As part of our ongoing Five Questions series highlighting local maternal/infant health champions, we are honored to feature VCU Midwife Haguerenesh “Hagi” Woldeyohannes, CNM.
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What drew you to the field you’re in?
I believe midwifery is a calling and I was called. I am proud of my background in research and public health, but it’s midwifery that feeds my soul.
What part of your daily work inspires you the most?
Empowering women and families with practical information about their bodies and the tangible emotional and physical support I am able to give during labor.
How can RVA keep moving forward to become a model community for childbearing families?
Prioritizing diversity among birth workers and labor support people. Everyone deserves a midwife and doula and should not be excluded based on race, income, what part of town they live etc.
If you could share one piece of wisdom with childbearing families or professionals who serve them, what would it be?
To the families: choose your care team and develop a relationship with them. Bring questions to visits, be honest about what you feel and what you need. Trust plays a vital role in the being able to surrender and let the natural process unfold. If you do not feel safe, or do not trust that you are in good hands, then keep looking for options.
Tell us about one of your favorite accomplishments.
Giving birth to my incredible sons – vaginal birth with twins in the hospital and a home birth with my third son.
Hagi Woldeyohannes, CNM, is a midwife with VCU Health. She specializes in low intervention births that utilize a holistic approach to the care of pregnant people. She is a proud mother to three sons. Hagi began her career in global health and reproductive health advocacy. Midwifery is her calling and she is proud to care and serve Richmond women and families.