A future in midwifery and service abroad

Hannah Smith
Illinois Wesleyan University

Growing up, Hannah Smith spent evenings and weekends babysitting and Sundays teaching Sunday school. Summers were spent lifeguarding and working at a day care center.

Interacting with the children over these years cemented Hannah’s desire to work with kids as a part of her profession, and she initially chose to attend Illinois Wesleyan to pursue occupational therapy, the profession of her mother. But interactions her freshman year lead her to consider nursing and ongoing research lead her to midwifery.

One of six children all born through midwives (except one), Hannah was already somewhat familiar with the natural birthing method and profession. She was drawn to the field because of her belief in allowing the body’s natural functions to work without drugs and the enriching experience it leads to for the mother and the child.

“I love the whole process of pregnancy and birth,” says Hannah. “I am excited to share my love and passion with future clients, parents, children, and coworkers.”

Hannah had an opportunity to broaden her medical experiences with a study abroad experience in Barcelona this past year, on a trip to Haiti five months after the earthquake of 2010, and plans to travel to Ireland in the summer of 2013 to job shadow both a nurse and midwife to continue to expand her education and experiences.

The Monticello native would like to spend her first four years post-graduation in an underprivileged country, working to gain even more experiences that cannot be obtained in the U.S. to bring new methods and ideas back.

For now, Hannah’s days are filled with hours of classes and days of clinical rotations, this year on the post-operative floor and in a psychiatric institution. Upcoming rotations will also include medical/surgical, critical care, community care, and obstetrics/ NICU.

“This is the third year I have received the Christie Foundation scholarship,” says the future midwife. “With four Smith kids in college right now, I can’t describe how helpful the Foundation’s support has been for me and my family.”