We are thrilled to introduce Natalie Jacobson-Dunlop who joined Minnesota Birth Center as a Certified Nurse Midwife this fall. Below she shares her approach to practicing midwifery and a glimpse into her personal life.
What professional experience did you have prior to working at the MN Birth Center?
I have worked in women’s healthcare since 2000, providing a variety of services including teaching childbirth education and fertility awareness classes, helping women conceive with intrauterine inseminations, proving gynecologic care to women across the lifespan and providing obstetric care to low and high risk women. The majority of my obstetric experience has been as a Nurse Midwife in the hospital setting, but I have worked as a Nurse-Midwife’s assistant providing care to mothers delivering their babies at home in the Chicago area. I have also traveled to Temixco, Mexico and caught several babies with a traditional midwife at her birth center.
What brought you to MBC?
After nearly 20 years of living away from Minneapolis, we finally succumbed to the gravitational pull of family and moved back to be closer to them. I searched for just the right place to practice midwifery and was delighted to discover the Minnesota Birth Center (MBC). The philosophy of the MBC, to provide high quality individualized care and to minimize unnecessary healthcare interventions, is completely in line with my own. I am thrilled to be a member of the MBC team.
What is your birth philosophy?
I have always been passionate about woman and family-centered care. I believe women who are in a welcoming and comfortable environment and who are active participants in their healthcare, are able to process, grow, and evolve into empowered women and mothers. I also believe that providing a nurturing and safe space for women to give birth allows them to relax and feel uninhibited, enabling them to embrace their experience and make it their own. This then creates a peaceful and gentle environment into which babies can be born.
What inspires you professionally?
I feel honored to have shared in many momentous and transformative experiences in women’s lives. In particular, the transition to parenthood can be both overwhelming and empowering. Witnessing the depth of power and strength women possess in giving birth, and the subsequent transformation of who each woman and her family becomes, is a constant inspiration to me.
What is the main piece of advice you like to share with pregnant mamas?
Trust your body and the processes we go through as mothers. Remaining open and present in the moment both during birth and subsequently as a parent can help protect against feelings of fear and being overwhelmed. Becoming a mother is both challenging and beautiful. Be kind to yourself and accept help. Remember that a woman who takes care of herself is able to be a better mother and partner.
What are your interests outside of work?
Since my kids are still young, my life basically consists of being a mother and a midwife. When I am not at work I am with my little crew, going on walks, making art, cooking, and reading books. I love to eat good food, and occasionally have time to make more intricate dishes. My extended family all live n the Minneapolis area, and we get together as often as we can manage. I used to make art and hope at some point in the future my life will allow for that again. Our wheel and kiln have been sitting idly in our basement and I would love an opportunity to put them to good use again.
Do you have a family? Tell us about them?
I have a loving, supportive husband who is an amazing father to our three children: Meera and Emma who are six (twins, yes), and Emil who is just under two years old. Parenthood has been a humbling and joyous experience for me. Each of my kids are unique, vibrant individuals who, moment to moment, seem to have an innate ability to either create total mayhem or a beautiful sweet harmony. I feel so lucky to be their mom and am grateful for what they have taught me.
What is the craziest thing you have done?
Sit on a live crocodile while I was in Paga, Ghana.