Michelle's Biography

Michelle is a Certified Midwife (CM). She graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois in 1998 with a B.A. in Business/ Economics and from SUNY Downstate in 2007 with a Master’s degree in Midwifery. Before joining Full Circle, Michelle worked in a high volume, diverse hospital in Queens, NY where she “caught” over 300 babies and cared for hundreds of women. She practiced as a doula in New York City during her midwifery training, and she spent two years in Benin, West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer working at a small village maternity center.

Areas of Interest

I am especially interested in childbirth education, breastfeeding and postpartum adjustment. Being in the midst of raising two young children, I know the balancing act that mothers experience daily. I enjoy helping mothers and families find community and support.

In addition to all things related to women’s health and holistic healing, I have a wide variety of interests: I love being outdoors, camping and hiking. I love exploring new places and cultures through travel. I enjoy reading, cooking, farmers’ markets, CSAs, gardening and yard sales. And most of all, I love spending time with my husband, Mike, and my two sons, Miles and Matteo.

My Path to Midwifery

My discovery of midwifery began with the discovery of home birth. I lived with a family of eight one summer during college, and for the first time heard of birthing at home with midwives. I resonated with the concept of birth as a natural, empowering life event, rather than a medical condition requiring the most advanced technology. I realized that like all mammals, women need to feel safe and secure in order to give birth. While I found myself intrigued with these “alternative” choices in childbirth, I discovered that midwives applied this concept of empowerment into all areas of women’s health, including gynecological care and family planning. Midwifery embodies my passion for women, holistic health and empowerment. I knew that I had found my calling.

My intrigue with women’s health continued throughout my experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, West Africa. For two years, I absorbed the life and culture of my Beninese neighbors, where pregnancy, birth and raising children are as normal as sleeping and breathing. I became a regular in the maternity center, fascinated with the natural rhythms of pregnancy and motherhood in this different context. I also came to realize firsthand the intricate correlation between poverty and health, as mothers struggled to feed themselves and their babies.

Returning from Benin, I began my midwifery training and cared for women as a doula, supporting women of various cultures, incomes and education. The core components of midwifery care-- woman-centered, continuous care and helping women to make their own choices in their health-- cemented themselves in my belief system.

In my practice as a midwife, I feel privileged to support women and their families during this transformative period in their lives. I have seen women feel empowered both at home and in hospital settings. I am especially grateful for the empowering environment that is at Phelps Memorial Hospital. In contrast to many other hospitals, laboring mothers are able to freely move without continuous monitoring, use water for labor and birth, and be active participants in all decisions of their care. The entire staff works to support the needs of mother, baby and family.

My Hope for Clients

My hope for you is that you find the resources you need at Full Circle to grow in health physically, spiritually and mentally. I hope you will feel nurtured and empowered. And I hope we can help you find support for your goals through the rich community and various services that we offer. Welcome to Full Circle Women’s Health!

Patient Reviews

Anonymous Verified Patient February 11th, 2014

Friendly, warm, efficient, thorough, competent. Great bedside manner. Takes her time and makes you feel at ease.

Anonymous Verified Patient January 23rd, 2014

Michelle was very personable, knowledgeable and put me right at ease. I would use her again in the future, for sure. The office was also great -- squeezing me in when I did not have a set appointment. A+ all around!

Anonymous Verified Patient December 29th, 2013

She was there for me around every twist and turn during labor. She took my concerns seriously and was an emotional encouragement as well as an expert in midwifery. She gave advice that helped labor along while doing her best to make me more comfortable.

Anonymous Verified Patient December 24th, 2013

A very nice and amiable person, very efficient and good.

Anonymous Verified Patient December 18th, 2013

Michelle is a wonderful care provider. She is warm and caring, explains what the issues are and how to get better. She creates a great environment where I feel I can tell her anything and that she genuinely cares. I couldn't ask for more.

Anonymous Verified Patient November 23rd, 2013

I found the mid wife today to be delightful, sympathetic and helpful. She was very kind and soft with her examination which was a pleasant experience as I find vaginal exams very embarrassing and the use of the speculum normally heavy handed. Not today!

Brenda Verified Patient November 19th, 2013

If you are seeking a midwife for the delivery of your baby, I could not recommend Michelle Chiafulio enough. She has a calm demeanor, positive spirit and helped me realize my goal of natural childbirth without any interventions.

Anonymous Verified Patient November 15th, 2013

Michelle is fantastic. I felt heard and felt like we were problem solving together.

Anonymous Verified Patient November 15th, 2013

Although Michelle is not my primary provider, she still took personal interest in seeing me and treated me as if I was her patient. I was very pleased with the visit.

Anonymous Verified Patient November 11th, 2013

Michelle is professional and easy going at the same time. Michelle listened to my concerns and helped me navigate my options.

Christie Verified Patient October 2nd, 2013

Michelle is a wonderful and professional provider. She is knowledgeable and has a very caring and calm sense about her. I would highly recommend her and everyone at Full Circle. Each visit is always informative and pleasant. Thanks for the excellent care.

Anonymous Verified Patient September 2nd, 2013

My delivery was just as I wanted it. Unfortunately, I have been made to wait up to an hour for office visits.

Anonymous Verified Patient August 23rd, 2013

Michelle is an excellent midwife! She is warm, friendly, and down to earth. As a patient, she's the best medical professional I've ever had! Throughout the labor and delivery of my first child, her sweet spirit was always comforting and encouraging to me.

Anonymous Verified Patient August 1st, 2013

She is a caring and knowledgeable provider. Very satisfied with the care I received.

Anonymous Verified Patient June 30th, 2013

Michelle is wonderful - present and kind.

Anonymous Verified Patient June 24th, 2013

From the first weeks of my pregnancy to birth Michelle was positive, informative, and calming. I could not imagine being with any other doctor or midwife. She is so amazing at her job!!!

Anonymous Verified Patient June 12th, 2013

Although I had a brief wait, it was well worth it for the most positive experience I've ever had with a gynecological health care provider. I felt respected, listened to, and better educated after talking with Midwife Michelle. I definitely recommend her.

Anonymous Verified Patient May 30th, 2013

Love how she took care of me today

Anonymous Verified Patient May 20th, 2013

Without Michelle I do not think I would have made it through my birth!!

Anonymous Verified Patient May 15th, 2013

Michelle was extremely supportive and attentive. Michelle communicated well and was in tune with my body & needs. She guided me through my moments of doubt and weakness. Michelle has an aura of tranquility and is extremely soothing.

Anonymous Verified Patient April 22nd, 2013

Michelle was friendly, professional and very informative.

Stephanie Verified Patient April 14th, 2013

Michelle is extremely patient and compassionate. I think that combined with her knowledge is a rare gift. Her care was a huge difference maker in my pregnancy -she helped regardless of how unusual or time consuming.She listened and was my advocate 100%.

Michelle's Full Circle Blog Articles

Emergency Contraception: What Options are Available, and When is it Safe to Use?

Michelle Chiafulio
October 22, 2014

In September, Five Democratic senators introduced legislation that would require any federally-funded hospital to provide emergency contraception to survivors of sexual assault. This bill would not only provide important access to emergency contraception for rape survivors. It could, additionally, help to push the conversation surrounding emergency contraception back where it belongs: as a private discussion between a woman and her healthcare provider. As healthcare providers that care deeply about our patients, our staff at Full Circle would like to take …

Should You Work With a Midwife, a Doula or Both?

Michelle Chiafulio
October 8, 2014

Your birth process is, perhaps, one of the most monumental experiences of your life. When it comes to making a decision about who will help facilitate your journey, it’s important that you weigh all the factors involved, and choose the type of care that best fits the unique needs of your body, personality and family.  If you’re looking for more intimate and individualized care that seeks to limit intervention unless necessary, then a midwife is probably for you. Midwives work in private …

Are You Vitamin D Deficient?

Michelle Chiafulio
October 1, 2014

Did you know that 40-60% of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient? This is primarily due to the fact that there is only a short list of foods that contain vitamin D – including egg yolk, salmon and cod liver oil. While many people consume their Vitamin D through fortified foods like milk, this is not possible for 75% of the population that is lactose intolerant.Recent studies have discovered a connection between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of certain types of cancers, autoimmune disease, neurologic disease, insulin resistance, …

How to Exercise During Each Trimester of Pregnancy

Michelle Chiafulio
September 24, 2014

Did you know that those who are active throughout their pregnancy have more endurance and flexibility within labor?  Below, we share some of our staff’s recommendations for strengthening your core, increasing your flexibility and improving your stamina. Keep in mind that talking to your health care provider is always a good idea, before taking on strenuous activity during pregnancy.  Feeling like you’re out of alignment, to begin with? Katy Says is an excellent resource to get you started. Running  First trimester: during your first trimester your baby’s major organs are forming, and …

How Will Your Sex Life Change During Pregnancy?

Michelle Chiafulio
September 13, 2014

Have you heard that sex during pregnancy is potentially harmful for your baby?  Nothing could be further from the truth. With amniotic fluid and your cervix safely protecting your baby, your blood volume increasing by about 40%, and yourbreasts growing to about four times their usual size, we recommend that you enjoy (and explore!) your changing body over the coming months.  It’s important to remember that sex in pregnancy can be different for everyone, and change at different times throughout the pregnancy. Below, are some of our tried and true recommendations to enjoying this unique shift in sexuality during pregnancy: 1. Your Body …

5 Tricks to Get your Little Ones to Sleep

Michelle Chiafulio
September 7, 2014

According to the National Sleep Foundation, most children have spent more time asleep than awake by the age of 2. Not to mention, kids will spend about 40% of their time asleep during childhood. Needless to say, sleep is an incredibly part of your little one’s life – not to mention vital to their mental and physical development! Get on the Same Page as Your Partner Sleep routines, in particular, are important to set alongside your partner. Do you have concerns about how it will affect mealtimes, babysitters, continuing to get time alone without your kids? Talk …

Dispelling midwifery myths, one blog post at a time…

Michelle Chiafulio
November 2, 2013

Don’t midwives just deliver babies? Often people look at me with surprise when I mention that I see non-pregnant women for gyn care and family planning. “I thought midwives just deliver babies,” they say. And I am thrilled to be able to dispel a midwifery myth by sharing my experiences with teens. The other day Jessica* came in for an appointment with me at the urging of her mother. I could tell she was slightly embarrassed, yet she summoned her …