About Our Birthing Center

 

Our birth center has a rich history serving the Gainesville, FL community. It began as The Birth Center of Gainesville, and the first recorded birth was January 4, 1979.  Several years later, the name was changed to Birth Center of Gainesville and then in 2012 it was changed to the Birth & Wellness Center of Gainesville.  Under those names the birth center served well over 3000 families. In September of 2017 the birth center was sold and the transformation began to Gentle Journey Midwifery and Birth Center.  Since 2017 we have served over 100 families, and we are proud to be able to continue this historic tradition of providing birth options for the Gainesville community, whether that be home birth, birthing in our birth center, or water birth.

Our beautiful, freestanding, three story birth center and historic home built in 1904, dubbed "The Colson House," is cozily located in Gainesville’s Bed and Breakfast district; just a short distance from other historic homes and UF Shands Hospital.  Our amazing birth center is complete with all the luxuries of a high end spa, including a breath taking birth tub for water birth! We provide client driven care with birthing options for parents-to-be who desire a natural childbirth experience. Our licensed midwives are the primary care providers.  Our birth team has a close working relationship with local medical professionals should a need arise.  

Besides offering a beautiful and safe place to deliver your baby, we offer many services including  preconception counseling, prenatal care, childbirth education, breastfeeding classes, postpartum care and support. The birth center has 2 birth suites for you to choose from. Our main birth suite boasts soft lighting and a queen sized bed, with plenty of room for your support person, a luxurious birth tub for water birth, and access to a full kitchen.

Gentle-Journeys-Midwives-Florida-Birth-Center-house.png

Families are encouraged to personalize the room by bringing pictures, flameless candles or essential oil diffusers, or by turning up the tunes. We value your privacy and provide private rooms for laboring clients. The adjacent waiting room is equipped with a television, seating for family and friends, as well as a closet full of family games, movies, and coloring books for all ages.

Within safe limits, you can walk around and be as active as you like, wear what you want, and give birth in whatever position feels most comfortable.  You even get to eat and drink during and after labor.

Our families stay together! At our birthing center your baby won’t be whisked off to another room after the birth.  Family and friends won’t be sent away either — unless you want them to be. Everything — from preventative care to baby's first checkup — happens in the birthing suite.

 

Andrea Reece, LM, CPM
 

 
Florida-Midwife-Doula-Gentle-Journeys-Andrea-2.jpg

My passion for midwifery began as a young child. I remember being obsessed with pregnancy and birth. I'm sure my mother thought it was odd that her daughter of less than 5yrs old was asking all sorts of questions and drawing pictures of pregnant people. 

As I grew up, my attention moved to other things and my life shifted. I came to work in the grocery business and I took great joy in the everyday work that came with the job.  But that wasn't my passion; it was just a job that I was good at. When I was pregnant with my son I began to explore birth options. My passion was rekindled after discovering the lack of support that traditional birth services provide. 

After the birth of my son I immersed myself in the birth world. I became a doula, a birth photographer, and a childbirth educator and yet none of that filled my soul. I realized, through that work, that what I really desired was to empower people by providing childbirth choices and education in a more hands on manner. I attended midwifery school and haven't looked back since. 

Being a midwife is truly a calling for me and is part of who I am. I treasure being a part of each and every birth and creating a calm and supportive environment for my birthing people. I am passionate about education and feel an educated patient is more confident in their abilities and is more involved in their care. I also fuel my passion for education by teaching at the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery.  

One quote I read recently from Birth Without Fear resonated greatly with me;

“I do not care what kind of birth you have … a home birth, scheduled cesarean, epidural hospital birth, or if you birth alone in the woods next to baby deer. I care that you had options, that you were supported in your choices, and that you were respected.”

As a midwife I am here to help you make educated birth choices and support you through your entire conception, birth and postpartum period.  I look forward to being able to provide you with compassionate, evidence-based, person-centered care.

 
 
Andrea was amazing during my labor and after birth. She was super supportive and calming throughout my entire labor, and encouraging beyond words. She made me feel at ease and was the person I trusted most throughout my birth. She made sure I was eating and drinking to keep my energy levels up because I kept forgetting to do so. I had complications after delivery that had me scared beyond all belief but she was a saving grace during the scary moments. I highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for a midwife who cares about her moms and their babies.
— Alexis W.

 
 
 
I had the best birthing experience with my daughter this past April thanks to the midwives and their compassion. Even though I began care with them later on into my pregnancy, the staff was able to quickly work me in and I felt like family in no time. Having care at the birth center was so empowering, giving my husband and I the opportunity to make our own decisions regarding what we wanted at our birth. Thank you Freya, Andrea, and Barbara for such an amazing birthing team, and Gina for being the most helpful and friendly receptionist around! I will never stop recommending them (or natural birth for that matter)! 💕
— Brittany Y
 

Michele (Freya) D’Angelo, LM, CPM

 
Florida-Midwife-Doula-Gentle-Journeys-Michelle-2.jpg

At the age of 17, during my first pregnancy, I knew that I did not want a medicalized birth but I lacked knowledge and support to do so. After giving birth to my first born in a highly medicalized, no choice manner, I began researching birth options. I developed a passion for childbirth and found myself with a very positive attitude towards natural childbirth.

My experience made me realize that birth is a process not to be rushed or to have any interventions pushed but to observe the natural beauty of the one laboring. With my new found passion I found myself always looking for ways that I could help others achieve their best birth. I was so young and did not know yet what I wanted to be when I grew up; I only knew that I would like to my career to involve supporting natural birth whatever that might look like.   

After giving birth to my second child, in a medicalized setting, I found my passion for natural birth and supporting birth options rekindled.  Now firmly decided and following my passion, I attended school to become a massage therapist. This schooling was so that I could provide prenatal, labor, and postpartum massage to people, since this would help them achieve a natural childbirth. During my studies I learned about infant massage as well.  After studying hard I begin to teach infant massage and developed a prenatal massage program that has been used at massage schools throughout New Jersey.

I began having a desire to be even more involved with the natural birth community to help provide other people with sound, educated birth options. I attended Doula training and became a labor and postpartum doula, supporting many families in my community.  After being immersed in the birthing world I finally realized that I found the career path I was looking for. I wanted to become a midwife!

Once my children were old enough, and I solidified a plan, I attended the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery. I graduated as midwife 357! I have been delivering babies and caring for birthing people and their families since. Through my work as a massage therapist, doula, and midwife, I have over 19 years of experience supporting people through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I am passionate about improving maternity care for all birthing people, educating them about all choices and supporting and respecting their decisions no matter what they are. I am excited to work with all birthing persons and their families, providing compassionate and evidence-based care.