Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tools of My Trade #13

The Washing Machine and the Dryer
This may seem to be a funny tool, however, it is crucial.  Working at a birth center means doing a lot of cleaning...scrubbing toilets, washing dishes, mopping the floor, doing laundry.  Our washer seems to always be running, with laundry from births and the clinic, it is a busy machine.  Sometimes, when people new on the path of midiwfery, approach me with stars in their eyes about working at a birth center, I tell them about the laundry.  It is not all about catching the babies, it is about all the background work that makes it possible.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tools of My Trade #12

Listening to the Babes
Fetoscopes, pinard horns and dopplers all are ways that we can listen into the world of the baby.  They can give us insights and clues...if we truly listen.  There is more to listening than counting the rate and noting the rhythm of the heartbeat.  The subtle changes that can occur in labor, the overall atmosphere of the womb, locating the placenta.  Truly listening requires skill and patience both gathered through experience and time. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tools of My Trade #11

The Herb Garden
At our birth center, we have a gorgeous herb garden.  It is filled with many herbs that are beneficial for pregnancy, labor and birth, postpartum and breastfeeding.  We use many complimentary healing modalities with our clients and the use of herbs is one of them.  We recommend herbal teas, tinctures and salves for a variety of reasons.  What are some of your favorite herbs for a woman's childbearing year?...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Typically (if there is such a thing), I am able to spend time with each Mama in labor.  To sit with her, support her, just be present.  However, every once in a while, there will be a shift that is just soooo busy. In hindsight, I think that I get one of these about every three months....which is interesting because it seems as though the babies on these shifts also come in three's.

It had been a busy shift during the day.  Nothing to do with labor....a beautiful 2 day postpartum visit, a visit to the hospital to sit with a family who had been transferred the day before.  Multitudes of phone calls; a Mama with mastitis, a Mama who had fallen and hit her belly, a Mama at 34 weeks who thought her water might have broken, a Mama struggling with postpartum depression.  When the sun set, I was already tired and then the labors started!

Jill came in first, with her husband and her grandmother, to have her first baby.  After much work, they all welcomed a beautiful baby girl....who was so blessed to have her great-grandmother witness her entrance!  Then, Mary came in, laboring with her third baby and surrounded by family members and her husband.  The sex of the baby was a surprise.  Their other two children are boys....when this sweet one was born, Daddy peeked under the blanket, gave a sly smile and announced "It's a Girl!"  The hoopla that erupted in the room was contagious.  At first I thought, well they are really excited about having a girl now...then it came out that this little one was the eighth grandchild and the first girl!  That explained the level of the hoopla.  Finally, Sue came in to work on the birth of her second child, she was with her husband.  Not long after arriving, they welcomed thier chubby, yummy daughter to the world.  Three births in three hours....there is that number three again!