Julie Kellon, CNM
A Neighborhood Family Midwife
Why did you become a midwife?
I had been working in advertising for about five years and was finding myself unfulfilled. I really wanted to do something to help women/people, not just try to get them to buy different products. I had been exposed to midwifery in college previously. I shadowed a friend who did an independent study on midwifery in Holland (we were there for school) and had a teacher that showed home birth movies during our child psychology class. Also as I was starting to rethink my profession in advertising, I had my first child with a Certified Nurse Midwife in Jacksonville, FL. While that birth ended in a cesarean section, I fell in love with the profession. Shortly after my daughter's birth, I quit my job and went back to school to become a midwife. It was the best decision I've ever made. I adore what I do.
What is your favorite thing about being a midwife at NFP?
I love the diversity of our moms. I love their strength and determination to make the best life possible for their families. I love the entire supporting cast at NFP: the nurses, patient advocates, behavioral health specialists, the family practice providers and all of the administrative staff without whom we could not do our jobs.
What is your most memorable birth?
There are so many it's hard to choose. I've been doing this for over 17 years. One that comes quickly to mind is a mom who birthed at Lakewood Hospital in one of the portable tubs. The lights were dim, we had lullabies playing in the background. The mom was in the pool, her husband by her side, holding her hands, encouraging her. And all through the birth she just kept repeating, "I can do this, I can do this, I can do this." Even during the hardest part, transition, she kept saying the same thing. And boy did she do it! She had a beautiful birth in the tub. Many tears during that one, the patient, her husband, me, the nurses. It was great!
What is the one thing you want people to know about midwives?
While we do birth really, really well, we do so much more. We care for women throughout their life time, from puberty through old age. Sometimes those visits/interactions with patients are even more meaningful—helping a mom and her partner work through infertility issues, figuring out irregular bleeding and correcting it, educating women about their bodies and their health, etc.
What is your favorite piece of advice for mommies-to-be?
Kegels, kegels, kegels till the day you die! And, remember to take time for yourself. If you only give, give, give, you will be empty eventually and not have anything left to give. It's hard for women to give ourselves permission to do for ourselves, but it super important.