I’ve given birth…NOW WHAT?

As a midwife I feel that my work really only begins with the birth!  Pregnancy is one thing and then postpartum is a whole ‘nother story!

I practice a holistic approach to caring for women which is based on a relationship and involves at least 5 or more postpartum care visits to help you get started on a good foot.  The sad thing is that only about 1% of women in my local area are choosing home birth midwifery care!  I am on a mission to get as many women as I can to realize that individualized care is the better way to go but until more women start actually choosing out of hospital providers we all have to work harder to change things for ALL women!

It is appalling to me that when women deliver in a hospital they are turned loose in 24-48 hours and are not seen again by their care provider for several weeks!  So many things can go wrong during the first couple of weeks after having a baby!  Women are experiencing so much more crammed into a few short weeks then the entire 9 months of pregnancy combined!

ACOG is announcing in their May release that they are recommending a change in the postpartum care schedule from 1 visit over 6 weeks to 3 visits over 12 weeks.  While I am very glad to see this recommendation I hope the Dr’s will begin implementing this, I am not holding my breath!  (ACOG has made many recommendations that have not been embraced by Dr’s.) They are also supporting a full 6 weeks of PAID paternal leave with 100% benefits!  Finally they are hearing the women and responding, now all we need to do is get the Dr’s themselves and the employers on board!

In a typical relationship with a family who has allowed me to serve them for their care I see them at least 5 times in the first 6 weeks after birth.  I will see them more if needed.  The reality is that the transition to motherhood, even if it is not your first time, can be extremely difficult.  Half of all women who die from pregnancy related complications do so in the first few weeks after actually having their baby! So these things are happening at home when you have already been released from the hospital!  This is one reason why midwifery care is better because we come to you whenever you need it during that important postpartum period of at least 6 weeks.  You need a competent and supportive provider who will actually be present to help you with the many different issues:

-Breastfeeding

-Engorgement  -Helping baby latch on

-Evaluating for tongue or lip ties

-Healing after birth

-Mood variances

-Watching for complications that can be life threatening

-Evaluating the health and well being of the baby

-Supporting the emotional variances in each unique woman

-And so much more!

There is so much that needs to be done to support new moms!  This begins during the pregnancy through educating women on what to expect, how to prepare for this difficult yet wonderful time and helping women set up the right support system to help her in those early days.

Mentally prepare yourself to take VERY special care of yourself for an additional full 12 weeks, this is sometimes called the 4th trimester.   This is honestly likely the most important phase of welcoming a new baby. This is the time when you really have the HARD life struggles of caring for a new life, a new body, and all the issues that come along with breastfeeding and an expanding family.

So what does this really look like?

Before the baby even gets here make it clear to your extended family and friends that they are only allowed to come over to see baby if they are willing to:  -bring a meal  -do laundry  -clean a bathroom  -do some dishes  -or anything else you may need done!

They also should not come unannounced! They need to check in first to make sure it is a time when mom and baby are not resting or feeding and only stay a short while.

You need to give yourself a full week of doing nothing but caring for  yourself and your baby!   Do not plan any outings, stay home.  Mom and dad and other siblings need a good several days of bonding without a lot of visitors!  Breastfeeding can be hard those first few days and very few women are comfortable doing so in front of visitors.  Have another adult or older responsible teenager in the home to help with the other children, laundry, meals and basic household duties.  This should be the partner but if there is not a partner or if he must return to work right away then plan for this!  Women should NEVER jump right back into their normal work load! They need at least a week to do nothing, then another week to slowly start doing a few more things then still take it easy for a while longer.

As mothers, sisters and friends we should also support and encourage other women to do the same when they become a new mom, I do not care if you are having your first or your 6th baby, the same rules apply here!

I do what I can with my clients who are having home births. I would like to be able to reach more women with this vital information.  Please share this with as many as you can and be this support when you have a close woman going through the 4th trimester.

 

*Link to the ACOG update 

Am I Cut Out For Natural Birth?

I hear women say all the time,

“I want to be in the hospital in case something happens” or

“I want to have my first baby in the hospital and if it goes well I will maybe try a home birth next time” or

“If I were at home I would have died!” or or or ……….. it goes on and on.

The problem with this thinking is that it is all backwards.

The rate of intervention and c-sections in the hospitals is not conducive to any of these lines of thought.   The reality is you have a much better chance of having a great birth if you do it at home with a skilled attendant!   Women are dying because of all the routine interventions and because they are not getting the individual personal care every single women deserves!

You see the midwife model of care is so vastly different from the medical model of caring for pregnant and laboring women they cannot even begin to be compared!  In the hospital there are so many rules, regulations, restrictions and policies that hinder a healthy women from having an all natural birth.  The environment itself is a huge issue and you have all these people in and out. You have cultivated a relationship with a Dr over your pregnancy and the chances of actually getting that Dr are slim to none, unless you schedule your delivery which leads to a whole host of other huge issues that cause interventions that cause bad outcomes.   It cascades into a mess and then you arrive at home a few days later wondering how your actual experience veered so far off track and how you ended up with so much that you never wanted and you may even have some type of trauma just because so much happened to you and it happened so fast that you were not able to wrap your head around it at the moment.

You see……the deal is most healthy women do not need that!  This does not have to happen to you!  Most healthy women do just fine and have beautiful healthy babies and have an experience they will cherish forever, even first time moms!

You have choices and you can have a beautiful, empowering, respectful home birth with a caring attendant who will include you in every decision made and you will cherish the memory!

As a midwife I have a deep relationship with my birthing clients and am vested in the very best outcome for them and their babies!!  I monitor you very closely and will get you to a medical facility right away if you or your baby need to be there.

What has got me on this topic?………Just in the last week I have come across so many articles where women are being severely overlooked with severe health issues during labor or in the immediate postpartum period and they are dying or coming very close to it.  NPR is doing a huge ongoing investigation to the death rate of women because these things are not being tracked and no one is being held accountable for them.   These things are not happening in homes this is all happening in big respected hospitals.  It is very scary.   Many of those situations that women come out of saying, “I would have died if I were at home” are often brought on because of unnecessary interventions that never should have happened to begin with that actually put them in danger.  Those things will not happen at home, at least with me as your midwife!!

I do not want you to read this and be afraid of birth.  I want you to read this and realize that you are not necessarily safer if you choose to birth in the hospital.  It is just a different place with many more restrictions on you that make a natural birth more difficult.  Yes, if something really bad were to happen you are where needed interventions can take place but those real emergencies are literally only about a 1% occurrence in normal birth.

You are POWERFUL.

You are STRONGER THAN YOU REALIZE.

You have the POWER to birth your baby safely at home!

I would love to answer specific questions if you are wondering if home birth can be an option for you!

Lifestyle of Natural Living and Wellbeing

As a midwife it is very important to me to be healthy and strong, both physically and mentally.

I have been going down this path for almost 16 years now and I have been learning how to do this first hand very strongly since 2014 when I had an adrenal crash.   It is one thing to do things in a natural way because you know it is best .  It is totally different to be pushed to do things in a natural way because you have become so allergic to everything and sick that your body cannot handle anything but NATURAL and safe and pure.

You see, our environments have become so overwhelmed with toxic overload from man made chemicals that some of us just cannot handle it anymore.  This is me!  My body has forced me to go the alternative route which really is the natural route for most things anymore.  Now I have come to LOVE the all natural life style.  Many of my clients are already here!  Many are much further along in the all natural lifestyle than me.  The thing is there is always someone who is a little behind you and you can always encourage support and guide them!

My natural life has evolved very much over the years.  I have been using herbs and making my own tinctures and herbal supplements for years and have been using essential oils too! However, very recently I just decided to learn as much as I can about essential oils and work harder at implementing them into my life for every day uses!  This is just a natural flow from herbs to oils as and essential oil is just a very condensed herbal infusion.  So different circumstances in my life exposed me to a specific brand of oils and I have felt as if I should be incorporating them into my life and my practice.

This lead me into finding a new and wonderful addiction!

Not only to oils but to a specific brand of oils!

Young Living has opened a whole new world up to me and my senses!  I love these oils!  I have been using health food store oils for many years but recently made the switch to Young Loving and I have been so blown away at the much greater quality of them!  I wish someone would have explained this to me a long time ago!

If you are like me you think an oil is an oil! NO WAY that is WRONG!  The purity and quality and potency of the Young Living oils can NOT in any way be compared to any other oil on the market!

Young Living has a Seed to Seal* promise which is the highest level of qualify control out there!

I have shared these oils with others who have used other brands and they too are shocked at the difference!  I love them so much and a tiny bit goes a long way!

Young Living not only has oils but also has many different health and well being supplements!

These are high quality and I am happy to refer families to use them because I trust the source and they have only natural ingredients.  I can even safely recommend my clients with the MTHFR gene mutation to use these!  I suggest all my expecting and my postpartum moms to use these!

They even have a baby line called Seedlings* and an oil specific for babies called Gentle Baby*

So If you want to know more about essential oils then hit me up!   I will try not to overwhelm you with my enthusiasm!

Perseverance + Persistence equals success!

When you have a big goal in mind and you are moving towards it there will for sure be lots of road blocks, set backs and challenges.

 

This especially happens when you are specifically purposed to do what you are working towards.

 

These can make you doubt why you are doing this and make you wonder if you should keep going.

You can look at these things as telling you to stop and turn around or you embrace them as

opportunities to GROW and BECOME BETTER!  Growing and becoming better is the option I choose!

 

I will ever be growing and learning and encountering new things I have never seen or done.  My old self

often wants to retreat back to where I am comfortable but that does not help me in any way!

 

Even if something is uncomfortable it is wise to ask yourself how you can learn from the experience.

 

Moving forward is the only real option otherwise you are moving backwards.

 

These last few weeks have brought many difficult experiences into my practice.  I could have become

prideful and puffed myself up refusing to realize the learning curve I am on.  I see these trials as an

attempt to weed out the weak and weak I am NOT!

 

I am actually very thankful when these things happen because in the end I am a much better person,

a much better midwife, a much better friend, wife, mother sister daughter….. BETTER in every aspect of my life!

 

I LOVE to learn and grow, even though it does not feel good at the moment!

I am so thankful for mentors who are willing to take the time to guide me and

support me and encourage me!  They see value in what I contribute and

that makes me want to push on!

 

On a different note I have been 5.5 hours away from my family for the past 2.5 months and I am now home (for about a month)

and so happy for it!  I am so very blessed beyond what I could have ever imagined!  I literally have the best husband and children to

hold everything together here at home while I am away chasing a crazy dream.  It also instills in the children to actually chase

your dreams and follow your passion no matter how hard it may be!

 

 

Where have you been?

I have gotten this A LOT lately.  “Where have you been? You are not answering my calls or texts!”

 

Off and on since last October I have been working at a busy rural birth center in Wisconsin.  I have absolutely NO cell reception up here where I am at!  Who would have guessed that there would be a 100 mile circle right here where AT&T does not cover?!

 

SO….If you have been trying to get a hold of me please understand that I am not just ignoring you!  I am simply not getting any calls or texts at all!  I am checking my voice mail a couple times a week from the land line here so you can leave a voice mail or simply email me!  Of course my ‘contact me’ page works well too!

 

What am I doing up here so far away from my awesome family?  Chasing this crazy dream of becoming a Certified Professional Midwife!    I am utterly blessed with a totally wonderful family who takes care of everything while I am away.  My beautiful daughter who steps into my role while I am away is leaving us this year to start her own home.  I will be done just in time for her to launch.   It is a great year!  We are planning for a beautiful union the end of May!

 

I started out up here last fall working with an amazing team and it worked so well (they seem to really like me) they asked me to return this year and so I committed to stick with them for several months.  Since Jan 25th I have been here mainly and only going home to see my family for about 3 days every other week. I will be home the full month of April then will be back here for most of May and June.  Being apart from my family has been the most difficult thing as they are truly my heart and soul!  However, my desire and calling to fill the role of midwife is so strong that I know this is what I need to do to move forward in life.

 

I am sad this has reduced my opportunities to serve families as their doula but it is opening doors for me to do so much more.  Come July I will be home full time again and should not be doing any more of these extended trips.

 

I have formed friendships with these amazing women that will never be broken and I am so thankful for that!

 

I greatly appreciate all the wonderful families who have been so supportive of me and this crazy journey.   I look forward to sharing some great news soon so check back later this spring.

 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

 

Sabrina

 

 

Media outlets

I was happy to have the privilege of speaking with a local reporter about natural birth!

You can check out that page by clicking here.

The new low intervention birth program at one of our local hospitals drew the attention of Sarah Shahriari, a local news anchor for a talk radio program.  She invited me to speak about my role as doula and natural birth in general.  We had a wonderful conversation about why some women seek a more natural birth and what inspired me to work in this field.  You can read her words and hear a small portion of that interview HERE.

My ultimate passion in life is sharing the good news that all women have the power within themselves to birth naturally.  It takes education (awareness) and a will to do so, however, with the right team and tools anyone can do it!  I am here to help you to realize the potential you have with in yourself to truly embrace the entire birth experience and cherish it for what it is.  You have this primal power within yourself to do this lost art of birthing your baby naturally.  I am just here to make you realize this and bring this out in yourself.

Anytime I have the chance to share this information I am excited.  When more women learn that they have options and find the right team to achieve their goal the more babies there are that come into the world gently.  Babies deserve to born gently into this world with a team who understand that transition needs to be gentle and respected.

If you are seeking a natural birth at home or in the hospital and have any questions at all please contact me.  I would love to connect you with the right team to support you in your desires.

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

2016: My year of greatness!

Well here we are, 2016.  I recall when I was a child I couldn’t even imagine seeing this year.  It is surreal to me that I am living in it!  I always knew I would pursue my dream of making a living doing something I love.  I am almost there!  This road of mine to become a CPM has been a real roller coaster.  I’ve learned more about my own limitations (yes I have discovered I actually have them)  and people than I ever imagined.  Last year was a wonderful year yet also a difficult one as I had to come to terms with my health issues and learn how to live with serious health challenges that I had ignored for far too long.  It was a year of learning and digging myself out of a hole.  All the while there were very great things happening in my family that made 2015 so special in so many ways.

 

It was exactly 3 years ago that I began my serious pursuit of becoming a CPM.  I have forged paths that many said I could not. At this point I can see the end in sight and I am so thankful for where I have been, what I have been through and where I am now.  I have pushed myself to my limits and now know how to work within my challenges.  I have discovered that I am great at what I do and that women really value my contribution to their lives.

 

I am so blessed to have met so many wonderful women this year and to have gained wisdom from sister midwives who have decades of experience.  I have traveled the country more than I ever thought I would in pursuit of this dream. There are genuine women who are honest and true to their cores, like myself, in this work and I am so happy to have discovered them and had the privilege of working with them!  I am so thankful for upfront and honest mentors who are transparent and open with me.  I have found what I began looking for 3 years ago and now I am able to flourish and finish what my heart is set on!

 

There is so much happening here in my life.  My oldest daughter will be married and they will go on a dream honeymoon.  We are gaining a wonderful son who fits perfectly with us.  I have so much to be thankful for yet so much work still to be done.  I embrace the work and look forward to the rewards of my labor.  I will never give up on my dreams!  I want to encourage you to never give up on your dreams either!  Open your mind to great things happening to you and you will soar.  Set higher expectations and watch yourself exceed them!  2016 will be great for you too!

 

 

Why Choose Homebirth?

~Homebirth is safe!~

Why should you choose homebirth?

Homebirth is the ideal place for having a baby.

1-The hospital is for sick people!  Why would a perfectly healthy woman go there to deliver her baby?  Why expose your sweet little baby to all those germs if you don’t need to?

2-Your baby was conceived at home why not birth her at home?

3-Birth is an intimate private matter that should not be among a bunch of strangers!

4-Your wishes are more likely to be honored at home with a skilled midwife who does not have hospital protocol dictating what she does.  We midwives are servants to you the mom, not bureaucracy.

5- Birth is safer at home with a skilled attendant!

6- We midwives WANT to get to know you and what is important to you!  We spend TIME with you at every prenatal, LISTENING to your concerns, careful to get you all the information you seek.

We believe in the woman’s ability to birth her child!   Rather than pushing drugs we will empower you with natural ways to take care of yourself and manage the intensity of labor.

7-Homebirth is Cheaper!

Shall I go on?

Check out my pinterest board titled: Homebirth is safer than hospital!

This is where I have gathered several articles with facts to back up the truth that, for low risk moms, a planned home is safer!

Also check out my doula and midwifery boards for lots more encouraging helpful information!

 

 

I am someone who, years ago, believed home birth was an unwise and foolish choice. This was back when I believed I would have died in childbirth had I not had a life saving surgical delivery(c-section).   It was not until after my fourth child that I discovered the truth about midwifery care vs. the medical model of birth.   I read many sweet stories of women who had births in which they were respected and honored and I wanted that for myself.  I was determined my next births would be different.  As soon as I had my 5th child with midwives and a wonderful homebirth Dr. I decided one day I would serve women in the same way.

 

I had 3 beautiful births (they were all scary VBAC’s…lol) and learned first hand that it is possible and safe to be honored and respected in birth.  I learned that I can ride the waves of birth and not die of pain.  I became empowered and from that point on I have had a passion to tell other women about this wonderful secret!.

 

Sadly, I cannot give this to others.  All I can do is share my experience and encourage and support moms.  I can help them and assist them but it is they who must have the determination to be in charge and go for the birth they want!

 

Obviously, this takes a bit of humility as we do need to realize what is wise and what is foolish.   This is why it is important to hire a midwife who has managed different things and knows when there are reasons a hospital may be needed. Mothers Embrace is that safe place where you can have your baby gently and with respect, knowing that if you need to be in the hospital we are going to get you there!  I am able to see the signs of danger and know what to do to help you.  There is a time and place for hospital assisted birth, however for most women it is not necessary.  I really feel strongly that if you really want a great birth you should do it at home with a trained midwife(if you do not have any risk factors).  A well trained midwife is able to handle most problems at home and if something is arising that may need medical attention we can see this and transfer mom to the hospital.

 

A study was recently released that exposed the truth on home  birth vs. hospital birth.  Here is the summary of findings:

“For women who had previously given birth, the risk of severe outcomes for home births was one per 1,000; for hospital births, it was 2.3 per 1,000. This represented a reduction in risk of 58.3 percent. The rate per 1,000 for postpartum hemorrhage was 19.6 for home births, compared to 37.6 for hospitals, a 47.9 percent reduction. The rates per 1,000 for manual removal of the placenta were 8.5 and 19.6, respectively, representing a risk reduction of 56.9 percent.”

This is the study:    Primary source: BMJ
Source reference:
de Jonge A et al “Severe adverse maternal outcomes among low risk women with planned home versus hospital births in the Netherlands: nationwide cohort study” BMJ 2013; DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f3263.

 

My care will help you to find the power with in yourself to bring your child into the world on your own, following your own God given instincts.  I will help you to embrace your birth experience in all it is.  You will be in charge of your birth and your desires will be respected, not ignored.  We will work as a team to have the safest birth possible.  Please also understand that if something comes up and you really do need to be in the hospital, I will be the first to tell you this and get you where you need to be.

 

Finally I need to mention the money.  Midwifery Care & Home Birth offer substantial savings over medical models of care and hospital birth. This is largely due to the elimination of an expensive hospitalization but is also because of the midwifery focus on prevention & wellness without an over reliance on technology that has not proven to be of value for the low risk pregnancy.  Most of our clients will pay cash out of pocket.   Many will be reimbursed by their insurance company as we do file a claim with them for you after your birth.  Regardless, it will cost you much less than going the traditional medical route.

 

 

Ever learning, and the strength of women.

As I attend more and more births I learn from every single one.  I am often bewildered in the experience.  I am baffled sometimes at what happens.

 

I have so many thoughts in my mind right now about we as women and our current state of being.  Are we stronger now than we were 100 years ago?  Many would say ‘yes!” I am not so sure. Can we naturally birth our babies like women could 100 years ago?  Honestly, I would have to say no.   I believe many things have contributed to this. In years past women would pass on their stories of birth to their daughters and grand daughters and nieces and friends.   Today so few women have natural birth stories to share that it is getting so hard to find them.  This has really affected the outcomes of so many women.  I really think that some women are not prepared for the hard work of birth.  This is due in part to the lack of sharing of times past.  Also this sharing is a symptom of our larger issue of lack of true family and community, however this is another huge topic not to be delved into now.

 

Those of us who have done this hard work of natural birth need to share these experiences with others who share that they would like to have one.   Please do not try and scare them out of this choice! Rather gently let them know that it IS work but oh so worth it!  We DO have the strength to accomplish this hard work.  However, we have to be in touch with this reality that it is work, it is not called labor because it is easy.

 

I have witnessed first time moms who have fallen for propaganda that birth will not hurt.  What we need to be telling them is that it will be intense and it will be work but we CAN do it.  If we tell them it will not hurt we are setting them up for failure.  I also hear a lot of women saying they cannot get on top of the pain.  FORGET that!  Birth is so intense and awesome it will overcome you!  What you need to do is learn how you will ride the waves.  You will not have a good outcome if you try to stay on top of it.  You honestly have to just let go, you are not in control when you are in labor, in a sense I mean.  We want you in control meaning you make choices, but as far as controlling the sensations, you will not have control of that.  What has worked for me and other women who PREPARE  is to practice serious relaxation and control of our thoughts when the waves come.  You need to find a way in which you can simply relax all of your body and focus your mind on staying calm and allow what needs to happen in your body happen.  This is not easy, again it is work, this is why we call it LABOR.

 

A huge part of why I do this work is to communicate this truth with women.  It does not serve you at all if we never address this issue.  I have seen the fact that the lack of addressing this leads to women not able to birth their own child.  This is so sad. Yes, we do have the option to simply get a c-section because we are not prepared for the job we have, however that then opens us to a whole other set of complications and things we will have to work through later.  How about we do the preparation and work before hand.  This is what I vow to do for all my clients.  Lets work together to get you prepared for birth.

Doctors birth at home too!

I was so blessed to read this wonderful article written by a physician on her choice to birth at home.  I highly encourage you to check it out!

 

http://bringbirthhome.com/guest-writers/physicians-home-birth-presentation/

 

The truth of the matter is if you want a birth in which you are honestly respected and shown honor for the hard work you are doing you should hire that special midwife who will nurture this to happen.  Normal birth, which is most births, is NOT an emergency, it is NOT an illness!!  Normal birth is a NORMAL bodily function.  Your body is created to be able to do this.  The problem today is that there is so much FEAR tied up in the thought of birth and this taints the truth.  If you want to have any say in your birth please consider finding a midwife who will do what we do best and that is empower and support mothers.  It is not our job to manage your labor.  It is our job to support you and encourage you.  We stand by as a support and are there IF something needs to be done.  We will know and see a potential problem arising and we will talk with you about this.  We have the skills and knowledge to know when a hospital is necessary, and will get you there if need be.

 

I can say that if you hire me as your midwife your pregnancy will be a journey of empowerment.  Knowledge really is power and I will help you to learn as much as you can so that you go into your birth confident and ready.  Birth is not easy!  It is not meant to be easy.  However, it can still be wonderful.  I feel like I can also say this from my own personal experience.  I have had many different kinds of births(c-section, hospital induction, hospital natural, and home birth) and can honestly say the med-free out of hospital births do not compare to anything you could get in a hospital. I also had a great induction with an epidural (no pain) and would still take the all natural, including the intensity, of the home birth!

 

They key is having the loving support of a skilled midwife by your side! ~ 😉

 

Feel free to check out my empowering Pinterest page for birth:

 

www.pinterest.com/sabrinam28

 

I have both a doula board and a midwifery board, both are very encouraging to homebirth!