Mary Yanagawa, CDM

I began my journey that has led me to midwifery with the birth of my third son. Having another baby who was sick after a seemingly normal and healthy pregnancy I dove into research. I lost myself in PubMed, Evidence Based Birth, NCBI, and medical journal articles. I felt disenfranchised, uneducated and misinformed.

I became passionate about true informed consent, childbirth education and patient advocacy. I realized that my lack of knowledge and my lack of understanding about child birth were in fact quite detrimental to my health and my children's health. My uninformed choices that surrounded my first three pregnancies and births would forever alter my birth options, as well as having affected my children's health and wellness.

With my fourth baby, I chose Dr. Elrod and Tara as my providers. I was well informed of my options, and truly understood real risks vs scare tactics or 'policies' without any backing by evidence or safety to my baby and I.

Eli's birth was not everything I had originally wanted, but it was good. I was in control, and I was able have a say in my care and advocate for myself and my baby.

Shortly after the birth of Eli I became a Certified Doula and Childbirth Educator and began teaching Childbirth Classes. I then began my apprenticeship right here at Integrated Women's Wellness & Center for Birth and completed my apprenticeship in the spring of 2016.

I became a nationally recognized midwife in May of 2016 and licensed in the State of Alaska in August. Since then I have continued to support and educate women and families about all their options, give true informed consent, and provide care to the best people in the world, right here in South Central Alaska. I am honored to be a part of our family's education and understanding of their options.

I am honored to be looked to as a compassionate and understanding heart when a woman is at her most vulnerable time. I am honored to be a part of this community of people who feel so strongly about protecting patient autonomy, providing a safe space, education and empowerment. This work is like none other. As providers we give freely of our time, sleep, family events and our heart. In return we enjoy the satisfaction of knowing our families are not only well cared for but well informed and loved. I truly believe we are a dream team who care about and love our families. I feel blessed to be one of those providers.
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