For centuries, midwives and doulas in New Mexico have delivered babies safely into the world. Will they ever be accepted?

Editor’s note: Searchlight New Mexico is a non-profit, non-partisan media organization that seeks to empower New Mexicans to demand honest and effective public policy.

In New Mexico, midwives have been part of the maternal health landscape since before the state, rooted in Indigenous and Hispanic traditions and the work of curandera parteras traditional Hispanic midwives. For centuries, these healers and midwives have been the primary purveyors of maternity. More than 800 parteras practiced throughout the state in the early 20th century.

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Curanderas-Parteras (traditional healers/midwives) in New Mexico in the early 1900s.

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From left: Jeanne Stagner and doula Melissa Lopez examine a child at Organ Mountains Family and Women’s Health, while parents, Taylor and Vincent Ferry, look on. Lopez trained with Stagner to become a midwife.

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Anthony Martinez, left, and Natalia Baca with their baby, at Organ Mountains Family and Women’s Health, in Las Cruces.

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Licensed midwife Nandi Hill at Wadada Midwifery Care, a practice she opened in Albuquerque.

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Meria Loeks, founder and director of the Santa Fe Birth Center.

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Licensed midwife Stephanie Williams at the Santa Fe Birth Center, where she is the clinical director.


Sunday Law, a Truchas licensed midwife, at the Santa Fe Birth Center.

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Licensed midwife Stephanie Williams at the Santa Fe Birth Center, where she is the clinical director.

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#centuries #midwives #doulas #Mexico #delivered #babies #safely #world #accepted
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