Jennifer West has has been a licensed midwife since 1989, specializing in water birth, relaxation through hypnosis and using CranioSacral therapy during birth and with newborns.   In this episode, she tells the story of how she became a midwife after a career as a National Park Ranger and an EMT. She speaks about the benefits of waterbirth and how she facilitates empowering women to follow their own body’s signals during labor and birth and how this approach has led to positive birth experiences, decreased amount of traumatic birth and helps facilitate early bonding as a family.


Jennifer L. West, LM,CPM,TBMP,CST,CH,IPE has been a practicing midwife since 1989, is the owner of Albuquerque Homebirth, a practice that specializes in waterbirth, hypnosis, Total Body Modification(TBM), CranioSacral (CST) care and various methods of complimentary & energy work. She also owns The Purple Thistle Tea Co., a local and mail-order business.

Prior to becoming a midwife, she worked for the National Park Service as a park ranger. Five years of law enforcement, emergency medicine, structural and wildland firefighting proved to have been a great background for becoming a midwife, which also involves working with and educating the public on a daily basis.

Jenny taught traditional childbirth classes at two local hospitals for five years, and continues to teach private childbirth preparation classes and infant CPR, has authored two books, and also presents birth/midwifery related topics at national workshops. 

She is retired from being the Peer Review Coordinator for all New Mexico licensed midwives after 13 years, retired President and board member for the National College of Midwifery in Taos, as well as the NM State Midwifery Advisory Board. Currently a preceptor (teaching midwifery education programs for certification)  for the next generations of midwives. 

In her spare time, hobbies include reading, camping, sleeping, and going to the beach!


Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, a book authored by Sarah Buckley

Waterbirth International

Waterbirth in the 21st century, a video