My first experience with birth was the day I became a mom. My daughter was born on a rainy April afternoon in 2010 in a hospital, after prodromal labor, pitocin, artificial rupture of membranes and an epidural. It was the best day of my life, and yet not the experience I prepared for whatsoever. I shouldn’t have been expected to know the hidden culture of birth in a hospital. I really thought my wishes would be honored but I was defenseless against protocol and provider pressure and the incredible feat of having a dang baby. (Read all about my 2 births HERE). Later, learning that what I had needed was a doula, I sought more information about the type of support I should have had. My quest for education led me to working as a birth doula for almost 50 hospital births before I discovered the secret to respectful, empowering births.
Home is the place where crazy, hippy, reckless people have their babies right? I would have never thrown this option into the mix when choosing where to birth my first baby. In hindsight, I didn’t really choose, I just did what was expected of most pregnant women in our western lifestyle. Supporting a labor at my first homebirth rocked my little doula socks off. The midwife was skilled, professional and comforting. The parents were relaxed, in control and respected. A few births later and it was a done deal- I would become someone who could offer more families this type of care.
My love for the birth process served me well in midwifery school. It was easy to apply my background and passion to the philosophies of out of hospital birth. I worked endlessly for 5 years growing and practicing midwifery in birth centers and private practices with 9 different mentors. I learned a lot about birth and experienced first hand the areas that needed the most improvement. There were 2 huge problems that stood out to me...
First, women NEED midwifery care. In the US we spend more per capita on medical maternity care than any other first world country, yet we rank below 50 other countries in healthy outcomes. Planned homebirth with a trained midwife drastically reduces a woman's risk for major surgery, preventable complications and postpartum depression. Midwifery care shines in increasing rates of birth satisfaction, successful breastfeeding and postpartum recovery. I felt a huge pull to increase accessibility to this type of care by developing a plan to share it and help women find it.
Second, midwives NEED each other. The taste of burn-out I got in midwifery school was enough to make me second-guess pursuing this path altogether. The way midwifery practice was modeled for me at the time I was learning placed one midwife constantly on-call, responsible to carry the weight of clinical care, triaging clients, running the business and having some (broken) semblance of a personal life. This was certainly not the way I planned to thrive in my passion. I knew I needed a partner to share this work with and to commit to long-term sustainable midwifery practices.
Unexpected conversations with my midwife friend Kelly (you know her!) led to discovering she felt the same way about these important things. Kelly had a vision that matched my big ideas for how we wanted to see midwifery care expressed in our community. These dreams of ours all center around what we felt women needed most- to be known and understood and valued right where they are- to have direct access to compassionate care that inspires them to own their birth experience. We want to meet women in whatever stage of life and whatever plans for birth they have- we want to meet you!