Every month, we feature a provider as an opportunity for the community to learn more about the great people on staff at Little Company of Mary Hospital. This month, we had the chance to talk with Mara Arakelian, Certified Nurse Midwife with the Little Company of Mary Medical Group. Read on to get to know Mara:
Mary Potter Pavilion
2850 West 95th Street, Suite 103
Evergreen Park, IL 60805
Why did you decide to become a certified nurse midwife?
- Midwifery encompasses who I strive to be. I feel humbled and honored to be called to it. Midwifery exemplifies the blend of science, grace and empathy that is needed so desperately in healthcare. I strive to provide respectful, gentle, caring, and evidence-based healthcare. Women have the right to safe, well-supported, private, and physiologic birth. Women should have a provider who advocates for them and respects their beliefs, desires, needs, and hopes.
How did you choose your specialty?
- I always felt called to care for women. The first birth I attended was very cold and impersonal. I thought there had to be another way to do this. Prior to becoming a midwife, I worked alongside many passionate, intelligent and skilled midwives, nurses and physicians. The midwives I worked with taught me about physiologic birth and the importance of having a “servant’s heart.” They honored the women they cared for with grace, compassion and safety. I also studied and worked in international medical relief. I saw the impact midwifery has on maternal child outcomes and I knew this was my niche. My mother and father never pressured us into working in one field or another. But, they always challenged us to be sure that we were caring for others. Growing up in this community, we are taught that we all have a responsibility to use our gifts as graciously as we can. I am thankful to serve the women and families of this community.
What do you enjoy most about being a midwife?
- I enjoy witnessing women become mothers and men become fathers. I love seeing a sibling giggle with glee when their new baby yawns. When a woman surrenders into the work of labor and birth, I am humbled by her strength. Midwives refer to birth as an everyday miracle, and it truly is. I greatly enjoy caring for women in the office as well. Sitting with a woman and hearing her story is very important to me. People have a need to feel heard and to be known. As a healthcare provider, this knowledge enables me to give the best care possible. Women go through so many transitions in their lives from adolescence through menopause and I am glad to be able to support them through all stages of life. Furthermore, I enjoy cultivating relationships with my partner, collaborating physicians, nurse, staff, and the “Greater Company of Mary.” There is something very special about this place and I am grateful to be part of it.
What is your philosophy of care?
- I believe that birth should be a peaceful, woman and family-centered experience. My role is to walk with women through a very vulnerable time in their lives. My hope is that all women feel taken care of, respected, supported, watched over and safe during pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and life.
What is the number one advice/tip you give your patients for healthy living?
- Be kind to yourself. I often tell women that is the number one rule in pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Honor where you are and know that where you are is good enough. Through the messiness and challenges of life, try to feel grace and choose joy. There is not one right way to birth a baby and be a mother; children grow and thrive on love.
What is the best thing Little Company of Mary has to offer patients?
- What I notice when I walk into Little Company of Mary is the calm and peace that is present in this place. It has a home-like feel that puts you at ease and makes you feel safe. The queen beds in the Family Birth Center’s Mother/Baby unit for postpartum care are just an added bonus!
If you hadn’t become a midwife, what would you be doing?
- I have no idea – I love being a midwife!
What are your hobbies and interests outside of the office?
- I spend time with my husband and children playing, exploring and being a family. I do hope to travel the world again someday.
The Little Company of Mary Medical Group has been serving families in Chicago’s Southland and surrounding suburban communities since 1994. Each individual physician office provides clinical excellence above and beyond traditional medicine in a peaceful, clean, and caring environment. The office utilizes the best information and state-of-the-art technology to deliver and manage care and improve the health of the community. To learn more, visit www.LCMMedicalGroup.org today.