We love having Certified Nurse-Midwife, Taneesha Reynolds on our team in Nashville! Her genuine interest in empowering women is what inspired her to practice midwifery. Let’s delve a little further into the heart and soul of Taneesha.
What is your educational background?
I graduated in 2010 from Vanderbilt University with a Master’s of Science in Nursing in the specialty of midwifery. I have a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Tennessee State University. I also hold a Master’s of Business Administration with a focus in healthcare management from The University of Phoenix.
Why did you decide to become a midwife?
I became a midwife because I felt a call on my life to serve women and families. I often tell a story about a life changing experience I had at a women’s conference I attended with my church my freshman year of college at Tennessee State. At that time my major was biology. I was so inspired by the collective strength of this group of women who shared their testimonies of triumph and faith. I left the conference knowing that I wanted to pursue a career path that would touch the lives of women mentally, spiritually, and physically. When, I returned to school, I changed my major to nursing with the intention of becoming a Nurse-Midwife.
What is your favorite part of being a midwife?
There are so many things that I love about being a midwife. I will share with you some of my favorite moments in a birth. I love to observe a woman in transition when she is at the height or intensity of one of the hardest things that she has ever done, and right when she is on the verge of giving up, something (what I call a higher power) kicks in and she begins to recognize her strength and presses towards the finish line. I also love to see the confidence that a natural birth gives a woman. I love to see the admiration or love in her partner’s eyes as he looks at her when he too realizes how strong she is. I love seeing dad’s skin to skin. I love to see the excitement on a new dad’s face. It is awesome to see the gentle side of a really macho man as he holds and interacts with his new baby. The best, is when there is a moment right after birth when you place the baby skin to skin on a mother for the first time and she becomes overwhelmed with joy and everyone in the room is looking at her and baby with that one little tear of joy in their eye.
What brought you to Baby+Company?
In my midwifery program I developed an interest in birth centers. I was attracted to their compassionate care model and intrigued by the business aspects of increasing women’s access to this model of care. I previously worked at a birth center in Knoxville, and I was very passionate about wanting women in Nashville to have access to midwifery care provided in the birth center setting. When I heard about Baby+Company, I knew in my heart that I had to be a part of this project. Working within a company like Baby+Company is a perfect match for me because it allows me to practice as a midwife while also incorporating my educational background in business. I am so happy that Nashville finally has a free standing birth center and that I get to be a part of this amazing team.
What are you most proud of in your life?
I am most proud that I like the woman that I have become!
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I want to learn to sew. I have always wished I could make stylish clothes. I tried to learn once, but I did not stick with it. I made a couple of baby doll dresses. I think it is never too late to learn new things. I would love to one day have on a very fashionable outfit or beautiful dress and when someone asks the question, “Where did you get that?” I can reply, “I made it!”
What’s your favorite saying?
Wow, this is a hard one! I love quotes by Maya Angelou. Her words are filled with so much wisdom. Here are a few of my favorites. When I have a child, I may use the first one as my birth mantra!
“I’m a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.”
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”
What’s the best advice you have for future and expecting parents?
My best advice to expecting parents is to enjoy the journey of becoming parents and know that you are equipped with everything you need. Take the time to be present in each moment. Submit to the process and support each other every step of the way. There is a beautiful family waiting for you on the other side!
I would like expecting women to remember that you are a total person mind, body, and spirit. When it comes to giving birth naturally the mind is very powerful. I recently read a quote by Henry Ford that comes to mind. “Whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right.” Your gestational period is a good time to make sure you’re in a good place mentally, physically, and spiritually. Things like prayer, meditation, mindfulness practices, and deep breathing exercises can help you come to a place of peace and overcome fears and anxieties. Ensure that you and your partner are connected and in a good place. I think couples should try to plan some alone time before their family grows and the baby arrives. Also, remember to be kind to yourself and designate time for regular exercise and eating healthy nutritious foods. Lastly, this is an important time to read, get informed, and research your options so that you can make informed choices.
Describe a perfect day in your world.
A perfect day for me is when I get to relax and enjoy the company of my loved ones! Nothing refreshes my soul like a hug from my mother, laughing with my sister, a kiss on the forehead from Mario (my partner), a trip with my girls, or a good home cooked meal with my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. I love spending quality time with my family and friends. It is my love language!
If you could travel one place in the world, where would it be?
I would love to go to Haiti to volunteer with the organization Midwives for Haiti. The organization is working to decrease the infant and maternal mortality rates in Haiti by training nurses and skilled birth attendants to attend the births of Haitian women.
As far as leisure and vacation goes, I would love to go to any tropical location with a beautiful beach. I love being on the ocean. An early morning walk on the beach can be an awesome experience with God! I recently took a Hawaiian vacation with my family. It was amazing!