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.
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.
David Carter-Plake, LM, CPM
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.
In 2016 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 graduated in 2017 Magna Cum Laude with my Associates of Science degree in Midwifery; I’m continuing my education for my Master’s Degree in Midwifery.
In my 22 years as a labor and delivery nurse, I 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.
I have been a part of The Retreat since 2016 as a student and assistant midwife and now as a licensed midwife. I am licensed in the states of Texas and New Mexico and offer both birth center and home birth options. My birth philosophy is simple. Women are powerful. Birth is not a pathology 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.