My Midwifery Story
Ever since I was a 'wee' one, I have been drawn towards healthcare. I have been especially fascinated with the miracles of pregnancy and birth. About 14 years ago, I had the special opportunity to witness the birth of my first born niece. This monumental event ignited a burning FLAME that led me into Midwifery. I Started my educational plan on the path to become an L&D nurse. I learned about home birth midwifery and the Midwives Model of Care in 2013, and it lined up perfectly with my vision of the way I wanted to serve my community. There was no question of where I belonged so I quickly changed my path and jumped right in!
I started my first apprenticeship as a student midwife in December 2013. I enrolled in a direct-entry midwifery program through Midwives College of Utah (MCU) in 2014. Since starting my midwife journey, I have worked under and with many other midwives; mastering skills, providing care in the prenatal and postpartum period, and attending births under many roles within clients' homes, free-standing birth centers, and some in the hospital.
I graduated in July 2019 from Midwives College of Utah with an Associates of Science in Midwifery. In August 2019, I obtained my Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credentials through North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and became a Licensed Midwife (LM) in the State of Michigan. On September 26, 2019, Allomother Midwifery was born.
My goal as a Midwife is to be a resource for those in my community and provide evidence-informed, individualized, client-centered and family-centered care, and facilitate informed choices. Pregnancy, labor, and birth are among THE most powerful and transformative events a person gets to experience. The childbearing year and the experiences that come along with it can and should be empowering for all.
I want my clients to come to me with specific desires, wants, dreams, opinions, and knowledge about pregnancy and birth. I will then help fill in gaps and provide education and counsel on things you haven't thought of yet or didn't know you should think about. We will have discussion together, but I want my clients to take control of THEIR experiences and health. I will set up borders and boundaries to ensure safe care, but my clients get to choose their own path between. My intuitive and empathic qualities in combination with my listening skills, allows me to truly HEAR my clients and facilitate an experience and care plan specifically designed for the unique individual.
I strive to create time and space for more than a client-provider relationship but rather a partnership. This allows us all to get to know each other on a deeper level so that it just seems normal to have me there alongside you for an intimate event such as birth.
Providing safe and quality care is my top priority as a Midwife. My hope is that you feel well supported throughout care and walk away feeling confident and prepared for however your journey through parenthood unfolds. With that said, I feel strongly about providing midwifery care in a skilled TEAM atmosphere. I work closely with other local midwives, students, and birth assistants. I always intend to have a second skilled attendant at every birth to provide additional support and assistance. There may be a second midwife, student midwife, and/or a midwife assistant involved in care visits and during birth. You can learn more about my main team here.
Education, Training, Experience
Choose a Midwife You Feel Comfortable and Safe With
Licensed Midwife (LM)
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Board of Midwifery
Assistant Student Midwife
Clinical Training with midwives in Grand Rapids Area:
December 2013 - February 2017
IV Therapy for Midwives
Mercy in Action: March 2019
VERA Birth Information Specialist Training
Identification of Human Trafficking Victims Training
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
North American Registry of Midwives (NARM):
Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP) Certified
American Academy of Pediatrics & American Heart Association
Re-certified: October 2021
Lactation After Loss
The Michigan Breastfeeding Network
Rethinking Second Stage: Letting Baby Out Versus Getting Baby Out
Associates of Science in Midwifery, ASM
Midwives College of Utah,
Graduated: July 2019
Magna Cum Laude
Adult/Infant BLS Certified
American Red Cross
Recertified: March 2022
Resolving Shoulder Dystocia
Group B Strep (GBS) Online Course
Primary Midwife Under Supervision
Clinical Training with
Sandra McCurdy, LM, CPM of Gentle Strength Midwifery:
March 2018 - June 2019
Michigan Newborn Screening
Trained to perform the full Newborn Screening Program:
Metabolic Screening, Hearing Screening, and Critical Congenital Heart Defect Screening
Breastfeeding and Safe Sleep
The Michigan Breastfeeding Network
Meet The Team
In addition to 'My Midwifery Story', here's a little more about me...
I spent my younger years growing up in the Grand Rapids Area and Northern MI near Cadillac/Traverse City. My family is spread throughout Central, Western, and Northern Michigan
I really appreciate city life but am a 'country girl' at heart. I've had horses/ponies, goats and domestic animals, galore.
Midwifery aside, animals are a passion of mine (dogs and rescues specifically). I've also become a 'crazy plant lady' in the past couple years and would love to have my own personal backyard greenhouse someday.
I now live near downtown Lansing MI with my pup Eli and intend to continue planting and growing my 'roots' in the area for many years to come!
Sandra is the owner of Gentle Strength Midwifery, established in 2013. She is a Certified Professional Midwife, a Certified Doula, and Certified Lactation Counselor. She is a natural birth advocate and has been assisting with births for 20 years. She has attended over 470 births with the majority being out-of-hospital. She was one of the first midwives to be licensed through the State of Michigan. She began her career as a doula providing labor support at hospitals and a massage therapist specializing in pregnancy massage. Sandra has a passion for training student midwives. When not catching babies she enjoys being in nature, practicing yoga and sipping tea. Sandra lives in Okemos with her husband and children whom were born out-of-hospital under the care of midwives.
The root for Emma’s interest in supporting women during birth started years ago when a neighbor told Emma the story of her natural birth (it included a doula, hypnosis, and a buried placenta). It planted a little seed of fascination that she didn’t forget. After graduating college and feeling as clueless about her interests as when she started, Emma remembered her neighbor’s story and decided to take a DONA doula training. This quickly snowballed into Emma traveling to Montana to complete the Modules of Midwifery survey course with GoMidwife. Emma had the best and most enriching time learning about midwifery and decided she wanted to become a midwife. In her downtime, Emma is likely to be found spending time with family or drinking hot tea and reading a book. She lives in Lansing with her husband and dwarf hamster.
Leona (Leo) Ortiz
Growing up I spent most of my childhood in Hawaii.
I Love empowering & being of service to women. I am a yoga teacher in prenatal, kids yoga & hatha.
Birth doula training is what really ignited a fire to be a CPM. When I'm not being of service to others, I enjoy spending time in nature, playing instruments & loving my fur baby.