My interest in birth and women's health as a cultural phenomenon began while I was studying anthropology at Smith College, Northampton, MA. (PBK, cum laude, 1997). An inspiring lecture by Ina May Gaskin (Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth) stripped away layers of fear that I had around pregnancy and birth, and revealed the incredible potential for love, wonder, and even bliss! I concentrated my studies in medical anthropology and women's health, with an eye towards becoming an independent midwife. I visited Ina May at The Farm in Tennessee, and in 1996 an underground midwife in Georgia agreed to tutor me and bring me on prenatal home visits; so my practical education began.
In 1997, my first son was born at home. The following year, I began my homebirth apprenticeship. Soon after, I attended a doula training and also began attending hospital births as a doula. In 2002, my second son was born at home, and in 2003 I graduated with a specialized degree in midwifery from Manna School of Midwifery in Bonita Springs, FL. In April of the following year, I completed my clinicals working at an inner-city clinic in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The physical conditions there were incredibly difficult, but it was an amazing teaching in how "birth happens!" even despite a lack of basic necessities. In 2004 I earned the designation of Certified Professional Midwife, a nationally recognized designation offered by the North American Registry of Midwives.
I have attended over 350 births in homes, freestanding birth centers, domestic and foreign hospitals since 1996. I've enjoyed teaching new parents and doulas since 2001, and strongly believe that we need many more active doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives to bring about a re-birth of birth. These professionals, in partnership with educated, empowered families, can heal birth in our culture and restore to it the power and beauty that are its true nature.
...and some personal trivia....Along the way, I taught art, world religions, anthropology and Spanish in a girls' private high school and taught yoga to adults and children. In my spare time, I enjoy baking organic artisan breads, hiking & camping with my family, heirloom gardening, running, knitting, and dancing with wild abandon.
Michelle L'Esperance, Certified Professional Midwife,
North American Registry of Midwives
Sponsor of The Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts & Member, active member of the Green River Doula Network and the Midwives Alliance of North America.
413.858.5048 Business Hours Only, please.
Michelle L'Esperance CPM
Warm Welcome Birth Services
P.O. Box 60615
Florence, MA 01062
To learn more about my homebirth midwifery practice, visit