Minnesota Birth Center (MBC) is thrilled to announce that Kerry Dixon, CNM is our new Director of Midwifery Services. She comes to MBC with a robust résumé that spans homes, hospitals and continents. We are truly thrilled to have Kerry leading the birth center and can’t wait for each of you to meet her!
What professional experience did you have prior to working at the MN Birth Center?
I started out as a doula before we had that specific “title” and was part of the original group of women who created the Childbirth Collective. I became a Traditional Midwife in 1994, under the guidance of Minnesota’s beloved “spiritual midwives.” When the Certified Professional Midwife credential became available in the USA, I applied for that and then chose to be a Licensed Midwife through the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice. I attended homebirths primarily in the Twin Cities, but my territory was anywhere a couple hours from my home. I have stories of driving to places like Star Prairie, WI during a blizzard and being snowed in for a day afterwards to walking down my street in the middle of the night to attend the birth of a fifth baby, after helping welcome older siblings in the same way.
When I decided to expand my scope-of-practice, it meant becoming a Registered Nurse, then a Certified Nurse-Midwife. I happily practiced as full-scope, hospital-based midwife in the East Metro for several years with a fantastic nurse-midwifery service known for their support of normal birth. I especially enjoyed caring for families from a variety of backgrounds.
Being a CNM opened up doors for teaching and practicing as a midwife in Pakistan, China, Rwanda, as well as New Zealand where I am a Registered Midwife. Interestingly, NZ requires that all their midwives be trained to work outside of hospitals as well as inside. Being both a CPM and CNM meant that for once, my combined and less common background was recognized as an asset!
What brought you to MBC?
Most recently I was working as a midwife/mentor overseas caring for women in challenging situations. Overuse or underuse of technology and other conditions contributed to the morbidity and mortality of mothers and babies. It made my heart hurt as there were many times I was powerless to make immediate changes. Joining the MBC team is a dream job! To be part of a small, intimate practice, supporting out-of-hospital birth, but with an integrated plan for easy transfer for medical needs is exactly why I became a midwife in the first place. Containing costs, reforming healthcare while improving outcomes is a worthy commitment of MBC initiated by Dr. Steve Calvin. Minnesota Birth Center’s fine reputation and statistics are also what I look forward to contributing towards as well.
What is your birth philosophy?
I have had many wise women and men mentors for birth who have planted pearls of truth that guide my work. I still believe that we can make the world better one baby at a time.
What inspires you professionally?
The work by many unknown people throughout time, who knew that some things were just “right” like breastfeeding, delayed cord-clamping, skin-to-skin, that science later proved was beneficial. I am grateful to those who contribute to evidence-based research guiding us to provide safe care for mothers and babies. With the Internet we can have important conversations on a global level and we must be willing to learn from each other.
What is the main piece of advice you like to share with pregnant mamas?
Learn, question and take what you need and discard the rest. You are the expert and love your baby more than anyone else, so find your own voice. What works for some mothers does not work for others.
What are your interests outside of work?
My first degree is in Art, so I appreciate doing things with my hands, creating. I love books and movies. I especially like foreign films with subtitles, listening to their accents. Many times I look at maps and imagine places that I want to visit or work in some day.
Do you have a family? Tell us about them?
My husband and I are the parents of children born between 1984 and 2002. We have 4 by birth and 2 by blessing. With the addition of the last two we became a multi-cultural family. I have semi-jokingly said having six children, was a “hazard” of being a midwife. Being with families during the most significant moments of their lives, being allowed to be part of their miracles…inspired me.
What is the craziest thing you have done?
See question above. 😉