Washington State Midwife Celebrates 25 Years of Attending Births

Cynthia Jaffe has been helping mothers bring their children into the world for 25 years. Jaffe is a midwife and founder of Greenbank Women’s Clinic and Birth Center in Greenbank, Washington. She estimates having served some 1,200 families during those years and in many cases delivering entire families. Recently she delivered a baby whose mother she had also birthed a quarter-century prior.

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Jaffe opened the birthing center to give women an alternative place to give birth instead of at home or in a hospital. Also, home births are not paid by Medicaid, so the birthing center allows women to have their midwife assisted birth covered by insurance. The clinic’s 99 percent return rate is a tribute to Jaffe’s dedication and skills. In addition, she has never lost a mother or baby during her 25-years of attending births.

The clinic has recently welcomed a second midwife onto its staff due to the growth it has been experiencing over the years. Erin Miksic joined the team this summer as a certified nurse midwife from New York City. Miksic had worked as a midwife in an inner-city hospital before coming across the opening at Jaffe’s clinic. “It’s the closest thing I can imagine to my dream practice,” she said.

Miksic’s nurse midwife license allows her to bill naval medical insurance for her services, an additional perk for the practice since Jaffe’s midwife license doesn’t allow for it.

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In addition to Jaffe and Miksic, the clinic also employs Annastasia Kovscek, who with Miksic, provides well women services. Jaffe and Miksic are also providing guidance to Diana Miller, a student midwife.

Jaffe said that during her 25 years as a midwife she has seen many changes in the profession. Nowadays, she said, people know what a midwife is when she tells them her profession, whereas 25-years ago they’d ask, ‘Oh, what’s that?’