We are pleased to introduce you to Anne Richards,
the Birth Center's newest midwife.
Welcome Anne! We are so glad you are here!
How long have you been working at the Birth Center?
I am the newest midwife at the Birth Center, having joined the team just about six months ago, in late June. I graduated from Vanderbilt University’s midwifery program in December 2013, but was living in Eugene prior to attending graduate school in Nashville, so I already knew about the practice. Every day I feel so lucky to have been asked to join this incredible group; everyone at the Birth Center has welcomed me with open arms and taken me under their (awesomely knowledgeable and supportive) wings – I am so very grateful for that!
Tell us a little about your path to the Birth Center.
It seems everyone in my life knew I was supposed to be a midwife before I did! I have always been fascinated with pregnancy and birth, but I honestly didn’t think I could transform that passion into my life’s work. My Dad is a journalist, my Mom is a business consultant, my brother is pursuing a career in film; being an obstetrics care provider simply wasn’t on my radar growing up. That said, my brother is eight years younger than I am and I vividly recall nearly everything about my Mom’s pregnancy with him; I was desperate to attend my Mom’s prenatal appointments and literally begged her to allow me to be present at the birth (my parents deemed me too young). I was ravenous for information related to pregnancy, labor, and delivery, even in the second grade.
I received my undergraduate degree in nutrition from UC Berkeley in 2007. For several years following graduation, I worked in the field of clinical dietetics at a San Francisco Bay Area hospital. At every opportunity, I found myself trying to get under the service of the Registered Dietitian assigned to the hospital’s antepartum unit; she spent her days working with pregnant women who were hospitalized for gestational diabetes, hypertension, etc. She is the one who told me, “I think you’re meant to work in labor and delivery.” So, on her urging, I trained and then volunteered as a doula for several years at a San Francisco county hospital. Witnessing that first birth was it for me – I never again contemplated another field. I was lucky enough to support women whose labors and births were overwhelmingly attended by the hospital’s Certified Nurse-Midwives and the Student Nurse-Midwives of UCSF; working with them made me realize that I wanted – and needed – to become a midwife.
What do you enjoy most about working at the Birth Center?
Everything! For one, the opportunity to attend both out-of-hospital and in-hospital births is an incredible (and rare) blessing; it’s amazing that our practice can also offer that choice to our patients. Additionally, I love that I get to work with women and families who specifically seek out midwifery care; at the practices with which I trained as a Student Nurse-Midwife, low-risk patients were automatically assigned to the midwives and higher-risk patients were automatically assigned to the obstetricians, which wasn’t always ideal. At the Birth Center and in this community in general, there is so much respect for and trust in the training that midwives have and our expertise in managing healthy, low-risk pregnancies and deliveries. I am so appreciative of that respect and trust.
What is one thing about you that might surprise people?
As a fairly new Certified Nurse-Midwife, everything in my life seems to be focused on midwifery right now! Possibly it would surprise people that I am a newlywed? My husband and I just got married in September. We together moved to Oregon from California for his job four years ago, but soon thereafter endured a long-distance relationship while I attended midwifery school in Nashville. He’s an air traffic controller, so we both work varied schedules. When he’s not directing airplanes and I’m not catching babies, we indulge in one of our truest passions – delicious food and drink. We have loved together experiencing Eugene’s burgeoning restaurant scene! We also make the trek to Portland more often that I would like to admit simply to indulge our many culinary cravings.