Certified Professional Midwife, Owner, Clinical Director
I began my path to midwifery at the age of 16 after attending the birth of my nephew. When I was supposed to be doing my algebra homework I was reading pregnancy-related books! For Christmas 2000 my dear friend Melaine Copeland gave me a copy of Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. I was immediately hooked and knew that midwifery outside of the hospital was where I belonged.
Soon after, I began my midwifery studies while also completing my bachelor’s degree at Eastern Mennonite University, getting married, and giving birth to my own two children! Those were busy years and so very precious.
My midwifery training has been a reflection of my commitment to caring service: I have worked with 9 different Virginia midwives, volunteered with Medical Ministry International (Dominican Republic), African Birth Collective (Senegal), interned at Casa de Nacimiento (El Paso, TX), and birth assisted at Heartland Health Clinic (Dayton, VA). I have attended over 600 births and thousands of prenatal and postpartum visits.
Certified Professional Midwife, Licensed Midwife
I’ve had an interest in birth since childhood. At the age of nineteen, while browsing through various book titles at a local bookstore, I discovered ‘Spiritual Midwifery’ by Ina May Gaskin. Like others, I was captivated by the images and words written by women fully engaged in the birthing process; welcoming and celebrating the process of childbirth. Several books on childbirth later, I began my midwifery studies at the National College of Midwifery and the Northern New Mexico Women’s Health & Birth Center in Taos, New Mexico. Having graduated and completed my training, I sat for the NARM exam in August of 2003 achieving the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential. Later that year, I became a mother with the birth of our son, born at home into the hands of a midwife and friend.
In 2006, I opened a small community home birth practice, Rockbridge Midwifery. Over the years I’ve enjoyed caring for women and their families, while also growing my own family with the birth of our second son in 2006 and our daughter in 2012.
Birth is powerful as are women! I believe in the intuition of mothers and that birth works best when a woman is in the environment she feels safest, with the people of her choosing. I’m happy to be working with the families of Brookhaven as we collaborate for the safest and most satisfying birth possible in the birth center or at home.
I am licensed to practice midwifery by the Virginia Board of Medicine, certified in neonatal resuscitation and adult CPR and a member of the Virginia Midwives Alliance.
Certified Professional Midwife & Int’l Board Certified Lactation Consultant
My interest in midwifery was sparked after my son was born in 2007. I experienced
prenatal care and a birth that left me feeling disempowered. My wishes and feelings felt
brushed off by my provider. I knew there had to be a better way and that’s when I began
reading and learning there was such a better fit for our family, Midwifery care! As our
family grew so did my passion for sharing the joys of midwifery care. I knew the next
steps for me were pursuing an education that could help empower other community
families in the way I wish I was as a young mother.
In 2017 I was accepted as an apprentice midwife at Brookhaven Natural Birth Center
where I met all requirements to sit for the NARM exam and became a Certified
Professional Midwife in February 2020. I am also licensed by the Virginia Board of
Medicine as a Licensed Midwife. Along with maintaining my midwifery credentials I am
also CPR certified in both adults and pediatrics as well as certified in Neonatal
Hand in hand with midwifery I am a strong breastfeeding advocate. The bond between a
mother and baby is like no other. I have attended Blue Ridge Community College to
expand my knowledge in the Health and Sciences field. Alongside my education I have
completed both hands on and didactic programs in lactation that have allowed me to
become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2018. Helping
breastfeeding dads overcome barriers and reach their breastfeeding goals is a true
passion of mine. I am thrilled to be part of the Brookhaven team and serving local
families! You can learn more about lactation services here.
Office Manager, Billing Specialist
I am a Harrisonburg native and currently live in Rockingham County with my husband and youngest son. I am also a new grandmother to a sweet baby girl! I decided to become a part of Brookhaven Birth Center stemming from my own birth experiences and desire for more natural pregnancy and delivery.
I knew from the moment I discovered I was pregnant with both of my children that I would hire a midwife for my care. After having two natural hospital births I still somehow felt as if something was missing from my experiences. I wanted more options of birthing positions, being able to deliver in water, laboring at my own pace, and generally feeling more freedom. Having those options at Brookhaven, along with many others, are the reasons I feel blessed to have the honor of helping families achieve the birth experiences that they desire.
My passion for healthcare began in high school when I met and shadowed an amazing OB/GYN who inspired me to pursue a career in women’s health. I attended and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in Public Health and a minor in Medical Humanities. During my time at the University of South Carolina, I had the opportunity to study public health internationally, traveling and working in village clinics and hospitals in countries such as Belize, Nicaragua, and Argentina. I also conducted field research on HIV/AIDS disparities in rural South Carolina. My senior graduation project involved researching and studying disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality, mainly addressing the high cesarean rate
s found globally. Through this project, I discovered the undeniable evidence that midwives are part of the solution to improving outcomes for women and infants. I became a birth and postpartum doula in 2016. Following my doula training, I also trained to become a childbirth educator. From there, I just knew my next step was to become a midwife in order to support women and their options surrounding birth and healthcare. I enrolled at the National Midwifery Institute in 2018 and gained some experience apprenticing at a water birth center in South Carolina. I am elated to begin my apprentice journey at Brookhaven and to learn from the wonderful midwives that practice here.
Caeli Werner – midwife apprentice
My first memory with midwifery was when I was seven years old. My mom was laying on our couch and Robin, her midwife, was bent over her. I could hear the wosh wosh of the Doppler. I was fascinated. Robin was listening to the baby. Is this a real job?
As I grew up, I became more and more reverenced by the beauty of a life forming in a mother. And later I discovered the beauty of the woman’s development, too. I wanted to grow more in this knowledge and loved to listen to my friends explain what they were experiencing in pregnancy.
I decided to make a definitive step. I saw that my friends and all mothers needed caring and listening in their prenatals, freedom in their birthing, and knowledgeable caregivers. All of these factors seem most fulfilled in midwifery; so, I knew where I wanted to be. I started researching midwifery and love Elizabeth Davis’s book Heart and Hands.
Brookhaven has opened up an incredible opportunity for me to learn firsthand from knowledgeable, caring midwives. The care given at Brookhaven incorporates the whole person, body and soul, and celebrates the uniqueness of each family. These are the things I want to embody in my work as a midwife. The blessings that each child brings to a family, starting even before he is born, is an incredible gift, and I am excited about learning how to care for women during this miraculous time in their lives.
Erin Hurst LMT, BCTMB
I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014 and immediately joined the first class of midwifery students in the Academy of Experiential Midwifery Education in Charlottesville. In 2015, after a year at the academy, I was honored to begin an apprenticeship at Brookhaven. I spent two wonderful years attending birth in the community and learning from these dedicated midwives. For the past year and a half, I spent time traveling and experiencing new things while learning a lot along the way. I’m so thrilled to be back at Brookhaven and starting the role of Primary Midwife Under Supervision. This is a lifelong dream realized for me, as I grew up always wanting to follow in my mother’s footsteps as a midwife and I feel so grateful to be doing that here with you all. As a primary student under supervision I look forward to taking an active role in informed discussions about pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Being able to attend births with the families of Brookhaven has been a life-changing experience and will forever shape the midwife I become.