For more than 34 years, even before the opening of Tucson Birth Center in 1982, midwives have been helping women deliver their babies at Tucson Medical Center. Today, we continue to partner with the midwives of the Tucson Birth Center and El Rio Congress to provide the only option in Tucson for women to give birth with the support of a midwife with admitting privileges in the hospital setting.  

We celebrate National Midwifery Week with a focus on midwives and the powerful role and impact they have in the evolution of our services for women and the community. Each day we will meet one of the El Rio amazing midwives serving our community.


Meet your midwife: Maya Adams CNM, MSN

Maya was born in Wimbledon, England, but lived abroad because of her father’s oversea’s work (He was from Lebanon and spoke Arabic). Maya’s mom is from Yuma and Tucson, where Maya’s grandparents lived when Maya was growing up.

Grandparents in Yuma meant that while Maya and her family lived overseas, she spent her summers in Yuma. Which might seem like the wrong time of year to be visiting the desert, but it didn’t deter Maya.  She moved to Tucson when she was 16, about 29 years ago, but has moved in and out of Tucson over those 29 years, living in Tucson on and off for a total of 16 years.

Maya has been practicing midwifery for the past five years at El Rio Birth and Women’s Center.

What do you love about being a midwife?

“I love being able to help women and families through the process of becoming parents for the first time or for the third, or the fourth time! Helping people find their own strength and potential is how I see this process. Also working with people in their own health care is an honor…Because midwifery is the best job in the world!”

What is the impact of having midwives involved in hospital birth? What would you like to see more of in the future?

“Simply put, I would like to see people treated as individuals and have care that is formulated to their needs. I think the fear people have in delivering their babies in a hospital setting is being treated the same as all others. Midwives bring that individualized care to people, but it is something that could be done by other providers and emphasized in the hospital setting.

What question should expectant mothers ask themselves when considering whether a midwife is the right choice for them?

“It is always important to review the woman’s health status and if they have any issues that makes care from an OBGYN or MFM more appropriate. And then some women prefer the more medical aspects of care – more interventions and technology, and they may be better suited for OBGYN care. Women should ask themselves if they want more time with their provider and if they want to have the option to review their questions and concerns. If so they should at least interview a midwife to see if it is the type of care they want.”

What gives you the greatest joy in your work?

Witnessing the birth of a family. Empowering women to take their own health care into their hands.

Updates to our labor and delivery rooms have focused on providing a pleasant, welcoming environment. How do you think the environment impacts the birth experience?

We have received feedback that that rooms are nice. It is always helpful to have an attractive area to be when in labor or for healing in general. Environment has a huge effect on healing  – Florence Nightingale knew this over a century ago!!

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