Mary Love, APRN, CNM, NP-C, is Director and Co-founder, and Jessica Gonzales is Co-founder, of Heart of Houston Birth & Wellness Center.
Mary Love’s first encounter with a midwife was on the night she was born as she slipped into her awaiting hands. It was in her early twenties that she heard the call and set out on her own path to become a midwife, first attending workshops and assisting Pamela Hunt and the other midwives at The Farm. She received a bachelor’s degree in nursing science from Tennessee State University and her master’s in nursing from Vanderbilt University. In addition to being a Certified Nurse-Midwife, she is also a Family Nurse Practitioner with experience in pediatric primary, urgent, and emergency care.
Mary believes in a person’s right to make their own decisions regarding their health and well-being and believes how a baby is born, whether it be an “natural” birth or one with all the bells and whistles, is not as important as the way the birthing person internalizes the experience. After giving birth a person should feel strong, proud, empowered, and confident, because this sets the tone for what comes after – the long hard task of parenthood.
Mary also believes collaboration between professionals and systems is vital. Developing collaborative relationships that optimize client care and strengthen professional relationships is key to improving maternal and neonatal outcomes. Building respectful relationships and bridges across professions at the heart of her work. She is married and shares four wonderful children with her husband.
Jessica Gonzales, Doula, has worked in the field of women’s health for over 20 years. The midwives who mentored her taught her that pregnancy and birth should not be treated as an illness, but embraced as a transformative life event. Her passion for birth has fueled her love for educating, supporting, and empowering families.
Her experience includes medical office and lab administration as well as medical business startups. She trained as a midwife’s assistant in Summertown, Tennessee, with the midwives at The Farm. Jessica founded Village Birth and Babies, a full-service doula service for families in the Houston area. From breastfeeding to basic newborn care, Jessica understands the power of prenatal and postpartum support groups designed to create community.
Jessica is the mother of two incredible little girls conceived via IVF and Reciprocal IVF. She is committed to reducing the maternal mortality rate in Houston by improving equal access to evidence-based care for people of color. Every family is unique and every family deserves support before, during, and after birth.