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midwifery

How To Build A Successful Midwifery Practice

 

What I Didn't Learn In Midwifery School

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As midwives, we go through years of college and post graduate education and clinical training. We learn a lot about women’s bodies and supporting the natural processes of puberty through menopause, of everything childbearing and breastfeeding. We learn to provide excellent midwifery care - the science and the art of it. We learn prevention and management of complications and emergencies, and to collaborate or refer to a physician, when we are presented with situations beyond our broad scope of practice.

Doulas take a short course to learn how to provide labor and postpartum support, what is needed to mother the mother during this special journey. These things are obviously necessary to a successful midwifery or doula practice. But how to run a thriving midwifery or doula business is not really included in our training. Unless you’re going to be working in a setting where you’re purely an employee with no administrative or marketing role, there are some key elements missing to our education.

For those of us who are called to accompany families through the incredible journey of nurturing and birthing new life into this world, there is no greater honor than when a momma tells us, “I choose you.”

Even after helping moms to give birth to over 1,000 babies, every time I am hired to provide holistic maternity care I am so grateful and so delighted. I know that I will be a part of a powerful experience for that family. Returning power to women, encouraging them to feel their vitality, live in joy and love their birth are some of the hallmarks of my successful midwifery practice, as are my holistic approaches to health and healing.

However, I didn’t earn the opportunity to support the successful births of so many beautiful babies or empower so many inspiring mommas by education alone.

Having a successful midwifery practice of 21 plus years has provided me with many resources and a lot of lessons that I wish I would have known when I first started.

After my education and training, I felt skilled as a doula, childbirth educator, and a midwife. I could help people heal and transform psychic pain with Clarity Breathwork; I could teach yoga for pregnancy, labor and postpartum, and for life. With much experience and ongoing deeper work, I knew I had what it takes to help mommas love their birth experience and I created an online course to share my local practice with the global community. Professionals around the world also take it, to help them help the mommas they serve. Eventually I could write #1 international best selling books on natural holistic birthing and healing emotional pain, trauma and stress so prevalent in the modern world!

On the other hand, I had no clue how to build a successful, thriving practice. I spent a lot of money and time taking many workshops and continuing education. I embarked on my own self-study to master and refine my skills as not only a midwife, but also as an owner of a private practice and its administrator. And I made A LOT of mistakes along the way.

Below are the key things I wish I knew before I embarked on my doula, and my midwifery journey.

10 skills you need to learn (even if you outsource) for a successful midwifery practice

1) Bookkeeping. Billing, collections, taxes, accounts payable. If you don’t have financial systems in place from the start, things can get pretty messy.

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2) Dealing with insurance. If you plan to accept medical insurance, there’s a whole world of claims, codes, and coverage that you need to understand.

3) Online Marketing. Between the ever-changing social media platforms, chat rooms and websites, online marketing can feel overwhelming. It’s important to learn how to stand out on the over-crowded internet.

4) Client paperwork. Making needed practice forms, legal documents, and informative handouts for clients is a must in every practice.

5) Charting. The most efficient chart forms vary from practice to practice. And charting challenging cases can be well...challenging.

6) Professional communications. As you grow your practice, there will be a variety of situations that call for written communications to other health care professionals. These include networking and forming collaborative relationships, thank you notes for excellent supportive care, and summarizing cases for consultations or referrals.

7) External Communications. These are letters written to individuals outside the health care team on behalf of expectant mothers as their obstetric care provider. For example, disability claims, approval for gym membership, dental work, or travel, insurance exemptions, as well as payments and appeals.

8) Team Management. As my practice grew, it became increasingly necessary to have clarity about the roles of other members in my practice. Birth assistants and administrative team members need clear protocols for things like handling emergencies and maintaining certain skill sets.

9) Supply Management. This may seem simple, but not having the right supplies for a care visit or a birth can be a real nuisance. Not to mention embarrassing!

10) Self-care. Setting boundaries in your practice for your own personal health and self-care is key to being the best you can be for everyone in your life - family, clients, and self.

Want to learn how I did all this and more (like how I consistently earn six figures)?

Whether you’re considering a career as a midwife or doula, getting your practice started, or an experienced birth professional looking to take your practice to the next level, my programs will get you where you need to be.

You can have a successful midwifery or doula practice, and I’m here to help.

 

What's a Doula and Why I Recommend One

Art by Amanda Greavette

Art by Amanda Greavette

Happy WorldDoulaWeek! This is a week initiated by a doula in Israel to empower and support doulas around the world to improve the emotional and social health of birthing and postpartum women and their families; this is so needed in modern times, with the breakdown of community and resulting lack of sisterhood mothering, along with the prevalent fear and lack of exposure to birth, and the medicalization of childbirth. Says Dr. John H. Kennel MD, "If a #doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it."  When I think of the many #doulas I have been blessed to work with, I am reminded of strong, beautiful, kind, passionate, dedicated, fun-loving women who have found their calling supporting other women - these women rise by lifting others. Hug your doula this week; and if you don't have one, find one to hug, and research the many proven benefits of having a doula, especially if you are giving birth for the first time. 

I do love my vintage office bumper sticker.

I do love my vintage office bumper sticker.

What is a doula is and why do I recommend one when you don't have that kind of support around you?

A doula or a labor support person like a doula is must - someone calm and nurturing to mother you, who knows how to help mamas in labor, birth and postpartum and trusts the process. Women were surrounded by homebirth and supported other women in labor through history and around many parts of the world still today. In the US and many parts of the modern world today, many mamas don't have this, and it negatively impacts their birth and postpartum. My transfer rate is ~ 7% and it's mostly first time moms with prolonged labors, exhaustion and with a common theme - they did not set themselves up with doula or doula like labor support, despite what I said, now documented by solid research. I want mamas to optimize their chances of having an empowered, deeply positive and healthy birth experience. See if your midwife knows great doulas with a sliding scale. An awesome one is worth every penny.

I could talk for hours about this, but here are the main reasons I believe pregnant moms, especially first timers, those planning to VBAC, and those who have an obstetrician as their provider, should hire a doula. Doulas and midwives compliment one another even in out of hospital birth settings, and preserve rather than interfere with partner & family support & privacy.  Often dads are grateful they do not have to learn to be a labor coach.

In many cultures today, and throughout history, until relatively recently, when birth was moved into the hospitals in the 1920s to 1940s, and people dispersed away from their villages, women supported women through childbirth and postpartum. Doulas fill this void, and are trained to provide emotional support, comfort measures, reassurance, encouragement, empowerment, advocacy, and basically mother the laboring and postpartum mother. Most doulas go through a short training and certification process, although many take continuing education and serve childbearing families in other ways such as facilitating pregnancy and postpartum support circles, doing birth photography, creating mother blessing ceremonies, encapsulating placentas, and becoming childbirth educators to teach childbirth classes. Doulas are not medical providers like midwives and obstetricians, responsible for the actual maternity and newborn care - although midwives are more likely to provide doula like care which is integral to authentic midwifery, that is not their main role.

There is an impressive body of research on the many benefits without risks, of the continuous support of an experienced doula during labor, such as improved coping, self confidence, esteem and empowerment, enhanced satisfaction and positive feelings about their childbirth, shorter and easier labors, an easier time adapting to motherhood with enhanced skills, longer breastfeeding, more positive feelings towards their baby and even improved relationship with their partner! Scientific evidence from gold standard medical studies also reveals less pain and fear, less childbirth interventions including cesarean, vacuum and forceps deliveries, less episiotomies, medication for pain and stimulating labor, less babies in poor condition needing intensive care and longer hospital stays, and all the associated risks to of above interventions, and less postpartum depression. This is HUGE! It's having a personal coach so that you have the most healthiest, wonderful experience possible. All successful professional athletes, performers and most leading businesses and entrepreneurs have a coach of some sort.

Photo by Julia Sywers.

Photo by Julia Sywers.

This is doula love, given by my amazing birth assistant, doula and childbirth educator, to a superhero mama having her second homebirth. "The wisdom and compassion a woman intuitively experiences in childbirth can make her a source of healing and understanding for other women." - said the beloved Steve Gaskin. I want to honor all doulas this happy world doula week, and all superhero mamas who have given birth anyhow, anywhere.  Photo by Julia Sywers.

For personal questions and need for individual guidance you can schedule an online consultation with me- this is one of passions and areas of expertise. Many mamas ask to consult with me about their personal fears and concerns and what to do about them. I love helping mamas in person, and now with this global IG community, via Skype or phone conversation. You can also take my unique online ROCK and LOVE YOUR BIRTH course, which basically guides you through your pregnancy to birth and postpartum journey, as I guide the families in my midwifery practice - without the hands on care, to prepare and plan for an experience of their dreams.

Do you need supplements for preconception and pregnancy? Here are some of my favorite I recommend to mamas in my practice, along with my favorite herbal tea recipe for your journey. 

Flora

Make your Red Raspberry Leaf and Nettle herbal infusion.....rich in needed nutrients and specifically nourishing for pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Place 1 oz of dried red raspberry leaf, 1 oz of dried nettle leaf in a quart-sized glass canning jar with strainer, fill it with boiling water, cover and steep for at least 2 -4 hours at room temperature. Strain and place in a covered pitcher. You can make it in larger quantities and store in the fridge. For taste, dilute with water or steep for less time (but no less than half an hour), add lemon or lime juice, mint leaves or a teaspoon of honey. Drink 1-4 cups daily hot or cold.

I am passionate about changing lives. This 44-day course is changing lives. Vital Mind Reset is a program that will hold your hand and help you heal your life without a prescription. It will also introduce you to a community of people just like you – all working to transform their lives and revive their power and joy. Be a part of this community. Be a part of something greater and get yourself back! This course is a must, by renowned holistic psychiatrist Dr. Kelly Brogan, author of NY Times best seller 'A Mind Of Your Own', a dear friend and trusted colleague I can vouch for personally and support whole heartedly.  

Get a 10% discount on your Sleepod purchases at askrembla.com -use the code SWEETHOME to get your discount. 

Get a 10% discount on your Sleepod purchases ataskrembla.com-use the code SWEETHOME to get your discount. 

Below are some supplies to help you Rock your birthing experience! For more details check a recent  blog I specifically devoted to my recommended top 10 must haves for your birth - to make it easier and so much more wonderful.

The Strength of A Woman

@mikalacatherine

@mikalacatherine

"Today, along with every day since this day, I am so proud to be a woman and a mom." wrote inspired mama @mikalacatherine. "I had the incredible opportunity and privilege to carry my little boy for almost 41 weeks. But what I am most proud of is the fact that I was able to give birth to him. It's something I think about literally every day. I did it. Women every day do it. It blows my mind because the frequency of births makes it seem common. But let me tell you, it is not common. It is quite literally the worst and best thing I have ever done. Having given birth has made me so proud of all moms because now I know what each and every mom has had to go through with pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum. None are easy. All are important and meaningful. I know I risk seeming conceded with this post, but I am so dang proud of myself for doing it. Some days I am in awe of that fact. So today, I am so proud to be a woman and to stand with other women. With all mommies and caretakers. With all moms whether they have carried their babies physically or in their hearts instead. I am honored."

I honor of the billions of strong women who have found their strength and birthed (majority at home, naturally) since the beginning of time. Billions. Something to remember in labor, to encourage and empower. 

I saw the exam table and thought what a great place for warrior - because women are warriors, period - no matter where and how they birthed, whether they had babies or not.  In all these years I have met so many amazing women, women who have faced and dealt with a range of serious life challenges, many many women who grow, birth, feed and raise little humans, and those who were unable to even get pregnant or carry their pregnancies. The warrior pose is in honor of all women who find their strength at times when it seems impossible - and those are the women I have been blessed to know and learn from. 

Warriors are not born and they are not made…Warriors create themselves through trial and error, mistakes and limitations, pain and suffering, being upside down, wide open and vulnerable – and that is strength. Warriors get up and try again in spite of all of it. “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you thought you couldn’t.” Ashley Greene. We women are stronger than we know, and we find that out when we have too. And once we tap into that power, we birth our babies, we handle the challenges, we birth ourselves...each and every day, with the little hardships and the mountains that seem impossible to climb...until we do.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol.

"Behind every man stands no woman. There is no greater man than the man that can acknowledge the woman standing right next to him." ~ Rachel Wolchin. Women rock! Mothers rock! We are strong because we had to be, wiser because we learned through our powerful experiences, always doing our best with what we know, have and are faced with at the time; we are admirable warriors of honor because we stayed the course, did not give up despite the challenges and struggles, and had the courage to plow forward irregardless of fears. Our blessings are that we have a fan club - the little ones we grow within us, birth, nurture and take care of, who adore us without caring about the mess, the laundry, our to-do lists. They are the little ones we adopt or foster. They are the people we deeply care for who are not our babies. We are beautiful to them no matter how we look or dress; we are perfect to them even when we make mistakes. They want our time and loving attention more than any material gift. I would love women to be treated and to treat themselves like the goddesses they are.

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Let Me Help You Create The Happiest Birth Experience Of Your Life...

Whether you're a first time or experienced momma,

Or a midwife, doula, or birth professional guiding mommas..

Regardless if you are planning a birth at home, a hospital, a birth center or need a cesarean section, or if you are taking another childbirth education class…

You Really Can Create The Delivery Of Your Dreams.

And have a blissful birth wherever you are.

More Precious Than A Wedding...A Birth Should Be A Celebration!

Let me show you how to…

  • Understand the sensations of your body and connect your intuition with how your body is communicating and leading you towards what to do during labor
  • Tap into your inner calm to deeply relax yourself,letting go of busy, stressful and fearful thoughts on demand for the health of baby
  • Speak your truth from your heart in a way that deepens your relationships, sets clear boundaries, and has people listen to you and support you before, during and after pregnancy
  • Trust yourself, connect with your body wisdom andcommunicate with baby in belly
  • Connect with natural time and sync your body and mind up with your unique biological clock for ease from pregnancy to postpartum
  • Reprogram negative patterns, stories, and beliefs that undermine your confidence, strength and self trust so you can rock your birth

Physicians and midwives around the world recommend my teachings to their pregnant clients and many Doulas across the country learn the secrets of blissful birthing from me to supplement their Doula Training & Certification process!

To learn more, visit:  LOVE YOUR BIRTH Online Childbirth Course!

It is based on my years of experience, as a midwife and yoga teacher, helping thousands of women tap into their calm and live and birth from a place of grounded relaxation and joy. 

Educate and inspire yourself, ready your body, ready your mind, ready your heart with my list of TOP BOOKS of every category you can imagine listed  - with links on where to get them as books, listen on audio, or read them on kindle. The better prepared we are for a situation, the better the outcome will be. I feel passionate about empowering and educating women to get the most out of their womanhood, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, breastfeeding, mama, yoga and life journeys!

I am excited about this course is by a best selling author whose personal story, insights and life changes after recovery from terminal cancer and a near death experience are beyond inspiring and riveting. Not only is it such a testimony to her strength, I feel it can help moms with many of the physical, emotional and psychological challenges associated with pregnancy, postpartum and beyond, also help all women and the professionals who serve them, and really every human being....to find their strength that is already within them.

“Dying to be Me” by Anita Moorjani emphasizes the importance of YOU. She discusses positive ways you can radically alter beliefs about yourself, your purpose on earth, your health, your relationships, and your life. These lessons may help you in recognizing and dealing with the various challenges you face, and may aid as a tool or a resource to be used for you to learn about YOU and reconnect to the best parts of you – Featuring lessons in Loving Authentically, From Surviving to Thriving, From Fear To Freedom, Finding My Purpose and Creating a Magnificent Life with special dear guest Wayne Dyer. Anita will also inspire you to radically alter your current beliefs about yourself, your purpose on earth, your health, your relationships, and your life;  and she can help you transform your life by living more authentically, discovering your greatest passions, transcending your deepest fears, and living from a place of pure joy. 

Birth: Expect The Unexpected

Certified Nurse Midwife Anne Margolis discussed what happens when labor does not go as planned. She talked about the importance of understanding what a cesarean section is and why it's important to know what happens in case of an emergency.

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When it comes to birth, oftentimes things don’t go as planned. Sometimes this means a woman never makes it to the birthing tub she prepared, filled up and dreamt about birthing in, because in the moment of giving birth, she found her groove and prefers to stay on the squatting stool or her labor progresses quickly, and she needs to push before the tub is filled with water. Sometimes this means certain family members or friends aren’t present for the birth like originally intended because for example a mama is not laboring well with her kids present, they want to leave, or her best friend is sick and could not come to help.

Other times, when things don’t go as planned, this means a woman might need medical or surgical intervention. A common example: a mama is experiencing a hard back labor at home or free standing birth center, her baby persists in the posterior position, she is not progressing for hours despite trying everything and is exhausted; she is transferred to the hospital for Pitocin to augment her labor and the compassionate use of an epidural. A less common example is baby is not tolerating the labor, and is showing signs of worsening distress in any birth setting, and a cesarean is needed to save baby’s life.

Photo by Mary Elliott O'Haire

Photo by Mary Elliott O'Haire

Overall, we must surrender to the process of labor and birth and know that we are being guided and well cared for. To avoid needless suffering, we must embrace what comes our way that is not in our control, as what is meant to happen – because it is happening or did happen; and we can raise to the level of being grateful that we were given exactly what we needed for our benefit, what we each needed on our own journey as a soul temporarily living in a body, even if we do not understand the whys. I am not apologetic about my spiritual perspective and my firm belief that the infinite all powerful being, Spirit or G-d of our own understanding is pure goodness and love for each and everyone one of us.

I’d like to address a question I get asked frequently.

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol

Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol

Why do I mention cesareans in my online posts?

Cesareans can be both planned and unplanned for serious complications or illness. In both cases, they are indeed a birth. They are a birth for baby, a birth for mom, a birth for dad, and a birth of a new family unit.

I want all women to feel lovingly supported and cared for however they birthed and that includes a cesarean.

Art by Catie Atkinson of @spiritysol.

Art by Catie Atkinson of @spiritysol.

I like to post information on what I refer to as a gentle cesarean. It’s still using a home birth model of care, with the principle of restoring humanity to maternity and newborn care – especially in the operating room. A gentle cesarean would include possibly pulling the curtain down, allowing the baby to birth itself gently through the incision, encouraging mom to receive her baby directly from the surgeon, hold her baby skin to skin, delayed cord clamping and early breastfeeding; it can also include allowing her partner, doula and anyone else she needs in the OR by her side.

I want to offer support to all women, and especially women who feel their birth did not go as planned. Although it’s rare for normal births to lead to complications or emergencies requiring life saving medical and surgical interventions, most births don’t go as initially planned.

Photo Credit: @albanydoula

What do I do when things don’t go as planned?

In general, healthy mamas with healthy pregnancies have healthy births. The stats on homebirth  and free standing birth center outcomes are excellent when there is a trained experienced midwife in attendance.

My transfer rate from home to hospital in labor is 7% and that is comparable to those of my colleagues. The vast majority of transfers are non-urgent. In most cases, it’s usually first time vaginal birthers whose labor stops progressing with exhaustion despite us trying every one of our "tricks" to remedy the situation. The need to call 911 and have an urgent ambulance transfer has been a handful of times in 20 years.

The midwife is of course there as a lifeguard - as rarely emergencies do occur. I bring the same emergency equipment and medications that any free-standing birth center has. Most of the time I don't use it and all is well. But when I need it, I have saved lives, as any seasoned midwife can say.

I saw much more catastrophic events when I was an OB nurse in the hospital. I have never lost a mother, but our country's maternal mortality rates are among the highest compared to most modernized countries, and this is largely from risky hospital interventions, which are not happening at home.

I have had to resuscitate significantly less babies at home – we have a screened healthy low risk population, are watching closely and WITH the mama in active labor. We do not intervene unless medically necessary and do not cut the umbilical cord until it stops pulsing or placenta is birthed, unless there is a problem or a request for lotus birth.

In 20 plus years of homebirth midwifery practice I have had to transfer 3 babies to the hospital who did not respond to resuscitation and needed intensive care due to unrelated complications, and this is significantly less than our country's high newborn morbidity and mortality rates.

Yes, we need to be prepared for and have to manage a rare shoulder dystocia (stuck shoulders) but it happens less as our mamas are laboring and birthing in positions that use gravity and maximize the diameter of the pelvis. Yes we have had to treat postpartum hemorrhage not responsive to natural remedies, with medication and IV fluids.

Not to offend animal lovers and vegans, but this moose provided a perfect home "IV pole" for a mama who needed intravenous fluids during her homebirth. Homebirth midwives must be creative.

Not to offend animal lovers and vegans, but this moose provided a perfect home "IV pole" for a mama who needed intravenous fluids during her homebirth. Homebirth midwives must be creative.

I do not convince anyone to have a homebirth as it needs to be each mama's decision. I do provide information so she can make an informed one. She needs to birth where she feels safe or she won't labor well. 

It is one of my passions and areas of expertise to help mama's with these sorts of questions. I offer online consulting for mama's just like you, whether a one hour discussion or a package of consultations and email access from pregnancy through postpartum – which is great for mamas who want and need more personal attention and guidance to a holistic midwife as they have no access to one in their area.

To really best help a mama make a decision unique to her situation - I recommend a conversation. This is not something simply answered on social media, without discussion.

If you want to schedule an online consultation, please go to my website:  - I look forward to connecting more and answering your personal questions.

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Let Me Help You Create The Happiest Birth Experience Of Your Life...

Whether you're a first time or experienced momma,

Or a midwife, doula, or birth professional guiding mommas..

Regardless if you are planning a birth at home, a hospital, a birth center or need a cesarean section, or if you are taking another childbirth education class…

You Really Can Create The Delivery Of Your Dreams.

And have a blissful birth wherever you are.

More Precious Than A Wedding...A Birth Should Be A Celebration!

Let me show you how to…

  • Understand the sensations of your body and connect your intuition with how your body is communicating and leading you towards what to do during labor
  • Tap into your inner calm to deeply relax yourself,letting go of busy, stressful and fearful thoughts on demand for the health of baby
  • Speak your truth from your heart in a way that deepens your relationships, sets clear boundaries, and has people listen to you and support you before, during and after pregnancy
  • Trust yourself, connect with your body wisdom andcommunicate with baby in belly
  • Connect with natural time and sync your body and mind up with your unique biological clock for ease from pregnancy to postpartum
  • Reprogram negative patterns, stories, and beliefs that undermine your confidence, strength and self trust so you can rock your birth

Physicians and midwives around the world recommend my teachings to their pregnant clients and many Doulas across the country learn the secrets of blissful birthing from me to supplement their Doula Training & Certification process!

To learn more, visit:  LOVE YOUR BIRTH Online Childbirth Course!

It is based on my years of experience, as a midwife and yoga teacher, helping thousands of women tap into their calm and live and birth from a place of grounded relaxation and joy. 

Check out my pregnancy herbal tonic recipe and some of my favorite supplements I recommend below, to augment a wholesome healthy diet, so you can meet the increased needs of your body and your growing baby.

 

Do you need supplements? Here are some of my favorite I recommend to mamas in my practice.

Make your Red Raspberry Leaf and Nettle herbal infusion.....rich in needed nutrients and specifically nourishing for pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Place 1 oz of dried red raspberry leaf, 1 oz of dried nettle leaf in a quart-sized glass canning jar with strainer, fill it with boiling water, cover and steep for at least 2 -4 hours at room temperature. Strain and place in a covered pitcher. You can make it in larger quantities and store in the fridge. For taste, dilute with water or steep for less time (but no less than half an hour), add lemon or lime juice, mint leaves or a teaspoon of honey. Drink 1-4 cups daily hot or cold.

The Homebirth Midwifery Model of Care

           As a certified nurse-midwife with a full-scope group homebirth midwifery practice,  I am often asked what the homebirth midwifery model of care actually is.  I can speak for my philosophies, which are shared in general by many of my colleagues. We provide prenatal, labor, delivery, postpartum and newborn care, as well as breastfeeding support for healthy low risk families planning to give birth at home; we also provide gynecological and some primary care services to well women. We offer a unique, comprehensive model of maternity care that provides an exceptional level of holistic support and services to achieve optimum health. We believe there are several ingredients that contribute to a deeply positive and healthful pregnancy, homebirth and postpartum experience, in addition to our midwifery care. These include wholesome nutrition, whole food supplements and healthy joyful living, relevant health education with booksmovies and childbirth classes, connection with a supportive community, regular exercise as well as an ongoing practice of yoga and meditation and other such methods to reduce inner stress and increase inner calm; we often draw on the expertise of additional professionals, such as doulas, childbirth educators, lactation consultants, acupuncturists, massage therapists, chiropractors or osteopaths, and mind/body medicine practitioners to name just a few. We also encourage each woman and partner to take advantage of the many classes and support groups we recommend  – from prenatal yoga, yoga for labor workshop, and postpartum mommy and me yoga classes, positive birth story pregnancy circles, community new mother blessing ceremonies, annual family reunion, postpartum mom circles, pregnancy retreats and a variety of other educational, supportive, and fun events, classes, and ways to connect with other likeminded people and build community – in an effort to bring back the needed village it takes to raise a new baby, and new parents.

           While we continue to expand in our academic, clinical and intuitive knowledge and wisdom, we are also growing in understanding, appreciation and awe of the sanctity of life and its many facets, transitions and phases. Most women are candidates for midwifery care and homebirth; over 92% of pregnant women in our practice will have a homebirth, and we maintain a cesarean section birth rate of less than 5%.  Ongoing individualized care determines the needs of each childbearing family. We have developed practice guidelines in conjunction with other homebirth midwives, evidence based research and the current midwifery literature; they reflect our philosophies and professional standards for practice, and they are reviewed and evaluated periodically as needed. We follow these practice guidelines to protect the health and safety of each individual in our care; and we try our absolute best, within our human capacity, to give our utmost attention and care with integrity, honesty, and heartfelt commitment and dedication.

Photo by Niki Torres

Photo by Niki Torres

            We firmly believe that pregnancy and childbirth are normal natural bodily functions, profoundly spiritual, truly inspiring and an empowering rite of passage for women and their families. We also believe that childbearing families are best served by caregivers who promote and encourage a loving, respectful, supportive, family-centered environment, and maintain trust and calm confidence in the normalcy of the process, until proven otherwise. We have taken and will continue to take every reasonable precaution to ensure safety, comfort, and deep satisfaction, which are our top priorities. A safe and wonderfully positive birth experience requires the joint cooperative efforts of both the expectant family and health care providers, with a relationship based upon good open communication, mutual respect, and shared responsibility. Education of women and their families is an integral part of our services, so that women are able to assume this responsibility for health maintenance and effective utilization of health care. Opportunity is offered to our clients to participate in the planning and implementation of their care, as emphasis is placed on an outcome that satisfies emotional, educational, family and spiritual concerns beyond the obvious physical needs. 

           We feel that every individual has the right to safe and satisfying health care by the provider of their choice, given with respect for personal preferences and cultural variations. We believe that normal, healthy women have the right to birth at home if they choose to do so, and as licensed practitioners, feel an obligation to make birth as safe and satisfying as possible for them. For the overwhelming majority of families, the childbearing experience is one of health rather than illness, and there is a need for preventative and loving supportive care that is not only safe, but also sensitive, compassionate and empowering. We believe in enhancing the normal processes of the female reproductive cycle, pregnancy and birth through education, physical and emotional support, and involvement of significant others according to the choices of each expectant mom and those she chooses and wants to be involved.

            Our responsibilities include review of each woman’s complete health history, physical examination findings, and lab results to determine her eligibility for continued midwifery care and homebirth, as well as ongoing evaluation and guidance throughout pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum with attention to signs of normalcy and/or signs of complications.  All findings are discussed openly; and there will be no routine procedures or interventions unless medically necessary and mutually agreed upon. While childbearing is a healthy, normal and natural process for the vast majority of women and babies, problems can infrequently occur, and need to be recognized and attended to. Although many complications can be prevented or handled simply within our practice, some do require consultation with a collaborative physician or transfer to medical and hospital care to increase the likelihood of a safe outcome.  It is our philosophy that decisions regarding each woman’s care are informed and collaborative, and ultimately hers to make; however, rare emergent situations may arise in which the professional judgment of the midwife and/ or consulting physician must be relied on exclusively for the safety of mother and baby. We are grateful for life saving hospital medical and surgical care when there are serious complications and illness; and it is my hope that the homebirth midwifery model of care can be applied as much as possible in all birth settings, including the operating room, if surgical birth is needed.            

           There is an overwhelming cultural belief in the United States that hospitals are the safest place to give birth, regardless of the extensive scientific data that planned homebirths with skilled midwives suggest otherwise. Numerous studies around the world have documented the safety of planned homebirth by trained professional midwives, with outcomes at least as good, if not better than those occurring in a hospital.  This is especially true of women who have delivered vaginally before. The total slight increase newborn mortality risk of home birth is estimated to be 10 per 10,000 babies born at home, and that 1 in 1000 babies born at home may be adversely effected by the extra transport time in reaching advanced care in the hospital; the absolute risk is small however. Despite spending the most money on obstetric care, the United States ranks among the lowest of industrialized countries around the world in neonatal mortality and morbidity, and ranks quite low in maternal mortality and morbidity as well. Countries that consistently demonstrate the best maternal and newborn outcomes have a large percentage of midwife led maternity care for healthy women experiencing normal pregnancies - which constitutes the vast majority - a higher percentage of homebirth midwifery care with supportive hospital/medical transfer arrangements when needed, while the obstetricians attend to the women with high risk complications and serious illnesses, which is how they are educated as surgeons and medical doctors.  When midwives and obstetricians work together as a team, both using their unique skills, knowledge, expertise and training, the outcomes for moms and babies are far superior. Midwives are trained in guarding the normalcy of pregnancy, birth and postpartum, not disturbing it when all is well, knowing when to compassionately observe with loving support, and when and how to use holistic remedies, or medical intervention only when necessary as a last resort; they are also educated in prevention, assessment and treatment of complications, which most times can be managed simply and naturally, but sometimes involves consultation or referral to an obstetrician. Although unforeseen events and emergencies can occur in any birth setting, some of which can be best handled in a high risk hospital, a low risk healthy woman entering the typical U.S. hospital expecting a normal vaginal birth is subjected to a routine barrage of procedures and interventions that dramatically increase the risk of complications and problems, with potentially longstanding physical and emotional ramifications for both mother and baby. 

            There are many other benefits of homebirth midwifery care, in addition to safety, which provides an alternative to the impersonal, fear based, law suit prevention oriented medical and hospital care that has become prevalent in our society. These benefits include but are not limited to the power of the human touch and presence, of being surrounded by supportive people of a family’s own choosing, security in birthing in a familiar and comfortable environment of home, feeling less inhibited in expressing unique responses to labor (such as making sounds, moving freely, adopting positions of comfort, being intimate with her partner, nursing a toddler, eating and drinking as needed and desired, expressing or practicing individual cultural, value and faith based rituals that enhance coping) -- all of which can lead to easier labors and births, not having to make a decision about when to go to the hospital during labor (going too early can slow progress and increase use of the cascade of risky interventions, while going too late can be intensely uncomfortable or even lead to a risky unplanned birth en route), being able to choose how and when to include children (who are making their own adjustments and are less challenged by a lengthy absence of their parents and excessive interruptions of family routines), enabling uninterrupted family boding and breastfeeding, huge cost savings for insurance companies and those without insurance, and increasing the likelihood of having a deeply empowering and profoundly positive, life changing pregnancy and birth experience. Getting holistic prenatal through postpartum care and birthing in one’s own home attended by a skilled midwife, is a refuge for those who want to protect the normalcy and sanctity of pregnancy and birth. But focusing on the normal does not mean that problems go unrecognized or unattended; rather they are viewed as imbalances that need to be righted, not expected or feared. 

           That being said, certain hazards do exist however, in all settings, whether childbirth occurs in or out of the hospital; and there are risks unique to each setting.  Some of these risks will never be eradicated no matter what our state of technology or medical advancement. The safety of home birth is well documented, but childbirth by its nature is a threshold passage for the mom, and the baby.  Some babies are born with defects and injuries despite all the technology, tests, and skills of the attendants.  In spite of the fact that that hospitalization of birth has failed to eliminate fetal or neonatal death, there is a cultural expectation that doctors and hospitals can guarantee a “perfect baby” every time. This is a pervasive myth. It is impossible for any provider to guarantee much of anything. Birth defects may or may not be detectable by prenatal testing. The practice of midwifery, nursing and medicine are not exact sciences and no assurances can be made regarding the results of examinations, diagnostic tests, treatments, procedures, or interventions. It is impossible for any provider to guarantee a normal healthy birth, mother or baby. Part of the wonder of the miracle of birth is the inherent lack of guarantees in life and birth, and the surrender to a power far bigger than ourselves. Part of life is death, and we often do not know why a person lives or dies. We do have a spiritual perspective, and believe that while we can do our best to do what is humanly possible, most of life, birth and death are ultimately not in our control; we do believe that everything that happens is meant to happen, because it did, and that it happened for our benefit, even if beyond our understanding, as we are souls temporarily residing in bodies, and know that G-d/Spirit of our own understanding is only good. Conception is the beginning of life, yet every life must end sometime.  Part of pregnancy is the excitement of new life and the fear of its loss. This is normal human reality and is in part why pregnancy deepens and matures a woman and man spiritually and emotionally.

Art by Spirit Y Sol

Art by Spirit Y Sol

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

           We try our hardest to give the best care that we possibly can, pray we make the right decisions and that our hands are blessed. But we are all only human.  Midwifery and obstetrics are such humbling professions. And I would choose no other. 

Let Me Help You Create The Happiest Birth Experience Of Your Life...

Whether you're a first time or experienced momma,

Or a midwife, doula, or birth professional guiding mommas..

Regardless if you are planning a birth at home, a hospital, a birth center or need a cesarean section, or if you are taking another childbirth education class…

You Really Can Create The Delivery Of Your Dreams.

And have a blissful birth wherever you are.

More Precious Than A Wedding...A Birth Should Be A Celebration!

Let me show you how to…

  • Understand the sensations of your body and connect your intuition with how your body is communicating and leading you towards what to do during labor
  • Tap into your inner calm to deeply relax yourself,letting go of busy, stressful and fearful thoughts on demand for the health of baby
  • Speak your truth from your heart in a way that deepens your relationships, sets clear boundaries, and has people listen to you and support you before, during and after pregnancy
  • Trust yourself, connect with your body wisdom andcommunicate with baby in belly
  • Connect with natural time and sync your body and mind up with your unique biological clock for ease from pregnancy to postpartum
  • Reprogram negative patterns, stories, and beliefs that undermine your confidence, strength and self trust so you can rock your birth

Physicians and midwives around the world recommend my teachings to their pregnant clients and many Doulas across the country learn the secrets of blissful birthing from me to supplement their Doula Training & Certification process!

To learn more, visit:  LOVE YOUR BIRTH Online Childbirth Course!

It is based on my years of experience, as a midwife and yoga teacher, helping thousands of women tap into their calm and live and birth from a place of grounded relaxation and joy. 

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