Gladys Nichols Milton
Gladys Nichols Milton
Gladys Delores Nichols was born at Caney Creek in Walton County, Florida. She was licensed to practice midwifery in 1959, after training with two doctors in Florala, Alabama; her training sponsored the Walton County Health Department.
Gladys Nichols Milton delivered at least 2000 babies (possibly as many as 3000) in her career as a midwife. She established the clinic now known as Eleanor Milton Memorial Birthing Center in Laurel Hill, Florida in 1976. In the 1980s she was active in the effort to keep traditional midwifery legal in Florida; as a result of her visibility, her clinic and home were the targets of arson. The state closed her clinic temporarily, and suspended her license in the 1980s, as health code standards changed.
Milton was also interested in literacy in her community, and worked for years to have a library built in north Walton County. After her death, a branch of the county library was established in Paxton, and named for Milton in honor of her efforts.
Milton wrote two published memoirs, Why Not Me? (1993, with Wendy Bovard), and Beyond the Storm (1997, with Christine Fulwylie-Bankston).
Personal life and legacy
In 1992, she was honored with the Sage Femme, an award of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA). In 1994, she was inducted into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame. In 2001, she was inducted into the Okaloosa County Hall of Fame. Her daughter Maria Milton continued her work after she died. In 2015 she was named a “Woman of Light” by the DeFuniak Springs Woman’s Club.
- Gladys Nichols Milton, Florida Commission on the Status of Women.
- Gladys Milton, Founder; Milton Memorial Birthing Center.
- Mike Gurspan, "Milton Birthing Center 40th Anniversary" WTVY.com (August 15, 2016).
- Gladys Milton, Florida Memory.
- Melissa Denmark, "'The Governor's Full Support': Legalizing Direct-Entyr Midwifery in Florida", in Robbie Davis-Floyd and Christine Barber Johnson, eds., Mainstreaming Midwives: The Politics of Change (Routledge 2012): 228-230. ISBN 9781136059544
- Wendy Bovard and Gladys Milton, Why Not Me?: The Story of Gladys Milton, Midwife (Book Publishing Co. 1993).
- Gladys Milton and Christine Fulwylie, Beyond the Storm (Boaz-Fulwylie Press 1997). ISBN 9781885742056
- Reid Tucker, "DFS Woman's Club Honors Local Midwife Gladys Milton as 'Woman of Light'" DeFuniak Herald (May 15, 2015).
- MANA.org, About Us, Honors, Awards, and Scholarships, Sage Femme.