Offering home birth midwifery services
to families in Brooklyn
and throughout Metro NYC.
Umaimah Mahmud-Thiam is a Brooklyn-based midwife
with a focus on creating safe, healthy spaces
for safe, healthy birth experiences.
Inspired by the experience of my first home birth and the care I received from my midwife, I set out to become a home birth midwife. Having previously earned a BA at Oberlin College, I immediately started studies in preparation for midwifery school.
I began hands-on as a labor support doula in 1998, moving forward to earn midwifery certification and a Master of Science degree at SUNY Downstate in 2004. I’ve practiced full-scope midwifery since 2004, beginning with home birth.
By 2005, looking to work with women from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, having a broad spectrum of pregnancy-related and women’s health conditions, I joined a busy physician-owned practice, Obiakor OBGYN, with whom I provided prenatal and well-woman care, co-managed high risk pregnancies, patients with infectious diseases, uterine fibroids, infertility issues, and attended births at Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
In 2007 I joined the Bellevue/Gouverneur Hospital Midwifery Service in Manhattan, practicing full-scope midwifery and attending births at the Bellevue Birth Center as well as those on the labor unit. For 6 years I served as midwife to a generally high risk population of women in East New York Brooklyn at Brookdale Hospital, holding a space for normalcy in the birth experience, however and whenever possible.
I have had the honor of attending the births of over 800 families!
I am mother to a beautiful, creative and tech savvy 21 year-old daughter, a visionary 18 year-old son, and a wisecracking 13 year-old son, all born at home, attended by midwives.
Professional and Client Testimonials
Isabella L. (Mom):
"There isn't much online about Umaimah, so I consider myself really blessed to have been recommended to her by another midwifery practice, who told me "Umaimah *loves* first time moms!".
Most of the midwives I interviewed were professional and qualified, but Umaimah had the right energy. She's youthful, energetic and passionate, but she also has a depth of wisdom, quietness, and spirituality that was a really great match to how I approached my birth. Prenatal visits were conducted in my home and were each about an hour long. She was always available to answer my questions, and I would communicate with her through email, phone or text. She was also extremely up-to-date on research and gave us all the resources to make the choice that seemed right for us. She had extensive knowledge about whole health, nutrition and holistic living that readied me to be strong for labor.
During labor, she was very hands-off (she doesn't check you unless you want her to, if everything looks normal). She allowed me to do the work, and would coach me if I was ever overwhelmed. My labor was really gentle and supported, largely thanks to Umaimah. During postpartum, she helped me through the difficult/painful first week of breastfeeding and gave me encouragement to keep at it until it got easy for me.
I can't rave about her enough and she's become a close family friend. My future babies will definitely be home births with Umaimah!"
Rebecca V. (Mom):
"My husband and I had the great honor of working with Umaimah in the fall/winter of 2013/2014. As a new mom, who stressed about every decision through the uncharted waters of impending parenthood, choosing a home birth midwife was a big decision. It was clear to me after 2 months in the regular prenatal medical model, that I wanted more freedom of choice and individuality in my prenatal care and birth experience. Choosing the midwife who would be there to walk with me, through that experience was obviously no small decision. I researched, waffled and stressed it over for weeks.
A good mom friend of mine suggested I choose the midwife who would be the same person when the contractions were coming hard and fast, and I was in the 20th hour, as they were everyday. Someone who's presence is a calm constant source experience, strength, and light, someone who knew their midwifery. I knew in that moment Umaimah was for me.
From the beginning of my prenatal care, through my 17.5 hour labour she was that, calm constant source of light and strength. She brought ONLY love, support, guidance, information, and kindness to the table. She shared the education/information about the decisions I needed to make in my prenatal care and empowered me to educate myself, and play a role in my birth experience.
Through out my labor, which as a first time mom, was uncharted and began at 530am with my water breaking, she was a great coach, and helped me ride the rapids without getting thrown off the boat, and she was an incredible source of light helping me to focus on the moment I was in, when the finish line seemed unfathomable. With my water breaking first, and my sons head therefore bearing down on my cervix without that watery cushion, my cervix did get a little swollen so fully dialating took some doing, which was met by Umaimah with that same calm solution oriented presentness. I always felt safe, and supported. We ran that 17.5 hour marathon together.
My son was born at home on the couch at 1030pm and was placed on my chest. I didn't tear (3.5 hours of pushing is natures gift to lady parts), my husband cut the umbilical cord, Umaimah cleaned up my son while he lay on my chest, we birthed the placenta, Umaimah held my son while my husband helped me take a shower (17.5 hours makes for sweaty work), she checked me diligently to make sure I was doing well, and then we all gathered in my kitchen to give him his first bath. Umaimah left my house around 1:30am, after tidying up, and making sure I'd eaten, I was so very well taken care of!
I found out later, another one of her clients had gone into labour while i was labouring, she went home napped and then birthed another baby the next day! And her post natal care and availability for questions and concerns was so helpful, and also not even available in any conventional model of care i could find.
My experience working with Umaimah showed me that Midwifery is her calling, and she's gifted at it. It was an honor working with her, and I hope life affords me the great fortune of a second child so I can work with her again."
Tshatiqua F. (Mom):
"In 2014 I found myself preparing to give birth to my fifth child. The midwife to whom I'd grown attached and who delivered my two prior children, moved out of the country to tend to her ailing mother. She did refer me to two other midwives, but I did not gravitate toward either.
I learned to be confident in my body's ability to instruct me on what it needed during pregnancy and during labor. Independent research is also very important in life. I was at least half way through my pregnancy when I began my search for a new midwife. This intuitive body awareness needed to be paired with medical expertise to allow for another perfect and glitch-free birth.
I found Umaimah Mahmud-Thiam on a website of midwives located in Brooklyn, NY and gave her a call. It was comforting to read on the site that she'd delivered her three at home. She got back to me promptly and I immediately felt I'd found the right woman to assist me. When she came to my home for our first meeting, she asked what I'd expect from her if she took me on as a client; I told her what I mentioned prior (medical expertise) and we seemed to know we were a fit.
She was present for every appointment we scheduled - on time. She was reliable in her ability to answer questions I had, and provided valuable insights regarding nutrition, physical activity and pregnancy aides (Himalayan body-wrap, etc.). Because she walked with joy and inner harmony, my children also looked forward to her visits every week.
On delivery day this blessing of a child was in no hurry to emerge from me. My labor lasted a full 22 hours! I was accustomed to 4-8 hour labor periods. This was outrageous, but I knew how to 'ride' the contractions because as painful as they can be, they are exactly what we need (our helpers) in getting our babies delivered.
I was up and about for the majority of that time talking, laughing, munching, writhing, etc. - I had my family around me for this time. When the crucial moments arose, we called Umaimah, she was at my home within fifteen minutes, and her presence and skill in that moment were invaluable to me. I followed her instructions to blow rapidly during the contractions precisely (this I'd never done before during labor) and within five minutes, my second girl was here!
As women we have an awesome gift and responsibility with bringing life Through Us to the planet. Umaimah proved she is clear about this and with knowing that every pregnant woman's walk is unique, she provides her expertise, but can also give you all the room you need to remember your own.
I'd Recommend her Every Time! Let us Remember to Be Confident in Our Gift!"
Megan D. (Doula):
"As a doula, I've worked with nearly all of the homebirth midwives in NYC and it's an absolute pleasure to work with Umaimah. She brings not only a tremendous amount of training and experience to her midwifery care, but also a deeply calming presence and the patience and kindness you want and need in birth. Umaimah offers true whole woman (whole family) care with careful attention to the medical and physical but equal attention to the emotional and mental. She's a rare find and I highly recommend her!"