Lisa Beherec, CPM
Welcome. I’m Lisa Beherec. As a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), I am dedicated to providing homebirth midwifery services to families in Central Pennsylvania. I believe that homebirth can and should be an option for all healthy people experiencing a normal, low-risk pregnancy. I also believe that a childbearing experience that is safe and respectful of individual autonomy is a basic human right.
My philosophy of care begins with the certainty that childbearing is both physiologically normal and that it is also wondrous, joyful, challenging, and rewarding. I feel that pregnancy and birth have the capacity to be powerful, even transformative experiences that can complement an individual’s and a family’s commitment to living their lives according to their values.
As is required of all CPMs, I maintain certification in Neonatal Resuscitation and CPR, participate in peer review, and attend continuing education programs. I am a member of the Midwives Alliance of North America and the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives.
Before choosing to become a midwife, I received a BA in Anthropology from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Although the seed had been there for many years, I believe that it was through my concentration in cultural anthropology and minor in Women’s Studies that my interest in midwifery was cultivated. One chapter in a textbook led to other books, which eventually led me to Birthwise Midwifery School. I knew that rather than observing and documenting our culture’s relationship to birth, I wanted to participate in changing it. I feel that offering individualized, compassionate care to mothers, their babies and families is an effective way to do so.
In 2004, I packed everything I owned into an old station wagon and drove to Bridgton Maine, where I enrolled in Birthwise Midwifery School. I attended my first birth, as a student, 4 months after beginning my midwifery education. While attending classes, my clinical experience and hands-on training began with a semester each in a nurse practitioner’s office and a homebirth practice shared by two CPMs serving parts of Maine and New Hampshire. This was followed by a year-long preceptorship with a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) offering homebirth services in the Kansas City area. I continued and completed my midwifery education here in Central PA with CPM and herbalist Sarah DePasquale, earning the credential of CPM in 2008, and worked as an assistant midwife before starting my own practice in 2011. Since that first birth, tucked in the snowy mountains of New Hampshire, I have been present at nearly 600 births. Each one has been a unique and remarkable event and a privilege to attend.
I was drawn back to my home state of Pennsylvania by idyllic descriptions of the ridge and valley region, the Penns Creek watershed, and the fascinating juxtaposition of cultures that make up the communities of this area; Amish and Penn State, small-town heritage and revitalized main street. One way in which my practice feels like a privilege to me is that I care for clients within different cultures; with different values, traditions, language, and dress, all without leaving home and while remaining grounded as a community midwife.
I have one son, born in 2009, who was born at home into the hands of my teacher-colleague-friend. She is part of our family and my son knows his birth story and her role in it. I will always be grateful for the experience of having my own baby at home with a care provider I wholly trusted to allow my birth to follow its own course. My free time is usually spent with my son and our friends; playing, exploring, crafting, gardening, preparing and eating good food, reading, and enjoying the community we live in.
Emma Hesil, CPM
I’m a certified professional midwife and a recent transplant to Pennsylvania. I've been attending births since 2018 as a student at Birthwise Midwifery School in Bridgton, ME, and after graduating in 2020 I continued to work as an assistant midwife at Holly No. 7 Birth Center in Bangor, ME. Before being drawn to midwifery I received my BA in English from Wellesley College in 2012. I’m excited to begin a new chapter in my career working alongside Lisa with At The Door Midwifery Service.
As a home birth baby myself, I have always believed that home birth and midwifery care are normal, natural options that should be available to everyone, and it's an honor to be able to provide these services to the community. I love supporting families through pregnancy, birth and the early postpartum - a journey that can contain some of the most touching and euphoric moments we ever experience, as well as some of the hardest. It’s important to me to make sure that the care I provide is a collaborative experience that is rooted in both evidence and traditional midwifery wisdom, supports autonomy, and is free from prejudice.
As a CPM I maintain my certification in CPR, Neonatal Resuscitation, attend peer review sessions, and am always engaged in continuing education to stay up to date on midwifery skills and research so that I can provide the best possible care to the families we work with. When not catching babies or soaking in those early toddler days with my son Linden, I love to hike, forage and cook, and plan ambitious DIY projects that I probably don’t have time for.