Midwives | Labor of Love Birth Center

Midwives

Berenice (Bea) Rowell, RM., LM., CPM.

Owner

Born and raised in England, UK., I had always dreamed of being a midwife but it wasn’t until 2002, after 2 disappointing birth experiences, that I went ahead with the dream. I completed my Midwifery Degree with Bournemouth University and worked with a hospital/home birth team before coming to Tampa to join the Labor of Love family in December 2006.

As much as all pregnancy/labor/birth care is given by midwives in the UK I still found the hospital protocols too constricting to enable me to fully support the pregnant/laboring woman in what can be the most vulnerable time of their lives. I wanted to empower women and have them be in charge of their own informed choices as to how they bring their children in to this world. Practicing in the Birth Center environment, I am able to discuss with families their choices and plans and expect to support and fulfill their wishes.

Having proudly served our families, 24/7, for the past 11 years, I am now happy to be taking a step back from clinical practice to focus more on the administrative level and make space for the younger midwives to stamp their mark 🙂

Michelle Ruffalo, LM., CPM.
Senior Midwife

Hi my name is Michelle and I have been with LOL since 2012. Birth without Violence by Frederick Leboyer was the first natural birth book I ever read and I have been hooked ever since. I started my journey in 2004, first as a Doula, Childbirth Educator and Hypnobirth Instructor. When I turned 40 in 2007 – I changed my life path and went to Midwifery School, it was the best decision I have ever made! I graduated from The Florida School of Traditional Midwifery in 2010 and haven’t looked back since! I believe that every woman has the power within herself to birth her baby the way she wants, we follow the Midwifery Model of Care and one day it will be the standard of care for all women. Once you walk in the doors of LOL you become apart of our family – we are here to guide and support you through one of the most amazing times in your lives. I am blessed to have a very loving and supportive family and without their love and support I never would have been able to achieve my dreams. I look forward to meeting you.

Karla Holt, LM., CPM.

My interest in midwifery was cultivated from an early understanding that birth is a normal life event that often doesn’t require medical interventions. I grew up knowing my own birth story, a natural birth in an “alternative birthing suite” followed by a LeBoyer Bath, and was further inspired by others in my family who choose holistic birthing options as well. My journey to midwifery began shortly after high school when I took a job as a receptionist in a birthing center near my hometown in Michigan, but not long after I moved to Florida and started my first job as a birthing assistant with the Lutz Labor of Love Birth Center. Since 2005 I’ve had the great honor of supporting hundreds of women through the childbearing year. I graduated from the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery in 2014 and am currently credentialed as a Licensed Midwife with the State of Florida, a Certified Professional Midwife with The North American Registry of Midwives, and a Certified Lactation Counselor with The Healthy Children’s Center for Breastfeeding. When I’m not at the birth center I enjoy the outdoors, travel, knitting, and kicking back with my husband and our golden retriever.

Emily Hovett, LM., CPM.

I’m Emily, a mother of 2 sweet boys. A few years after I gave birth to my youngest son, a lovely waterbirth here at Labor of Love. I heard and answered my calling to midwifery, helping guide women gently and lovingly through their journey of birth. I studied at the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery and graduated from there in 2014. I trained under the amazing midwives here, at Labor of Love, and a few others while in school. I have since had the privilege to practice as a Licensed Midwife here for a few years now. I am honored to be able to support the women of my community, as they grow into the strong mothers they are to become, and watch the love and support of the families as they grow, through the celebration of a new life. I am truly blessed to witness the miracle of birth. I have love for all the women, babies, and families, that I have had the joy of helping through their experience and learning from each process, I look forward to many more.

Cori Lynn Duarte, LM., CPM.

Cori Lynn Duarte, was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, and has been passionate about women’s reproductive health since she can remember. A graduate from The University of South Florida with a BS in Social and Behavioral Health Sciences, she has studied the trends for maternal and fetal health extensively. In 2014, she began attending The Florida School of Traditional Midwifery, and has since graduated. Joining the Labor of Love team as a first year midwifery student, she learned how to give compassionate and competent care, and has worked there ever since! Cori is very excited to be working as a full time licensed midwife with Labor of Love Birth Center.