Birte Paschen, RM

Birte Paschen
Birte Paschen

Registered Midwife from Revelstoke BC, Canada

Born and raised in Germany, I have always had a great interest in languages and travelling. After graduating from high school I studied English, Spanish and Latin at the University of Muenster, with a few practicums and trips abroad, including Kent in England, Galicia in Spain and Monterrey in Mexico. In 1996 I spent two months in Guatemala, where the Civil War was just ending. I fell in love with the country and its people.

When my career changed and I became a midwife I had the dream of one day returning to Guatemala to learn from the Traditional Midwives.

But that dream seemed pretty far fetched.

I graduated from Midwifery School in Berlin in 2001, worked in two large maternity units until 2004, and then followed my (now) husband and moved to Canada in 2004.

In 2009 I opened Revelstoke’s first midwifery clinic, as a solo practitioner. I have attended home and hospital births in BC since 2007. In the spring of 2014, Annette called me. She asked if I was interested to join her and Ruth in the Safe Motherhood Project. WAS I INTERESTED? Well, first I had to cry a little because I couldn’t believe my luck. And then I said YES (if my family would approve).

They did approve! At least my husband did. Of course my 2 and 5 year old missed me very much during my first trip in 2015, and my husband did an amazing solo daddy job at home. For my 2016 trip, my kids were much more supportive and even looked through their clothes and toys so I could share them with Gloria’s granddaughter in Guatemala.

I am very proud to be part of the Safe Motherhood Project. As a midwife who attends births in a hospital and home setting, I can’t even imagine how I would feel attending a home birth with no formal training, no equipment, no back up or support system. Here, in Canada, if I have any concerns, I transfer into the hospital where I have privileges and a great back up support from doctors and nurses. Registered midwives here have been autonomous health care providers since 1998 (and in Germany A LOT LONGER!)