Midwife Matters

Pregnancy preparations, women's health, and care options

Eileen Turner, CNM

Riverside Clinic

I have been a midwife since 1985 and have worked at Health Partners my whole midwifery career.  My interest in midwifery first developed as an outgrowth of my involvement in the Women’s Movement in the early 1970’s.  As an undergraduate at the University of Buffalo in NY, I was very involved in a Women’s Studies program and eventually narrowed my focus to women’s health and decided to attend Nursing School.  At first my interest was purely politically motivated.  That changed on the day I walked into my first OB rotation as a nursing student and saw my first birth.  I knew then that helping women during pregnancy and birth was what I wanted to do.
After Nursing School I moved to Manhattan and started my first labor and delivery nursing job. I worked with a wonderful nursing staff who taught me so much, but we were all disillusioned about the lack of control and choice our patients’ were given in labor.  In those days women were forced to stay in bed, have IV’s, deliver lying flat on their backs, couldn’t ear or drink, and were rolled down the hall to a delivery room just minutes before their babies were born (which believe me is not what you really want to be doing at that time!).   None of us had ever heard about Nurse Midwives then, but one day I was browsing in a used book store and found a book entitled “A Guide to Midwifery-Heart and Hands” which was a “how to” text book for midwives.  That book (which I still have today) opened up a whole new world for me.  I soon discovered that there were several Nurse Midwife programs in the country and never looked back.
My husband, Andre, and I moved to Minneapolis in 1983 so I could attend the U of MN for my Master’s degree in Nurse Midwifery.  While in school we also had our first child who was delivered by a wonderful nurse midwife at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.  We never imagined we would still live in Minneapolis today but it has been a wonderful place to raise our 2 daughters and we both remain very happy in our chosen careers.
Outside of work I volunteer at N.I.P (Neighborhood Involvement Program).  It is a wonderful non profit health care organization that provides care for people without health insurance.
Our girls are adults now, finished with college and pursuing their own careers.  Andre’ is a Physical therapist who has his own practice and also works for the Timberwolves.
In our spare time we love to travel, bike, read, garden, golf, eat and play.

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