Giving birth is a pivotal life process that offers you and your family the opportunity for great joy, personal growth and change. Such an important journey deserves the personal care, attention and company of a midwife.
At the Monadnock Birth Center, our mission is to provide every woman the unique opportunity to partner with our midwives for achieving their desired birth experience. Our midwives provide you with the highest-quality of personal, individualized care, that allows you to give birth in a way that reflects your values, choices and desires for yourself, your baby and your family.
The care you experience at The Monadnock Birth Center with our midwives during your pregnancy, labor and birth is designed to reflect a set of core beliefs about the nature of birth and why your birth experience matters. As midwives, we have witnessed over and over again, that if pregnancy and birth are supported and allowed to unfold as nature intended, without pressure or interference, birth can be a safe, joyous and empowering experience. This knowledge, gained over many decades of caring for women and families like yours, deeply informs our philosophy of care, how our facility is designed and the services we offer to you.
At the Monadnock Birth Center we offer you and your family care, support and information during your pregnancy and birth that will deepen your belief in the personal power you possess to give birth and to parent your child. Giving birth is a pivotal life-changing experience that offers you and your family the opportunity for great joy and personal growth. The Monadnock Birth Center invites you to take your journey with us, and experience the personal care, attention and company of our midwives in a beautiful and comfortable setting – the Monandock Birth Center.
Take a Tour
Our free-standing birth center offers you the unique opportunity to partner with our midwives to achieve your desired birth experience. Our Midwives know how to make sure that your safety and good health are attended to, while listening to what it is that you want from your birth experience. They want to know what your dreams are for this special time in your life. We are here to listen, guide, support and care for you. Together we can help you to have the birth you want – for yourself, your baby and your family.
At the Monadnock Birth Center you are the focal point of our care.
If the following are important to you throughout your pregnancy and delivery, we encourage you to choose Monadnock Birth Center for your care:
- Feeling supported and cared for
- Staying in control of your care
- Having what you want for yourself and your baby will be respected
- Receiving real information to allow you to make good choices for yourself and your baby
- Building a relationship with your midwife
- Not feeling rushed or unimportant
- Allowing time to answering all your questions
- Knowing who will care for you during labor and delivery, rather than relying on luck of the draw
Come visit Monadnock Birth Center and meet our Midwives. Explore a care experience that is unique and different from a hospital setting. Listening to you and catering to your needs is the hallmark of our service at Monadnock Birth Center. Our Midwives partner with mothers to achieve the birth experience tailored to their needs and wants.
Meet Our Team
At the birth center, you will receive the highest-quality personal, individualized care from midwives you will come to know well, and you will have the opportunity to give birth in a way that reflects your values, choices and desires for yourself, your baby and your family. Rather than submitting yourself to the policies and procedures of a hospital, your care will be a true partnership between you and your midwives, with respect for your intuition and knowledge of yourself as the basis for deciding what is right for you and your baby. Your midwives will spend time with you: hour-long prenatal visits, the continuous company of a midwife during your labor and birth, three home-visits in the first week of your new baby’s life, as well as visits for you and your baby at three and six weeks.
Mary Lawlor – CPM, LM, NHCM, MA
Tonia Bowman – Midwife, CNM, APRN
Rebecca Price-Wood – Midwife, CPM, LM, NHCM
Lacey Heasley – CPM, LM, NHCM
Abbey Schoenfeld – Office Manager
Mary Lawlor – CPM, LM, NHCM, MA
In addition to being the founder, owner and clinical director at the Monadnock Birth Center, Mary is the executive director of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM). She was a founder of NACPM in 2000 and served as president of the board for over a decade. Mary is a passionate advocate for midwives and for improving maternity care for all people, while working toward eliminating the unconscionable racial inequities in birth outcomes in the U.S. Mary has been a respected local and national leader and policy strategist for the last two decades and leads in shaping the policy agenda for NACPM in support of these goals.
As a midwife since 1981, Mary has had the honor of attending hundreds of births with families in our community for over three decades. As the founder and owner of the Monadnock Birth Center, she enjoys offering the kind of personal care and necessary time to people that is not typically available to women receiving hospital care. This includes hour-long prenatal visits where women and their midwives get to know each other, and where women and their families can define what is most important to them for their care and their births.
For most of these years Mary has been a homebirth midwife, where she has spent many, many hours of assisting new mothers while they gave birth to their babies away from the often-unnecessary interventions that can occur in hospitals. In 2008 she was able to fulfill a long-time dream of adding a birth center to her practice. Mary believes in the free-standing birth center model, which offers those who would not choose to stay home for their births, the kind of time-intensive and personal care that is the hallmark of community midwives.
Mary studied midwifery in 1980-81 at The Maternity Center in El Paso, Texas; a free- standing birth center operated by midwives and a training center and school for midwives. She is a nationally Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), and is licensed as a midwife in both Vermont and New Hampshire. Mary graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC. and earned a master’s degree in counseling from Lesley University in Boston. She has been active in successful legislative efforts to license community midwives in both Vermont and New Hampshire, and she serves as a Midwife Advisor to the Office of Professional Regulation in the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office, helping to oversee and support the practice of midwifery in the state.
In 1976, Mary gave birth to her daughter at home before community midwives were widely available. In 2005 and 2008, she was privileged to be the midwife for her grandchildren’s births at her home in Putney, VT. In addition to her love of being a midwife, she is also deeply committed to increasing access for all women across the country to high-quality maternity care in homes and free-standing birth centers, knowing that women often experience much better outcomes in community settings than in hospitals.
Tonia Bowman – Midwife, CNM, APRN
Since 1995, Toni has been inspired to provide care and support for women throughout their childbearing years. She began her midwifery studies as an apprentice with direct-entry midwives both locally, and in Pennsylvania’s Amish and Mennonite communities. In 2001, after completing her nursing degree, she began working as a maternal child health nurse in the hospital and for various community agencies, providing prenatal and postpartum support for mothers and babies, as well as childbirth education. In 2008, following the birth of her third child she became involved with the Monadnock Birth Center, as both a childbirth educator and assistant to Mary Lawlor, CPM.
In March of 2017 she completed her master’s degree in nursing from Frontier Nursing University as a certified nurse-midwife and returned to the Monadnock Birth Center to provide women’s health and maternity care. Shortly after completing this program, she recognized that the need for mental health providers was great and so she returned to school to complete additional training as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. In this capacity, she is able to assess, diagnose and treat women in all stages of life from the childbearing years through menopause with a variety of mental health concerns.
In her CNM role Toni is able to provide for women’s health and primary care needs including: annual well woman exams, Pap testing, STI testing and treatment, contraception, pregnancy planning and physicals as well as primary care screenings and testing.
As a dually certified Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Toni recognizes the symbiotic relationship between women’s mental and physical health, and how even subtle breakdowns in either system can compromise well-being. As a provider who embraces a holistic approach to healing, her multifaceted approach includes nutrition, lifestyle and behavioral change, counseling and pharmacological management when appropriate.
Rebecca Price-Wood – Midwife, CPM, NHCM
I have been a midwife at the births of over 300 mama-baby pairs. It seems unfathomable to me that this could be true, because this means I have known, cared for, learned from, and have been shaped by these six hundred… and hundreds more family members.
Here are some things I have learned about life and birth in my over ten years as a midwife and student midwife:
- Women, seemingly always in service to others, have endless abilities when others are in service to them.
- Babies are smart and I’ve been amazed ever since I was trained to listen.
- Given all the information, women in my practice always make the best decisions for their families.
- When the laboring partner is supported, a kind of trust is possible which creates a brand new, luscious family dynamic.
- Birth is awesome, but rarely baffling. Prenatal care optimally managed by the client and midwife is the most control a person can have over their own birth.
- I am one of the most fortunate people I know.
Postpartum care has comprised a large part of my continuing education. I have published works on the value of familial relationships as they inform postpartum psychological well-being, and I have also written works about the Maternal Mediation Hypothesis (how early maternal care and touch can have lifelong effects on the offspring’s nervous system.) Other research interests are prenatal epigenetics, effects of vitamin D deficiency in mothers and babies, and ketogenic diet during pregnancy.
I hold bachelor’s degrees in both Interpersonal Communications and Biology. I have two teenage daughters, Elizabeth, whose birth awoke me to the crisis of gender inequality in obstetric care, and Lucy, whose home birth revealed to me the calling of midwifery. I also am the mother of two young sons, Ezra and Baxter, who were both also born at home into the hands of midwives. My husband is a professor of literature and French, and occasionally teaches childbirth classes with me. We all live in Chester, Vermont
Rebecca can be reached at:
Sacred Transitions Midwifery
Lacey Heasley – CPM, LM, NHCM
I love what I do! It is my passion and my life’s work to serve families and my community. I am the newest midwife on the MBC and Sacred Transitions Midwifery team! I joined the practice in October 2019. I am so happy to be here serving all of our wonderful families. I am relatively new to New England; I moved up here with my family last year. I grew up in the Midwest and moved to Atlanta in 2011 to start my apprenticeship. I was blessed to have been trained by two incredibly competent and caring midwives with decades of experience. I attended over 200 homebirths with them before finishing and becoming certified in 2018.
I have been in birth work for over 13 years, serving families in variety of capacities. I started my journey as a doula, worked in a hospital setting on L&D as an OB Tech and Unit Coordinator, and have attended homebirths and birth center births as a student and a midwife.
My philosophy as a midwife is based solely on informed-choice based care. I strive to educate families on the physiological-psychological-emotional aspects of the pregnancy, birth, newborn, and postpartum periods and support them in their choices surrounding their own health and the health of their babies.
This year I am making some big changes. I am back in school and starting an RN program in the fall. I decided to start this journey in order to obtain my CNM/ ARNP in order to serve our clients with a broader scope of practice. I will still be in clinic and attending births, just at a reduced capacity.
I have been married to my amazing husband for 13 years and we have two children. We live in Keene, NH.
Lacey can be reached at:
Abbey Schoenfeld – Office Manager
After having her first child at home with no midwife in 1973, Abbey decided to become a midwife. With no birth centers, midwives were few and far between in those days and women had to fight to have natural births. She went to a lay midwifery school in 1977 and practiced into the 80’s.
Abbey met Mary in 1983 and began assisting her at births. This began their long and very dear friendship. Mary was also the midwife for the birth of Abbey’s fourth child.
In 1995, she moved to S. India to the international township of Auroville, and helped train village healthcare workers in prenatal care. She also taught midwifery skills to a few village women who were helping at births.
Abbey has been back in Vermont since 2013, and now has the good fortune to work with Mary again in her beautiful birth center.