Certified midwives in Richmond, Virginia

At The Women’s Hospital at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, around 1,000 babies are delivered by our certified nurse midwives (CNMs) each year. Along with our obstetrician gynecologists (OB/GYNs) and other childbirth specialists, this team works to help you achieve your best birth. As part of that goal, our CNMs offer education and support during your pregnancy to help prepare you for the hard work of labor and birth.

For more information about Henrico Doctors' Hospital's midwifery services or for help finding a doctor, call our free, 24/7 Consult-A-Nurse line at (804) 320-3627 (DOCS).


For high-quality outcomes and care, The Women’s Hospital has received an Excellence Award from Healthgrades for labor and delivery.

Additionally, we were the first hospital in Virginia to earn The Joint Commission’s Perinatal Care Certification for providing safe, patient-centered experiences before and after birth.

Midwifery at our hospital

If you choose to use one of our midwives, your physician will continue to provide you with routine prenatal care. However, you will meet periodically with our CNMs to discuss low-intervention birth preparation, your birth preferences and the communication plan during labor. Throughout this process, you will have many opportunities for both individual and group meetings.

When you go into labor

When you are in labor, you will contact your CNM who will help guide you through the labor process. Our CNMs will care for you from admission through the birth of your baby, and afterwards during your postpartum stay. After you are discharged, you will return to your doctor or CNM for your postpartum follow-up visits.

Low-intervention birth

If you are interested in a low-intervention birth experience, our team of CNMs are available to provide high-touch, low-tech labor and delivery care. Your nurse midwife will provide guidance on laboring at home, when to come to the hospital and how to work with your body and contractions. They will help facilitate your low-intervention birth through:

  • Personalized support
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Wireless monitoring
  • Aromatherapy
  • Alternative labor and birthing positions
  • Skin-to-skin contact after birth
  • Delayed cord clamping

Midwifery-related classes and events

One of the ways you can start learning more about midwifery care at our hospital is by talking with your OB/GYN. You can also take advantage of our classes and events, including:

Low-intervention birth class

You can learn more by attending a low-intervention birth class offered at Henrico Doctors' Hospital. The class provides more information on what a low-intervention birth entails and includes a tour of our labor and delivery unit as well as the opportunity to meet some of our midwives. You do not have to currently be a patient at our hospital to attend.

Meet the Midwives

You can also get some personal interaction with our midwives during one of our Meet the Midwives events. Occurring on the third Saturday of each month, this is your chance to get more education on our midwifery services, ask questions and see if working with a midwife will provide you the birth experience you're looking for.

Meet the Midwives takes place on the third Saturday of each month at 1:00pm in the Nelson Education Room at Henrico Doctors' Hospital.

To meet with our midwifery team, either at our event or one-on-one, please call (804) 381-7946 or email us at midwives@hcahealthcare.com.

Our midwives

Ashlie Buell, CNM, WHNP

Ashlie graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with an undergraduate degree in women’s studies. She has a master's degree in women’s health from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, where she participated in activities on behalf of the Massachusetts Coalition for Midwifery to facilitate communication regarding legislative women’s health efforts. She received her second master’s degree from the University of California in San Francisco as a CNM and women’s health nurse practitioner.

Ashlie is an active member in the American College of Nurse-Midwives. She is certified in basic life support, electronic fetal monitoring, neonatal resuscitation, basic obstetric ultrasound and first assist for cesarean section. Ashlie has experience as a birth doula and has even been involved in training others in doula care. Her interests include practicing full-scope midwifery with a diverse population of women and families.

Elizabeth Markey, MSN, CNM

Elizabeth attended Georgetown University for her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, graduating summa cum laude in 2011. She then pursued a Master of Science in Nurse-Midwifery from Frontier Nursing University. Prior to joining the CNM Hospitalist Group at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, Elizabeth practiced on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where she provided full-scope nurse-midwifery care. She then relocated to Richmond to join the CNM team at VCUHealth, where she specialized in assisting women desiring natural childbirth.

As a midwife, Elizabeth knows that childbirth can be profoundly empowering, especially when women feel supported, informed and safe in the experience. Respecting that the path to achieving this is different for every person and every birth, Elizabeth’s joy is providing women with compassionate care tailored to their unique needs. She is passionate about physiologic labor support, improving maternal and neonatal outcomes and the therapeutic effects of maternal voice, positioning and provider presence on the labor process.

She is happy to join her colleagues at The Women’s Hospital in helping women and families attain a birth experience that they will cherish.

Brenda Radford, MSN, CNM

Brenda is the director of the Nurse Midwife Hospitalist Group. She is originally from Canada and has spent time living in Europe, Australia and all over the U.S. She has a love of normal physiological birth ignited by the experience of birthing her own children in Canada and Germany. She is excited to expand access to midwifery care and promote family centered care at Henrico Doctors' Hospital.

Brenda received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2002 from the College of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul, Minnesota. She spent many years working all over the country in all sub-specialties of maternal/child health. She has experience in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), postpartum, antepartum, newborn nursery and labor and delivery departments. While working as a nurse at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), she started the skin-to-skin initiative immediately following childbirth. In 2008, she became an international board-certified lactation consultant® (IBCLC). While at Stafford Hospital, she started both an inpatient and outpatient lactation service to aid new families in establishing breastfeeding.

In 2013 she earned her Masters of Science in Nursing from Old Dominion University with a midwifery endorsement from Shenandoah University. She began her midwifery career at a busy, privately owned practice in New York state. She encouraged more family-friendly practices into the hospital culture, including hydrotherapy for pain relief in labor, use of birth and peanut balls and placing infants skin-to-skin with their mother immediately following delivery. In 2015, she joined the midwives at St. Francis in the Richmond area.

Barbara Royston, MSN, CNM

Barbara Royston graduated with an associate's degree in nursing from Piedmont Virginia Community College in 2002. She graduated with her bachelor's degree from James Madison University in 2012 and earned her master's degree from from James Madison University/Shenandoah University in 2015. Barbara was born and raised in Albemarle County and has three daughters. Her family likes all things outdoors—sports, camping and fishing— and on the rare rainy day, she likes to read, sew and cook.

She decided to become a midwife after experiencing the quality care midwives provide. Before becoming a midwife, she was a labor and delivery nurse at UVA for 12 years. She enjoys providing relationship-based care and guiding women to have a satisfying birth experience. She is eager to continue to grow as a midwife while supporting the growth of Henrico Doctors' Hospital's midwifery program. When women feel empowered, they can move mountains.

Courtney Subudhi, MSN, CNM

Courtney Subudhi is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Indiana State University and her Master of Science in Nursing from Frontier Nursing University. She earned her certification in midwifery and is nationally board certified as a CNM.

As of 2019, Courtney brings five years of experience as a CNM to the midwifery team at Henrico Doctors'. Additionally, Courtney possesses over 13 years of skilled nursing expertise and has served as a staff nurse for neurology and neurosurgery, trauma surgery and critical care.

Courtney provides care for women during their labor and postpartum period. Courtney is passionate about women’s healthcare and prides herself on developing a trusting relationship with her patients. She strives to provide the best evidence-based care to all her patients. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, baking, sewing, going to the beach and hanging out with her animals, when time allows. Courtney is delighted to be serving the women of the Richmond metro area. She looks forward to meeting you and your family.

Frequently asked questions about midwives

Who can use a CNM?

Our midwives typically care for women experiencing low-risk pregnancies. We will happily work with your OB/GYN to determine if there are risk factors that would exclude you from receiving midwifery care.

What if I need to be induced or decide I want pain medication?

CNMs are able to provide induction or augmentation of labor if necessary. Our CNMs know that each labor and woman are unique and will continue to support women who choose pain medication.

What happens if I have a complication during my birth?

Your CNM, OB/GYN and our hospitalist physicians collaborate to provide excellent care to you and your baby. If you experience a rare or unexpected complication, this team will work together to ensure a safe delivery. Additionally, our CNMs stay with their patients, even if the need for intervention arises.

Do you accept my insurance?

Yes. There is no additional charge for midwifery care, and billing is handled through your prenatal care provider’s office.

Are there times when a midwife is not available?

No. Midwifery care is available 24/7, all year at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital.

Midwifery at HCA Virginia

Midwives are professionals who aid in the processes of labor, delivery and postpartum care. Midwifery minimizes the level of medical intervention during pregnancy and delivery. Midwives can be present during a hospital delivery.

Learn about Midwifery