We Started a Blog!
One of our favorite parts of being midwives is the camaraderie we share with other women. We enjoy being “with women,” not just being there for their birth or helping them with birth control or pap smears. It’s that sharing of life while providing care - mommy stories, family experiences, work/home balance, love and loss, LIFE! We get to welcome new life all the time, which is an amazing and beautiful privilege every. single. time. But seeing women grow and change over the years is the real treat, we get to bear witness to amazing and beautiful from well beyond birth! In this partnership with women, we have learned so much about women’s fears, challenges, interests, and barriers to good health.
Midwifery differs from the medical model in that so much of our job is sharing information or education. It would be impossible to give a specific percentage but it’s the large majority of every kind of visit - preconception, nutrition, preventative screenings, birth control options, problem management options, normal menses, menopause, labor and birth expectations. In every visit, we are educating, and thereby empowering. When women are educated on their health choices and care is provided in partnership with the woman, empowerment happens. This is the fundamental of midwifery. From that fundamental grows the foundation which includes: believing that birth is normal, avoiding medical intervention unless medically indicated, providing holistic care, providing evidence based care, and listening to women.
We both came to midwifery on similar paths. Both started as nurses who desired to advance our careers and practice women’s health in the provider role. We became certified nurse midwives and are members of the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM). We worked together as new graduates in a large OB GYN practice, where we learned a lot about the medical model of obstetrics and gynecology. We gained valuable experience working in a high volume setting. We were very fortunate to work for very skilled physicians who truly care for their patients and who were willing to share knowledge with us. While baby midwives ourselves, we delivered more children of our own, number two for Suzanne and number three for Michelle. The experience of delivering our own children while working in a medical model continued to change us. Importantly, we learned that the medical model of OB GYN has so much to gain from the art of midwifery. OB GYN care and midwifery care can also be complementary and work together, but in that setting, we did not have enough space to consistently practice our art. We could provide a midwifery touch in isolated interactions, but the model did not support true midwifery. Many women would “beg” us for more access to midwifery. Our interest in opening our own practice was sparked! It was from that space that we left the medical model and opened our private full scope midwifery practice, With Women Wellness, located in Manchester, Connecticut. Three years later, in the midst of running every aspect of our practice, 2 more children joined our families. 10 years have passed since we became midwives, 5 years as business owners/partners and we have survived to tell this tale. We have been a part of over 750 births as a practice in the hospital setting, we have provided comprehensive women’s health care to many, have met so many amazing people and gathered so much experience along the way.
Although we care for women in the professional setting, the discussion doesn’t just stop at the office door. Friends and family often ask us about pregnancy, birth, women’s health, and midwifery outside the office as well. And we love to share our knowledge and experience! But as we mentioned we are both busy mamas and it never fails that someone asks a question and immediately the three year old does a dead sprint to the road or punches his best frenemy in the chest and the moment is gone, the questions go unanswered. So many times at a postpartum visit we will lament with the client that we wish we could visit again soon, perhaps over coffee, just to talk Life, knowing it may be a year before we get a chance to see each other again. Life is busy and it’s always a push and pull between personal life and the demands of a midwifery practice. Here we are pushing 10 years of doing this life and we thought, hey we need to bring this to the people. We should finally finish those conversations that got disrupted by a dirty diaper or a temper tantrum gone awry or a long year between postpartum visit and next annual exam.
We are living in a time where there are so many wonderful blogs about birth. Evidenced-Based Birth (evidencebasedbirth.com) is an amazing resource for women who want the facts about modern obstetrics. The Birth Hour podcast (thebirthhour.com) honors the beauty of birth in story and offers advice on birth, motherhood and parenting. Resources like Grow Midwifery (growmidwives.com) encourages access to midwifery through advocacy and practice development. Numerous social media personalities are encouraging women to strike out on their own and fulfill their dreams of being a business owner. We are here because we have done all that and our hope is to bring it all to you.
So, in comes MidwifeMamas. It’s a blog with hopes to grow into so much more! It’s all your questions answered. It’s all the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly and sometimes the beautiful ugly. It’s the empowering birth stories, typical patient questions, and the inner secrets of how we keep our heads on straight. We want to give you the evidence, talk about midwifery, and why it all matters. Perhaps you will be inspired by us to strike out and start your own mama owned business or practice?! We come with lots of insight on being a working mother, entrepreneurship, medical practice management and the fun part, you know, LIFE! - the stuff we find out ourselves chatting about in the office and in our social circles. This is the midwife life, never turning it off, always on-call even when we aren’t, emotions that go from highest of highs to the lowest of lows. We want to share Life with you all - from our unique MidwifeMamas perspective.