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Barbara Purnell

Certified Professional Midwife

I became a Registered Nurse in 1992 and have worked as a pediatric, nursery, and newborn ICU nurse, and a childbirth educator and doula. I retired from nursing in 2006 to homeschool my 7 youngest children. I have 11 children, 5 of whom I gave birth to, including a set of twins and 3 VBAC’s. I was not aware of midwifery until the birth of my last child in Indianapolis. The care I received and the sense of empowerment and independence I learned from the midwifery model of care won me over. I felt that this was the way it should be.


Over the years I have provided labor support for friends and family members in both home and hospital settings, and with physicians and midwives, and my love for midwifery grew. After the beautiful home birth of my grandson, I started looking at midwifery schools. I graduated from Frontier Nursing University in 2017 as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with a Masters in Midwifery and obtained my certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board, and licensure through the Indiana State Board of Nursing.


I live in Clay County, Indiana on a small homestead with my husband and youngest daughter. I enjoy growing our own food and learning better ways of doing things. We raise beef, chickens, turkeys, and ducks, and are looking at adding sheep or goats again. I enjoy gardening and maintaining my young orchard. I enjoy watching YouTube videos on how to do things, reading, crocheting, and working Sudoku puzzles, but most of all, I enjoy spending time with my family.

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Birthing photos by Tessa Tillet