I had the honor if sitting down with Melissa Alexander, MSN, CNM
and part of Midwives of Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group, in celebration for National Midwifery Week! I wanted to better understand how she came to this work, what drives her and how she sees maternity care changing.
Melissa decided to be a midwife 20 years ago after the birth of her first son. Her own birthing experience felt disconnected and left her desiring more. This inspired her to start her career as a labor and delivery nurse were she worked side by side with birthing women for many years. Although the work was very fulfilling when she started working closely with midwives she found her real purpose. The work she did with midwives opened her eyes to the possibilities of hospital midwifery care. In midwifery she felt that such care would afford her the opportunity to understand her patients more and institute greater change in the lives of laboring women. This spurred her on to finish her original goal and passion to become a midwife.
Melissa joined Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group in 2017 working side by side with Lisa Sherwood. She believes that midwifery offers a unique combination of evidenced based maternity care and holistic individual care equaling personalized maternity care for her patients. She sees having the support of the OBGYNs at Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group as access to best practices for her patients. She trusts that if her patients need high risk solutions she has a whole team of trusted doctors by her side.
Melissa sees Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group as a leader in Orange County maternity care. OCWMG was the first OBGYN practice to offer hospital midwifery in OC. She believes understanding patients' emotional needs and listening to what they desired brought about this change. Melissa is honored to be one of the midwives at OCWMG as this practice is on the cutting edge of maternity care and offers proactive and progressive options for Orange County women. Hospital midwifery equals true options for birthing women.
Melissa wants her patients to understand that this is their experience and she will be with them throughout the journey. She encourages them to educate themselves on how they see their birth unfolding and she supports them in achieving their goals. With the wonderful option of hospital midwifery care, her patients decide for themselves if medication is right for them or if they want an unmedicated birth. This really is the best of both worlds as women do not have these options with traditional home-birth/center midwifery care.
Melissa is invested in your experience. She states that she will be with a birthing woman as long as she is needed. She understands that some women want her there just to catch their baby and some women want more support during labor. She is committed to showing up and being present throughout your birth. The favorite part of her job is seeing the joy when a new mother and father meet their baby for the first time. She understands the trust in this moment, and is honored to be invited in.
Melissa likes to talk about her love for working with doulas. She values their training and commitment to emotional and physical care for women during labor. She sees as doulas an integral part of the birth team as they have very different jobs than her own and their only concern is the laboring mother. Her focus can’t be on hand holding and massage when helping to deliver a baby. As doulas we appreciate her support!
Melissa Alexander is an Orange County local and enjoys spending time with her family when she is not catching babies. She has been married for 20 years and enjoys the simple things in life like long walks, yoga, watching baseball and bingeing on Netflix. If you wish to add her to your birth team contact Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group today. You will NOT regret it!