As Certified Nurse Midwives our expertise is both nursing and midwifery; we care for essentially healthy women during their reproductive years. We attended graduate programs in midwifery following undergraduate nursing education and are board certified to care for women from puberty through menopause and beyond. Collectively we have over 100 years of experience working in Women’s Health!
We attend births at Providence Hospital in Southfield both in the Alternative Birth Care Unit and in labor and delivery. Our office is located in Novi where we work with a group of supportive physicians in their practice, Metro Partners in Women’s Health.
Mary Gadbaw Davis
Mary Gadbaw Davis
My dream of being a midwife began when I was a girl. I attended my first birth when I was a nursing student in 1973 at Providence Hospital. I was 18 yrs old and what I witnessed upset me to my core. I vowed to work toward changing the way woman are cared for, and now I have come full circle and change is happening! I began my nursing career after graduating from Providence Hospital School of Nursing. I completed my BSN at the University of Michigan and the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program in Milwaukee, WI. Several years later, I attended the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing (CNEP) where I completed my midwifery education and Master’s Degree in nursing at Case Western Reserve. My heroines are Ina May Gaskin, Suzanne Arms, Kitty Ernst, and many others who have worked for decades to make midwifery care available to all who desire it.Though I have many interests, my life long mission is to help bring gentleness and care to birthing and early parenting, inspiring awareness for the consciousness of babies. I am also an avid learner of Complimentary/Alternative Therapies and their use in all aspectsof healthcare.I love being back in my childhood home of southeast Michigan. After college I lived for 12 years in the Lansing area where my children were born and Leelanau County/Traverse City/Suttons Bay for 18 years. My husband and I even had a mid-life adventure in Key West, Florida!
When not working I enjoy spending time with my husband Steve, cooking, gardening, knitting, reading, and dreaming up ways to get together with my 4 children, 4 step children, and 6 amazing grand children.
I knew from a young age that I wanted to work with “mom’s and babies” in some capacity. It was in a Women’s Health course as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan that I was introduced to and much inspired by midwifery. The midwifery model, which views pregnancy and birth as normal, healthy processes, values the relationship between midwife and client, and advocates choice as a hallmark of care, fit perfectly with the type of care I had always envisioned providing. Along my path to becoming a midwife I worked as a post-partum doula and interned with midwives attending out of hospital births in both the US and Guatemala. I earned my Master’s in Nursing at Yale University where I received my degree in Midwifery. Before moving back to my home state of Michigan I attended births in a birth center and hospital practice in Connecticut.
As a midwife, I believe that pregnancy, birth and the post-partum period are normal, natural, significant events in the lives of women and their family. I feel that my role is to be a resource for support, education, advocacy and quality care. Women have the right and responsibility to choose what type of care is best for them so I hope to achieve trusting, open, relationships with my clients to best offer what they need or desire.
I enjoy spending time with the loves of my life: my wonderful son, Adam, and my incredible husband Robin. We live with our rambunctious puppy, Zeke, and our two cats, Sadie and Julia. In addition to women’s healthcare, some of my interests include cooking, yoga, dance, reading, alternative medicine and international health.
For 23 yrs I have participated in the birth experience and it has enthralled me since the beginning. As a nurse who supported women in labor I found it exhilarating and rewarding. I also found with each experience I took something away yet still felt unfulfilled. It was then that I decided to become a midwife. Attending women as they labor and birth has taught me more than I could ever imagine. I feel immense gratitude and respect toward the women I am privileged to help.
Bearing in mind that each birth and each family are unique, I consider it an honor to share in this wonderful and powerful journey. I endeavor to safeguard and enhance each experience while advocating and empowering families to create their own distinct experience. It is mystical and magical to witness over and over again and to be in awe each and every time.
I’ve been a midwife since 1977. My passion for midwifery began with the birth of my daughter. I felt the birth experience was a powerful right of passage that transformed me from a just barely young adult into a mother bear, and connected me to all mothers past and future. Her birth now 33 years ago propelled me with a passion I had thought only new lovers know, to a career as a midwife. I felt moved to give birth back to women, back to their intuitive senses that would if trusted teach them what they needed to know for this new era of there lives.
My career started in Lansing, Michigan. Not long into it I met Mary Gadbaw Davis. We with a group of powerful women fueled the fires of alternative birth, our own babies in our arms or tied to our backs. I then went on to nursing and midwifery school becoming a CNM. On the way I worked as a nurse on a Navajo reservation and in an alternative birth center. Then I spent 10 years in Lancaster County Pennsylvania doing home births with mostly Amish women. I worked with many students and wrote articles, doing what I could to let the world know that women need choice and that their bodies are trustable. From there I went to Somalia and worked with Doctors Without Borders (DWB) for a year. That was a very different experience, sobering in many ways, and affirming of the tenacity of the human spirit. Then back to the United States for five years working in a hospital on the North Shore of Boston. I learned that even in the midst of technology it is possible to honor women and embrace the power of birth. Then another two years with DWB in Sierra Leone and India. I returned again and worked for a short time as a hospice nurse and then back to the Amish in Northern Indiana. Aging parents have brought me back to the Michigan area. I am honored to have the chance to work again with Mary and get to know all of you.
For fun I run and dance and garden and spend time with friends and family.
I hope to meet you soon!
My path to midwifery began when my first grade teacher called my parents to report a shouting match between me and a boy in class; I had been proudly talking about my new baby sister, and he said that breastfeeding was “gross.” It may have earned me a visit to the principal’s office, but a future ‘lactavist’ was born.
After I graduated from Michigan State with a degree in Zoology, I worked for a midwife in Detroit while I prepared to start a masters program in international public health. That experience helped me to realize that I didn’t have to leave the country to find a health system in need of change. I became a nurse through the second degree program at University of Detroit Mercy, and worked in labor and delivery for several years before getting my masters as an Adult Health nurse practitioner, and then my post-masters degree in midwifery, both from Wayne State.
I believe every woman deserves to have respectful, knowledgeable, nurturing, supportive care during her pregnancy and birth experience. Both of my children were born at the Alternative Birth Center, guided into the world by a Metro Partners midwife (and the excellent labor support of my husband, Phil). Joan Lynn caught my daughter, Anikah, in 2005, and Mary Davis’ gentle hands greeted my son, Salem, in 2008.
I am thrilled to join this team of midwives who believe in the power of women and birth and to work with such supportive physicians.
My journey toward midwifery began at the age of nine when my mother became pregnant with my little brother. She invited me to participate actively in the pregnancy and I jumped in without reservation. I joined my mother at many of her prenatal visits and attended childbirth classes with my parents. During labor, it was obvious to me that my mother was working hard, but the process never frightened me and I found myself transformed into a little doula. I was given permission to join my parents in the delivery room and supported my mother as she pushed. Soon after, I witnessed my first birth. It was indescribably beautiful and it filled me with an overwhelming sense of awe. I remember the feeling well because I still experience it each time I am lucky enough to attend a birth. Having the opportunity to witness the power of normal birth for the first time at such a young age played a huge role in defining the person (and the midwife) that I have become.
As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, I studied Spanish. Although I did not discover midwifery until my last semester of college, once I did, I knew immediately that midwifery was my calling. I went on to attend a second degree nursing program at the University of Pennsylvania and was lucky enough to work for six years as a Labor and Delivery nurse in both Philadelphia and Ann Arbor.
I have a special interest in providing new mothers with accurate and individualized breastfeeding education and support. During my time as a nurse at the University of Michigan Women’s Hospital, I gained additional breastfeeding education and expertise as a member of the Breastfeeding Support Team. In addition, during my time in Philadelphia, I was trained as a doula and volunteered with an organization that provided on-call doulas to laboring women in need of extra support. My experiences as a doula taught me how to be present with laboring women and their families and how to be patient with the labor process. It was as a doula that I first experienced what a privilege it is to be invited into the sacred space of a woman’s birth.
I earned my Master of Science in Nurse Midwifery from the University of Michigan. My midwifery studies included clinical training at Hutzel Women’s Hospital and various sites within the University of Michigan Health System, as well as a final “integration” semester working with the Providence Nurse Midwives. Each of my clinical experiences was invaluable, as I was given the opportunity to learn from many wonderful nurse midwives and their clients. However, my experience at Providence was special. It was here that I experienced true continuity of care for the first time and was given the opportunity to build trusting relationships with women and their families. In the ABC, the nurses, midwives, and strong laboring women taught me more about normal labor and birth than I had ever learned before.
I am passionate about ensuring that women have the opportunity to be active partners in making decisions about their health care and about how and where they wish to bring their babies into the world. In fact, my son was born in a freestanding birth center outside of Philadelphia, with the help of a group of nurse midwives much like this one, and I experienced firsthand just how empowering a positive birth experience can be. I am thrilled to be joining a practice of midwives and physicians who truly value the wisdom of their clients and are passionate about providing evidence-based women’s health care. I am committed to making this model of care accessible to more women in Southeastern Michigan.
When I am not working, I most enjoy spending time with my amazing husband, Josh, my son, Owen, and my twin baby girls, Emelia (“Emme”) and Lucille (“Lucy”). I love seasons and I am happiest when I am outdoors. I am currently enjoying learning more about complementary and alternative health care and how to integrate it both into my own life and into my midwifery practice.