I fell in love being with mothers and babies when I was studying nursing at Hartnell College in Salinas, California, in the year 2000. From that point, I started my path supporting women of my own family and friends in their journey towards motherhood. I focused my nursing path working in the maternal-infant health realm with underserved communities in San Francisco and East Palo Alto.
I received my midwifery training at the interdisciplinary school of midwifery at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
I hold a master’s degree in nursing and I am certified as a nurse-midwife and womens health nurse practitioner. My training included attending births in a hospital environment, and since I graduated (2009), I dedicated and supported women in Chiapas, Mexico attending out of hospital births among other health care services and support.
I worked at Yach’Il Antzetic, A.C., Hogar Comunitario a transition home of transformation for women where I truly learned to be with women, to be a Mexican midwife. I served primarily Maya indigenous women and Mestiza women fleeing violence during their pregnancies. I provided integral health care, psychological-emotional support, and guidance in their decision making in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum life. I learned to be “una joven abuelita” a young “grandmother” (midwife), and became part of the pregnant woman’s life, as midwifery is not seen as a profession to provide services but rather a walk of life and respectable figure in supporting and embracing a new family.
At Yach’Il Antzetic, I had the honor of interchanging cultural experiences and practices with other healers, community health care promoters, and midwives of Maya communities and other countries including Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Spain.
Parallel to my commitment in Yach’Il Antzetic, I practiced independently with local and foreign apprentices serving multicultural families and travelers from all over the world providing homebirth services. Also, I collaborated with a birth center, Casa Colibri, and a women’s health center, AMASS that completed my diversification. I have 19 years of experience supporting women and their families of diverse cultural backgrounds and different ways of life. I believe that all women have the right to receive dignified and respectful health care, and I strive to support all that seek my support and services.
It is my conviction to provide warm, gentle, respectful, professional, and high standard services.
Apart from being a midwife, I am the life partner of Jeronimo who is an incredible Mexican artist and sensible man of great support. He is also my muse to my artistic side and helps me with all my midwife-art projects. I am mother of Zazil, a creative preschool girl and my greatest teacher born in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. I am committed to a spiritual path involving ancestral ceremonies, healing, and way of life including Mexica (Aztec) Dance, Moon Dance, Temazcalli (sweat lodge), among other.
My experience in supporting women from diverse cultural and social backgrounds for an out of hospital birth has given me the opportunity to witness birth, receiving a new life in a family, as a universal transformative experience to everybody involved in the birth process. Walking a path of ancestral ceremony, and sharing with traditional indigenous midwives and healers, I witness birth as a rite of passage and a sacred moment each time a mother births a baby. From my multidimensional experience, I have plain conviction that my responsibility as a midwife is to support and walk with the mother and her family in this sacred journey through their pregnancy, labor, birth of their baby, and postpartum period observing and guiding a natural process. I offer an integral, personalized, culturally sensitive, and family centered care and support. I honor parents’ rights to participate in informed and conscious decision making. Under safe and reasonable limits and parameters, I respect the mother and her partner to make decisions related to their care that permits a reflection of their personal philosophies and preferences.
I believe also that parents should assume complete responsibility in their health and birth result. I will support providing information and suggestions regarding health, nutrition, exercises, and birth preparation. I ask the mother and her partner to assume this with love and responsibility. To balance disequilibrium in the mother’s health and wellbeing, interventions are maintained at a very minimum, and gentle natural and integral forms of intervention are implemented first. Pregnancies with complications that in my opinion are not optimum for a home birth will be referred to an appropriate health care expert, and I will strive to establish a professional collaboration and continue to provide midwifery care as the mother desires. If at any moment in the birth process there is a need or desire from the mother to transfer to a hospital, I will accompany in the process, and continue to support and advocate in the role of a doula.
Nantzin was my midwife for the birth of my son Koa here in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, and I couldn’t have chosen a better person for the job.
I feel very blessed to have had Nantzin as my midwife, not only because of her complete dedication and focus during the entire 27-hour labor, but also because of her professional take on everything. She is both an emotional support but also a tremendously knowledgeable and caring person during the entire process. I can still remember feeling her deep commitment but also concern at every moment, making the best decisions is her priority and this is something you can feel.
The most heartwarming part for me was after so much work, and 2 days of no sleep for all of us, her and her helpers brought us a lovely breakfast to eat in bed after sleeping a few hours with our new born, this was complete bliss for me…real comfort and love was given.
Thank you Nantzin for helping me through the absolute hardest yet happiest time of my life!
Joelle Florence Michel