by Jen Byrne

My Grand Rapids Midwife is Amazing

I am always bragging about how amazing my midwife is.

This summer I gave birth to our third daughter and have been reflecting on my opportunity to birth with a midwife.

My experience? Perfect. I have really valued the experience of birthing with a midwife. There are a lot of great health care providers in Grand Rapids: me, I just loved having a midwife as my care provider!

Some midwives do solely home births while others do solely hospital births. Our midwife performs hospital births. A midwife in the hospital was the best of both worlds for us. Our midwife is a certified nurse practitioner who works in a traditional OBGYN office. Our insurance covers her just as it would a traditional doctor.

What to Look for in a Grand Rapids Midwife

Bringing new life into the world is amazing and hard. Pregnancy and birthing don’t always go as one envisions it. That is why it is so important to find a health care provider that you are comfortable with and trust in their abilities and vision of birth. This makes all the difference.

Our midwife provided very personalized care for the duration of the pregnancy and the birth. She is a woman with such a nurturing spirit, which was so calming for me during the birth. It is so important to find someone that will take the time to answer your questions and address concerns and fears: someone that will help you see the beauty in bringing new life into the world. For us this was our midwife Brenda Daniels!

A Midwife Offers a Different Kind of Care

Many things really stand out to me about the care we received from our midwife.

I was full of questions during my first pregnancy–I had lists of questions at all my appointments! I never once felt rushed or that my midwife was impatient with my lists. She sat and answered ALL of my questions and concerns. This was so valuable to me, especially as a first time mom.

This last pregnancy was long and hard. I was terribly sick for most of the pregnancy.  Brenda had great suggestions for trying to reduce my sickness, but more importantly, she was encouraging when all I really wanted to do was cry because I was so sick. I needed that someone to remind me that it wouldn’t last forever!

To top off my very sick pregnancy, I went nearly two weeks past my due date. Fortunately my midwife wasn’t set on the baby being delivered by a certain date like many doctors are. My body just wasn’t going into labor and that was okay with my midwife.

After I passed my due date, I underwent stress tests and an ultrasound to make sure the baby was fine. I didn’t want to induce so we waited. It was so nice to not be pressured to be induced as long as baby and I were healthy and well.  This was another thing I valued immensely about our midwife: patience.

Another benefit that I really appreciated about our midwife is that she personally delivers all of her patients. When I went into labor each time there was no question as to who would walk through those doors to deliver my baby or who we would be talking to on the phone when we paged her.

My first labor was long and my midwife Brenda was in and out throughout the day. She wasn’t waiting to just “catch the baby” as I hear some moms say about their provider.


She was respectful of our birth plan and had even helped me put it together earlier in the pregnancy. Even with that long first birth I never felt rushed or stressed about timing. There weren’t a million people in and out of the room: it was just my husband and I, the nurse on duty, and our midwife. That itself creates a much more relaxed state for a birthing mama. She also offered different suggestions for laboring to see what worked best for me.

When it came time to push, my midwife prevailed again.

She helped me get into different positions that were more effective for delivery. She was in tune with how I was doing and if we needed to change positions, and with each of my children that was different.  She was very involved in the pushing process. She again had inspiring words and was cheering me on as I pushed….and every woman that’s ever given birth needs a cheerleader or two at that moment!

She was also great with my husband.  She guided him on how to help me during the laboring and birthing process. He got to deliver our babies and announce the gender (we didn’t find out what we were having for the first two).

My husband and I both have so much respect for our midwife.

We are so grateful for her care and the way she helped bring our girls into the world, making a beautiful birthing experience for us.

Where to Find Your Grand Rapids Midwife

To my knowledge there are only three hospital birthing midwives (CNM) practicing in Grand Rapids. There are several home birth midwives.

  • Brenda Daniels, CNM, Area Wide OBGYN, 80 68th St Se # 301, Grand Rapids; 616-532-1410
  • Mary Ann George, CNM, Spectrum Health, 4444 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Ste 104, Grand Rapids; 616-391-3302
  • Julie Mohan, CNM, Spectrum Health, 4444 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Ste 104, Grand Rapids; 616-391-3302

Have you used a great midwife in West Michigan? Tell us about her in the comments!

By |2017-05-12T14:43:55+00:00August 22nd, 2013|Categories: General, Health|Tags: , , |13 Comments

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  1. Kate Flikweert October 20, 2016 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    This thread is a little outdated, but wanted to update on here that Julie Mohan, CNM has been added to the group Spectrum Health Midwifery along with Mary Ann George. When I found out I was pregnant, I went back and forth on whether I would go to an OB or a midwife. In the end, I decided on a midwife and am SO glad that I did! Julie was my care provider during my pregnancy and delivered my son and I cannot recommend her enough! When my son was breach and I was trying to decide whether I would do the version, I was really emotional, and she was so thoughtful, caring and gave me a hug. She took time with me during all my appointments, I was sad after my baby arrived that I wasn’t seeing her on a regular basis anymore! My delivery was crazy fast, and I had back labor. From the moment she arrived, she was so helpful in providing suggestions for natural pain relief, different laboring positions, and was an incredible cheer leader during the delivery and pushing! It was the best of both worlds for me to be able to have a midwife deliver in a hospital as it made me feel more secure should anything go wrong.

    • Peg Theobald
      Peg Theobald February 7, 2017 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Kate. I have added Julie to the list.

  2. Nicole June 25, 2015 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    There are actually two CERTIFIED NURSE midwives in grand rapids accepting patients Sarah Lagrand and Breck Reinsma . Please know there are two different types of Midwives out there… a CNM or Certified Nurse Midwife is a master’s prepared nurse midwife and licensed by the state as an advanced practice nurse with prescriptive capabilities. AND a LAY MIDWIFE that is not licensed by the state and are not masters prepared, there are different schools that train these midwives not affliated with the licensed medical colleges.

    I think it’s important to make this distinction very clear as the pratices tend to be a little different and are usually very confusing to the public.

    • Nicole June 25, 2015 at 3:28 pm - Reply

      Two more in addition to Maryanne George and Brenda Daniels

  3. Brandy March 8, 2015 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    I am considering a midwife with this pregnancy. I have 3 children already. I had serious issues with 2 of three so it makes me a little nervous to birth at home. I wasn’t aware of midwives at the hospital! Can I ask what the cost is? I’m assuming insurance doesn’t cover a midwife? What about the hospital stay? Thank you for the info!

    • LR March 9, 2015 at 8:24 pm - Reply

      Mary Ann was my midwife for my daughter, and I delivered at Spectrum Health. She was great, and our insurance covered it (we still had to pay our co-pay). If you are concerned about insurance, just call the office first and ask if they accept your insurance. I would highly recommend Mary Ann.

      • Brandy March 12, 2015 at 7:12 am - Reply

        Thank you!

    • Nicole June 25, 2015 at 3:30 pm - Reply

      Yay!! There are four currently that deliver at spectrum health. Maryanne George, Brenda Daniels, Sarah Lagrand and Breck Reinsma all Certified Nurse Midwives

  4. Leslie Cornwell July 20, 2014 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    There are more great options coming to West Michigan. More nurse midwives are practicing in the area and starting out of hospital practices. It is really hard in the area for nurse midwives to practice in the hospital setting. The current nurse midwives have had a long relationship with their collaborating physicians. Current hospital privileges require the nurse midwife to be employed by a physician and have the physician be fully responsible for their practice. I have started a home birth and birth center practice in Greenville where women can have safe, high quality care outside of the hospital. Please visit my website,

  5. Mary August 27, 2013 at 8:43 am - Reply

    My midwife, Yolanda Visser, delivered both our boys at home and she was fantastic. Her calming presence was so wonderful for me and my husband. We decided on a home birth after taking the Bradley classes so my first appt wasn’t until 33 weeks along. When she explained that out of an average 62 births she assists in a year that she needs to transport to the hospital once, I was sold. She’s been doing this for 20+ years. My first labor was also long and she came over at 1:30 am to be with me and encourage my progress during my back labor. We changed positions a lot and moved around the house which was very helpful. While I was pushing, Yolanda was wonderful in coaching me how to focus on “where” to push and that helped so much. The bonus to her soothing care of me was how she cleaned up everything post birth while my hubby and I bonded with each boy. It was not something I had not considered yet was so, so appreciated. Love you, Yolanda!

  6. LW August 25, 2013 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    I also used Brenda to deliver my babies – I have 4 kiddos. She is amazing! My 2nd delivery was a bit dramatic – shoulder dystocia – but she was incredibly calm and was able to successfully deliver my son. My hubby and I both adore Brenda. If you are interested in using a midwife but have fears that there may be complications that a MW could not handle, no worries – she has so much experience and has OB backup if necessary. Brenda is great!

  7. Juliea Paige bEARTH Doula August 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    I love that this is being talked about. It’s important that we know what our options are and that birth can be safe, honored and respected.

    As a doula who attends both home and hospital births, I have worked with a lot of the local midwives and love it and used one for my last/third birth. Midwifes (and doulas) are ‘birth specialists’ – they understand the process of birth in it’s natural state and have a multitude of training and information to assist womb’en in safer – more peaceful – deliveries. The care they give womb’en who have low risk pregnancy is incomparable. OB’s are surgeons….hospitals have limited knowledge on actual normal, natural labor. If you don’t want to have your birth via surgery – don’t let a surgeon manage your care. Simple as that.

    If anyone is interested in more local birth option related resources, I have compiled a list of everything I’m aware of that is available. Check it out and let me know if there is anyone who should be added!! <3

  8. Shannon Slonka August 22, 2013 at 11:21 am - Reply

    I have had 3 birth at hospitals and induced all 3 times. I would love to do a water birth for my 4th baby(I am now 13 weeks along). I do not feel comfortable doing it at home. I am interested in finding a mid wife that can help at a hospital water birth.

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