We had the good fortune of connecting with Joy Frazer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joy, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
The most important decision I made to contribute to my career success was to follow my passion. I knew as a senior in nursing school that I could not train to be a midwife in a hospital setting. I wanted to be a life long advocate for natural and empowering births whenever possible. This I could not learn in a hospital setting with the high rates of intervention and the lack of support for natural childbirth. I decided in that moment to follow my passion and attend my dream school, Bastyr University. There I studied to become a Naturopathic Doctor while concurrently studying to become a midwife. All of my midwifery training was done outside of the hospital. I attended community births at home or in free standing birth centers. This is where I began my true calling attending women and families through the birth process. This is where I could protect and honor their choices and their rights and their privacy through the journey of pregnancy, birth and the postpartum and newborn period.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have a small town practice that includes midwifery, lactation consulting and naturopathic pediatrics. I love the intimate relationship that my practice allows as I serve women and families throughout the childbearing year and through to the toddler years. I really get to know my clients well and I stay closely attuned to their mental and emotional well-being through this great life transition and rite of passage. My clients’ physical safety is my number one job, but that doesn’t actually take much time to monitor. It’s the relationship and the mental and emotional well-being that seems to affect so much positive change. All of our time spent during the prenatal period sets us up for an empowering birth process. We are a team with a common goal of a safe and empowering birth. I’m excited to offer more to my clients in the future. Each individual and family I serve is very special to me and I want to give even more to my community to affect positive change for birthing families. Having my own family has probably been the biggest challenge to my career. I have had to make hard choices to limit my work which I love dearly in order to serve my family and meet the needs of my children. I have been able to adapt and achieve a work life balance that is both fulfilling and healthy for my family. Of course it’s always changing and always a work in progress.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Durango is a beautiful mountain town know for its hiking and mountain biking trails and for the animas river. We would go on a hike up to Guddy’s rest, the mother of the Colorado Trail. We would eat a burger at James Ranch. We would walk downtown and have dinner up on the roof top at Eolus, my favorite restaurant in town. Then we would stroll to Animas Chocolate Company for a truffle or hot drinking chocolate.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have had many people, organizations and books influence my journey as a midwife. My midwifery preceptor in Seattle, Suzanne Thompson, LM was my first and main teacher in the world of home birth. I attended 30-40 births alongside her and she taught me how to be patient and trust the process of birth. She taught my the power of encouraging words, inspiring stories, and deep listening with empathy. The authors and birth advocates Micheal Odent, Ina May Gaskin, Marsden Wagner, Penny Simkin, Vicki Penwell and Rebekah Dekker have been influential as well as the book Birth Models that Work and the documentary Why Not Home. There are so many amazing health professionals and birth advocates making positive change in the world today.
Facebook: Joy of Life Midwifery