Supporting Your Choices with Safe and Sensitive Care

At Special Beginnings Birth and Women’s Center, we know that pregnancy and birth are normal, healthy events in your life. Our team of certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) provide:

Special Beginnings is a licensed and CABC accredited, free-standing birth center in Arnold, Maryland, of Anne Arundel County — an easy drive from Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington, DC.

We are proud to offer you the highest quality care and measure of safety, while supporting your choices during pregnancy, labor, birth, and parenting.

Discover the place for Special Beginnings in your own life. Whether you are already pregnant or just considering starting a family, we invite you to register now for The Motherhood Experience, our free orientation and tour of the birth center.

Current News from Special Beginnings Birth & Womens Center

On Motherhood and Midwifery

When my second son was born in December 2009, I transitioned from midwifery into a more supportive role at Special Beginnings. Since then, I have managed our social media platforms, taught baby care, sibling preparation and the occasional breastfeeding classes. I have continued to attend births in the nurse’s assisting role. I love being a midwife, it is the joy and purpose of my life…second only to being a mother! I gave birth to a daughter in 2012 and I am incredibly fortunate to be a mostly-at-home mom while continuing to support family centered, beautiful birth center births.

The bittersweet milestones of our children’s lives bring them ever nearer to their independence. It’s the juxtaposition of our jobs as parents to prepare them while we cherish their smallness, their unfolding. My youngest will enter kindergarten in the fall. My big guy just turned ten and my little guy is in first grade. My kids are nowhere near moving out and moving on! However, my days of nursing babies and toddlers and diapering and existing as the center of their universes have developed into days of cheering on their endeavors and marveling at the thoughts they think. I still kiss ouchies and hold hands, and now, we read bedtime stories to each other. I create boundaries and keep them safe. But I no longer smell like breast milk, nor do I follow the kids around the playground.

And so, it is with great pleasure and contentment that I return to the role of Certified Nurse Midwife with the practice at Special Beginnings in a part- time position. I love getting to know our clients and families during prenatal appointments again. It makes birth all the more precious to me when my hands have tracked your baby’s growth and we have sat together and envisioned your baby’s birthday.

I am thrilled to return to gynecological care. I like to solve problems, like a woman’s health Nancy Drew, and I love the stories that women have to tell. The strength and persistence of women is the story of the earth itself. I look forward to working with you.

Melissa Youssi, CNM

 

Meet Leah, a Lactation Consultant at SBBWC

I became interested in becoming a lactation consultant after the birth of my first child 14 years ago. Our breastfeeding journey was a difficult one. My son had difficulties latching after my long labor and birth and a deep suctioning. We did not have the best of starts nor did we have the support we needed like you find at our wonderful birth center. After he lost a lot of weight, and I needed to start supplementing breastfeedings, my husband and I hired a lactation consultant to come to our home. She was wonderful. She was patient and kind. She didn’t speak down to me. She sat with me as I cried. I will never forget her kindness. Nor will I forget that she saved our breastfeeding relationship.

As the birth of our second son rapidly approached I found out that there was a breastfeeding week long education course that I could take. That was the start of my journey, 11 years ago, toward becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I wanted to help other mothers. I saw the gap in help for breastfeeding. I saw the lack of good knowledge by most care providers. I saw the tears and felt the desire to help fix the issue and dry the tears.

Not only was I determined to help in the community, I ultimately went to nursing school to become a lactation consultant in the hospital. I was so smitten with nursing care that I spent a year working in adult critical care. I learned so much! All of my knowledge working in critical care in Florida as well as neonatal critical care lactation work in Texas has given me an amazing knowledge base to draw on for our patients here at Special Beginnings. I am so blessed to be here to provide lactation help for our patients as well as any other breastfeeding mothers that come to us for help.

Please feel free to call or text me with any questions, concerns, or desires to schedule a lactation appointment at 813-420-8382

Leah Mason-Virgin, IBCLC