[This post is a follow-up to the last one, so start there if you haven't read it yet.]
Imagine a team of like-minded, like-hearted midwives who trust one another, working fluidly together in mutual respect and open communication, alternating days on and off call, helping one another take care of themselves so that they can be at their best for their shared clients. Imagine this small team (3 midwives, plus a couple students) each being invested in your care. Throughout your pregnancy you see each one of them at least twice, growing in trust and relationship along the way.
If you run into hurdles or are having questions during your pregnancy, you know that your midwifery team puts their heads, hearts, and intuition together routinely to collaboratively understand and support your journey. Whereas one of them will emphasize the need to do lab work for the mystery symptom you've been experiencing, another might have a gut feeling that you need to take some time to work through a specific issue in your relationship with your partner. Together, your team is able to develop a more holistic and complete method of caring for you and your baby as each brings her own strengths to the table.
If your birth turns out to be one of those marathon births (God forbid!), stretching across days, with all of your attendants low on sleep and losing higher cognitive functioning, you know that another midwife and student from the team can be pulled in seamlessly to freshen the energy and give renewed perspective while the over-tired midwife goes home to rest so that she also can rejoin you later on with new capacity and better judgement.
In the weeks following your baby's birth, there will be 5 people crooning over and celebrating him and or her, and 5 people who are committed to helping you have a good start together in your postpartum season.
Because each one of the midwives on your team is regularly taking days off to do things that nourish and replenish her, you can be sure that she's showing up fresh and whole, ready to give you the very best of herself whenever she is with you. You can trust that any judgement calls she helps you to make during your labor are not being influenced by her sleep deprivation, exhaustion or burn out but only by the best interest of you and your baby. Your midwives, living in balance and practicing self-care, are better for it, and you benefit from that.
We believe that the world needs more midwives because women and babies need easier access to the kind of care that they provide. We believe that collective care (many-for-one) will enhance the midwifery model of care. Without losing the treasured parts of midwifery care, it will be adding to it.
Growing up with a midwife mom means I know what it feels like to always be second, to know that a laboring mom trumped school events or even just a lazy Saturday with her cleaning and hanging out. I know the deep hurts that left for our relationship and the struggle to heal it. I walked into midwifery hoping I could do it better, I had a dream of a group based practice so life could happen with me in it on both sides. I heard the concept of "Modern Midwifery" by Madeline Murray and recognized it as exactly what I have been working towards and talking about for years. We need more midwives BUT we need Healthy, Whole midwifes. If you never get to go on vacation or even a day to the lake with your own kids how can you be whole? If you have back to back marathon births how can you show up for the next mom without worries. Sustainable midwifery is a change in thought process. It requires the midwife not to hold the space of "I can be all things to all people." It asks us to see that more is not less: you will get more time with your team, you will get more hands to help, you will receive more love and compassion, and you will get presence with a healthy fulfilled group.
By working together, we can achieve such greatness.
We can never underestimate the effectiveness of a healthy, well rested,
and present midwife.~Madeline Murray
We are pleased to announce that beginning Oct. 16th 2017, this is the model of care you will be enveloped into, as we welcome a new midwife to Simply Born Midwifery Services. Kendra Ippel, in addition to students Brooke and Charis, are eagerly anticipating growing as a team with Sara for the sake of each and every one of you.
This growth will start small with Kendra doing every other Mondays prenatals and a weekend of on call time each month as well as helping with births as needed! The students role will remain the same but they will get the new choice of call days so that student life is more sustainable. I can't tell you how excited we are! We are also loving the birth assistants at the Birth House.
As with all change, there maybe some growing pains or things we aren't seeing. We ask that you share your feelings with us and help us to fix those things as they happen to help us be better at serving you and your families.
This collaborative care will have many additional perks.
- Sara's had a long-time dream to do classes and seminars encompassing not just pregnancy and birth but also postpartum, parenting, and behind (if you have ideas of things you or your friend groups want to learn around women's health leave a comment!)
- We love the idea of and are exploring what it might look to implement group prenatals and postpartums
- Offering well woman care for those want to experience the midwifery flavor when it comes to fertility counseling, pap smears and exams
- In-person mom meet-ups, to remind you that you aren't alone or crazy
- Support groups for miscarriage and infant loss
- Holistic health care learning opportunities for using herbs, nutrition and oils for your family
- Enabling time for the team to invest in the behind-the-scenes aspects of midwifery, such as legal advocacy on a state and national level so that midwifery care continues to be a safe and legal option for all women
- Setting aside time for your midwives to continue their education through CEUs on the most current maternal and infant health topics, research and best practices, so that her care is informed by the latest evidence based care
We will go into detail about each of these bullet points in the coming weeks.