Our licensed El Paso midwives support the natural physiological process of pregnancy and birth with as little intervention as possible. They focus on “woman center care” that provides each of their clients with individualized education, counseling, and care though out pregnancy, labor and birth and the postpartum time. They support the idea that women are capable of making the appropriate choices for themselves and their baby with a “true informed consent”.
Studies have shown birthing with a midwife significantly reduce the likelihood of a cesarean while providing the opportunity for a more empowering and satisfying birth experience.
Our Midwives are Certified Professional Midwives, CPM through the North American Registry of Midwives.
And hold a valid Texas midwifery license to practice independently giving advice and care to women throughout normal pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Midwife Lynn Arnold is the founder and Administrative/Clinical Director of The Retreat.
She has been practicing midwifery since 1975 when she began her apprenticeship with Hai Abdul. MD. She worked in his practice until she began a home birth practice in 1978 in the Couer d Alene, Idaho. In 1985 she opened Casa de Nacimiento in El Paso, Texas, a licensed free standing birth center that cared for the deliveries of over 13,000 clients while training over 800 student midwives.
Since the closing of Casa in October 2011, she has been teaching internationally and specializing in special circumstance births such as VBAC, breech, twins and more.
A’Maya Ettien LM, CPM
Midwife A’Maya Ettien is a Certified Professional Midwife, and is licensed through the Texas, and New Mexico Departments of Health. Her training consisted of a MEAC accredited distance-learning program, with the clinical component achieved at Casa de Nacimiento in El Paso, as well as with various doctors, Licensed Midwives, and Certified Nurse Midwives, in Montana. She has attended over 700 hundred out-of-hospital births, and currently attends births in the El Paso area.
Rose Acuña Williams
Midwife Rose Acuña Williams has served pregnant, laboring and birthing women for over 25 years. She began her career as a Registered Nurse in labor and delivery. Rose has expanded her passion for natural birth in the out-of hospital birth setting as a Certified Professional Midwife and is licensed in Texas and New Mexico. She also provides midwifery services to clients in northern Mexico. She continues to serve as a senior midwife and academic instructor at Maternidad La Luz, the premier freestanding birth center on the Texas/Mexico border. Rose has attended over 500 home and birth center births and is the founder and principal midwife for South West Midwifery based in El Paso, Texas. Click here for more information about midwife Rose Williams.
Annie Kuntz, CPM, LM
Midwife Annie Kuntz is a Certified Professional Midwife licensed in the state of Texas. Annie learned the art of midwifery at Casa de Nacimiento in El Paso and also with homebirth midwives in Colorado, Utah and Texas. Since becoming licensed in 2007, Annie has worked as a staff midwife at Casa de Nacimiento and Maternidad la Luz, providing client care and training midwifery students. Annie has attended over 700 out-of-hospital births, and continues to serve families choosing home or birth center births in the El Paso, Texas area.
Our El Paso Midwife Assistants
Our Assistant Midwives are a helpful part of the care team at The Retreat. They are enthusiastic and passionate apprentices working always under the knowledge of our senior midwives.
My passion for midwifery was ignited by the birth of my two children. Both of them were born in a hospital and while I enjoyed my experiences I could not help but feel that there was a better way to birth. After the birth of my second child we moved from Europe to the Middle East where we lived for two years. During that time the Syrian civil war broke out and I saw first hand the desperate need for women’s health care services within the refugee camps. This further fueled my desire to pursue midwifery and be in a position to provide maternal healthcare resources, services, and options to the women within these camps and across the world.
In 2015 I moved to El Paso, Texas where I attended a 1-year intensive midwifery program at Maternidad La Luz. During my year at MLL I attended over 140 births and was Primary for 40 births.
After completing my midwifery program in March 2016, I hopped on the first plane out of El Paso and spent over a month with a team of physicians from Europe providing midwifery care to the women in the refugee camps scattered across the Middle East and Eastern Europe. During my time there I established a mobile Women’s Health clinic in the back of a donated ambulance. From the mobile clinic my team and I developed a contraception program that provided contraceptive counseling, distribution, and management. In addition, I developed a maternity outreach program that focused on pregnant and postpartum women in the camps. This program branched out to include another outreach aspect that focused on higher risk pregnant women who had been moved from the camps into hotels in nearby cities.
As my time there came to a close, I gathered up my experiences and brought them back to El Paso where I plan to continue my international outreach work while providing midwifery care to the women in our community here. As I prepare to sit for the licensing exam I am advancing my midwifery studies while working with our amazing group of senior staff midwives here at The Retreat.
I believe in the importance of providing safe options, resources, and support for all pregnant women and their families, regardless of where or with whom they choose to birth. I believe in the strength of women and the ability for our bodies to birth naturally in a safe and supportive environment. My breadth of experience allows me to connect with and support women regardless of their birthing choices. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to serve and support women in their journeys, not only here in our community, but across the world.
My passion for maternal child well-being started at a very young age! As a child I can remember helping my grandparents “mother” all the baby animals. In high school I channeled this love for maternal-child care into my first career. I began working at the university hospital as tech on the Labor and Delivery unit where I began learning the skills that would serve me well in my future. After high school I went to nursing school and continued working on the Labor and Delivery unit as a primary labor and delivery nurse. During my time at the university hospital I also had the opportunity to work in the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where I learned to hone my skills in care of compromised newborns.
After 11 years at university hospital I felt the need to spread my wings and discover how maternity care differed across North America. I began working as a travel nurse and was able to work all over the United States and the Caribbean. Maternity care did differ across North America, but still lacked the natural aspects of maternal care that I envisioned for mothers. After 7 years of travel nursing I returned back to the Midwest and continued working in Labor and Delivery with the nagging feeling that I was yet to discover something more natural in maternity care.
Last year I finally had the revelation of what I was looking for: I wanted to pursue a career in natural, holistic maternity care; I wanted to be a midwife. Not a nurse midwife, but a traditional midwife. I applied and was accepted to Midwives College of Utah where I’m studying for my Bachelor’s Degree in Midwifery. I have been blessed to become a part of The Retreat staff to utilize the knowledge and skills I have as a labor and delivery nurse while I learn the new skills to become a midwife.
In my 22 years as a labor and delivery nurse, I have had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer for two outstanding disaster relief projects. In 2005 I volunteered with an agency serving New Orleans after the devastation of Katrina. In 2010 I was able to again volunteer and lend my skills in Haiti after the catastrophic earthquake. Working in make-shift hospitals in each of these places solidified my belief that women are powerful and are very able to birth their babies without the medical interventions that most hospital systems rely on.
My birth philosophy is simple. Women are powerful. Birth is not a disease that needs to be treated it is a natural process that needs to be nurtured. Through education, compassion, and advocacy, I hope to help spread traditional midwifery as the norm, not the unusual.
Midwives must disclose to their prospective clients the following information; the midwife’s statistics of clinical experience, an expiration date of license, expiration dates of CPR & neonatal resuscitation, that she meets continuing education requirements and what her medical backup arrangements are. Please review with your midwife her personal disclosure, as each midwife is different.