cuba and raised in South Florida. She has three children and one grandchild. Betty graduated in 1999 earning a science degree from Miami-Dade College. She has been a licensed Midwife in the state of Florida since 1999. Betty has been attending births since 1996 in Florida and in Jamaica. Betty is currently working on her certification for lactation counselor. Her passion is empowering women through education.
Ada "Becky" Sprouse began her journey to becoming a midwife in 2002. She started working for Healthy Start as a Childbirth Educator and quickly became a supervisor. There she developed an understanding of the health disparities and struggles that many pregnant women face in our society. In 2004 she attended the International School of Midwifery and became a Licensed Midwife in 2007. After one year of working as a midwife, attending over 150 births, and sensing that much more could be done, she decided the timing was perfect for her to pursue her dream of helping underserved women. Thus Mobile Midwife, a non-profit organization, was founded. The name came about because her vision was to use a mobile unit in order to bring services and care to those immobilized by their financial disadvantages. In January of 2009 she decided to paint her dream into reality, and dedicate her career and life fully to this organization, for the betterment of the community. Her goal is to educate, empower, and provide quality care to underserved pregnant women, with the end result being that of a healthy mother and baby.
Barbara Desamours Blot's first midwifery experience came 15 years ago when she attended her sister's delivery which was managed by a Nurse Midwife named Annette. She walked her through the entire process of becoming a Midwife at the tender age of only 19. It wasn't until the immediate postpartum of her own birth 2 years later that Barbara knew becoming a Midwife was her God given purpose. Barbara completed Midwifery School at Miami Dade College in 2001. As a young Midwife, she was nursed and sheltered by the extraordinary skills of senior Midwives such as Justine Clegg, Diann Gregory, Sharon Hamilton, Debbie Marin, Betty Bilbao, and Janice Heller to name a few. She immediately began a Home Birth practice and worked alongside several Midwives to gain knowledge and experience, while also serving as a product to their practices. In 2009, upon completing nursing school, Barbara expanded her skills and joined Dr. Spence in his OB/GYN practice as a Licensed Midwife/Registered Nurse. Barbara is proud to become part of the Hollywood Birth Center family this summer of 2011. With her combined knowledge and skills as an RN and Licensed Midwife, she wishes to fulfill many families desire for an empowering and unimaginable birthing experience.
Khalilah "Kiki" Jordan was called to midwifery in 1999 after the home birth of her beautiful son. Committed to supporting other women through these important Rites of Passage, Kiki began to apprentice with her own California midwife. In 2001, she moved to Florida to pursue further midwifery education and attended International School of Midwifery. Upon graduation, she returned to California and after fulfilling the state requirements became a California Licensed Midwife. She worked as a midwife and helped support the development of the Bay Area's first free-standing birth center completely owned and operated by Licensed Midwives. Upon her recent return to Florida and since acquiring a Florida License, Kiki has been fulfilling her passion for spreading the knowledge and tradition of midwifery. She is a community activist for women's maternity rights. She is personally dedicated to making midwifery services and education accessible to all women.
Mirlande "Mimi" Casseus first came to the Hollywood Birth Center as a student midwife and has been with them ever since. Mimi always had an interest in pregnancy and childbirth and after giving birth to her son she began to seek out alternative options for childbearing women. She knew she had found her life's passion when she discovered midwifery and quickly set about meeting the requirements to become a Florida Licensed Midwife. After graduating from the nation's only publicly accredited college offering a degree in direct entry midwifery, Mimi began working for the birth center as an on staff birth assistant. She continues to offer a variety of services in her community including postpartum doula work and childbirth education. Mimi speaks English and Creole, enabling her to better serve a diverse clientele.