Caren Baker Crootof, RN, CNM
Caren Baker Crootof, RN, CNM, has been providing midwife care at this practice for 19 years.
She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1974. Her passion for learning earned her several nursing scholarships and she graduated summa cum laude.
While her husband was studying in Italy, Caren attended the University of Perugia School of Midwifery. She completed her degree in 1978, graduating with high honors. Upon returning to the states Ms. Baker attended Booth Maternity Internship Program affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania. After practicing in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, Caren was very happy to return home to the Capital Region.
Caren knew she wanted to work with women after her nursing school
experience with women’s self-help clinics. “I learned early in my
education about the strength of women and their special health care
needs. In those days birth was not ‘family centered’ and laboring women
were treated very differently from how they are treated today. I knew I
wanted to help women have more control over their birth experience.”
Learning something from every mother, Caren takes notes after each birth. “My favorite moments include watching the mother after birth…witnessing the pride and accomplishment that comes with birth is a true joy. I am repeatedly amazed at the courage, strength and instinctual beauty of a woman giving birth. It is truly an honor and privilege to be of any assistance at such an important time in a person’s life. I am so lucky to get to be a part of a miracle.”
Caren has also learned to love gynecology. Some of her patients who she is currently helping with menopause are women whose births she attended. “This is another transitional life event where I can be of help”. Caren discusses self-help strategies and alternative therapies for women with gynecological problems and menopause. “Like birth, menopause is natural but it doesn’t mean you can’t use a little help.”
Ms. Baker is the proud mother of three children who span the USA from Boston, Massachusetts to Bozeman, Montana. Nothing makes her happier than when they come home to visit and her empty nest is full again.
Caren is relearning piano after many years and enjoys her book club. She loves her trips to Italy where she meets old friends, colleagues, and even some babies she “caught.”