I entered Midwifery school after my Vaginal Birth After Cesarean in a freestanding birth center in 1992. I felt strongly moved to pursue this career and the Lord opened every door to make it possible. I am blessed to have such an important calling on my life. I love being a Midwife with all my heart!
My experience as a Midwife started at a free-standing birth center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1994. I had the opportunity to learn from 3 very experienced Midwives during my yearlong orientation. I absorbed so much wisdom and confidence during that time period that I still rely upon today.
When I left Pennsylvania for New Jersey, I joined Roxann Mitchell, my friend with whom I had attended Midwifery school, and Cindy Redmond in their physician-owned practice. Although we were employed by a doctor, we had our own clientele that were exclusively Midwifery patients. We worked in a tiny level 1 hospital where we thrived. We had a very “high touch, low tech” practice style that had excellent outcomes for many years.
When the time came that our Physician employer was retiring, we stepped out on our own to start a private practice, Hackettstown Midwives, llc DBA Midwives of New Jersey in 2007. We added homebirth to our offerings in 2008 and we began at Morristown Medical Center in 2010, where we could again attend women who desired a Trial of Labor after Cesarean (TOLAC). Since then, we have started a Midwife Intern program, introduced “natural” cesarean to Morristown Hospital in 2011, opened an online store, developed complementary programs like MotherCare, lactation circle and childbirth classes, opened additional offices in Madison and Hoboken and, as of 2018, added the option of birth center as a place of birth for our clients.
I am the president and owner of the practice. My primary goal for the Midwives of New Jersey is to give Midwives a place to practice true Midwifery. The expansion of this practice is not a financial decision but a vision-driven decision. We currently have 7 Midwives in the group and we all practice our profession with integrity. As we grow, we hope to see the Midwifery Model of Care become a standard for excellent maternity care in New Jersey.
My family has been an integral part of the success of Midwives of New Jersey. Not only do they let my employees and patients “borrow” me on the nights, weekends and holidays that “regular” moms are available, they encourage me to continue my work. My husband Warren has been a rock and a huge behind-the-scenes supporter of Midwifery and my practice. I have 4 grown daughters, a son-in-law and at this point, one grandchild-another precious little girl-to inspire and motivate me to continue pushing for change in birth and for the overall respect of women and their bodies. My children have all been employed by the Midwives in some capacity over the years so they have seen for themselves the beauty of pregnancy, birth and motherhood. My girls have gained a true understanding of the effort and reward that comes with a low-intervention birth. Hopefully, the next generation of Lederers will continue my vision for years to come!