Alumnae Spotlight: Meghan Connor Miller, Certified Nurse Midwife
One of the popular misconceptions of a midwife is that it’s someone who only assists a woman through an unmedicated birth in a home setting. In some cases, that’s true! But, midwives do much more than that. The practice is also becoming more and more popular as the number of women choosing to have a midwife present for their birth throughout the U.S. is rising every year. Who better to learn about midwifery from than Holy Child’s own Meghan Connor Miller?
Meghan, class of 2006, is a Certified Nurse Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner –Board Certified with the practice Dedicated to Women OBGYN in Dover, Delaware. As a midwife, Meghan does everything from delivering babies, to performing annual exams, guiding menopausal care and more. Just like most other midwives, Meghan works in a hospital where she supports women who use an epidural to manage their pain during birth, or who decide on a natural, unmedicated experience.
“Midwife means ‘with woman.’ We form relationships with our patients and partner with them to help make important health decisions,” Meghan explains. “We are trained to take care of normal healthy women but are experts in recognizing [the] abnormal and acknowledging when referral to a doctor is necessary.”
Meghan knew she wanted to be a nurse from the time she was a student at Holy Child. With help from the college counselor, she ended up choosing the University of Delaware for its strong nursing program. But, it wasn’t until Meghan was in the working world as a labor and delivery nurse that she realized she wanted to go into midwifery.
After four years at Georgetown University Hospital, she landed a job at a hospital in Philadelphia where she worked alongside midwives and saw all they could do. She knew she wanted to establish more long-term connections with her patients, so she went back to school and earned her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania.
Holy Child is thrilled to spotlight Meghan’s career and her time at Holy Child. We’ll give you one guess who her favorite teacher was while she was in school!
What’s something about your career that you’re proud of?
“Midwives who provide evidenced based care in the hospital setting have been shown to decrease the cesarean section rate. CNM’s also help to lower the rate of obstetrical intervention and therefore help in lowering the cost of healthcare without lowering the quality. I am proud to say that since increasing the number of midwives providing care at our hospital, we have seen improvements in c-section rates as well as improved patient satisfaction!”
What is the hardest aspect of your job?
“The hardest part of my job is managing the difficult schedule. Working day shift and night shift all in one week is physically and emotionally exhausting. Especially now that I am a new mom, the lack of sleep is even more real!”
“I need to constantly remind myself that I need to sleep and do other things to take care of myself, so that I can take care of my patients and my daughter. They all deserve a well-rested midwife/mom, and if I do not take the time to rest, I am not doing anyone any favors.”
“The other difficult thing is that my work is not just something that I can turn my mind off from when I get home at the end of a shift. I am constantly thinking about my patients and it is truly a 24/7 job. This is tough because it is hard to be fully present for my family when I am thinking about work.”
What’s your favorite memory from Holy Child? And does one teacher stand out to you?
“My favorite Holy Child memory is from Spirit Week Senior year. Our “senior prank” was driving a car into the gymnasium and leaving it there for the whole school to see in the morning! More important than the prank itself was the fun I had planning and executing it with my best friends!
My favorite teacher was my mom! Mrs. Connor was the science department chair and she taught my AP Biology class. At first it was weird having my mom as my teacher, but then I came to really enjoy it. She was tough, but fair! I went into nursing because of my love for science, which came from my family, but was fostered by my mom and the other science department teachers at Holy Child.”
Is there anything about your Holy Child experience that continues to guide you today?
“I think the one thing that stands out from my time at Holy Child is the amount of confidence I gained. I came in as a very shy girl out of a co-ed public middle school where I was afraid to say anything at all in class. I barely participated because I was always worried what other people would think, or that I would get the answer wrong and be embarrassed. The comforting, supportive environment at Holy Child is what allowed me to really thrive and improve my confidence. These skills helped me tremendously in college and have continued to help me throughout my life.”
What is your best piece of advice to a Holy Child student or alumna who is pursuing her career/dream?
“My best piece of advice is to stay positive when pursuing your dream. Getting to your dream career can be a difficult road. There will almost certainly be some kind of setback along the way, but it is the way you handle those challenges that will help you to continue to move toward your goal.”
Spotlight written by Liz Palka Minukas '04
Do you know of a Holy Child alumna with an interesting career, service project, or hobby that we should spotlight? Send suggestions to email@example.com!