Birth Boot Camp has been busy lately. With a recent instructor training and a pending doula training, we managed to fit in a visit to the MANA (Midwives Association of North America) Conference last week. Alexa Gumm (our recruiter) and Donna Ryan (our founder) had a great time and were able to meet so many of the amazing midwives who are out there working so hard to make birth better and more accessible for women everywhere. Here are some highlights from their trip.
On the drive out to St Louis, Donna and Alexa got to meet up with some of our Tulsa, Oklahoma instructors. From left to right Kelsey Oliphant, Joey Minick, Donna Ryan, Maggie Butterfield and Alexa Gumm. You can find all of our Oklahoma childbirth instructors here.
Can you believe the amazing view from the hotel room?! St Louis is a beautiful city!
We love these beautiful ladies and their tireless work for birthing women! Alexa and Donna headed out to meet and mingle with midwives at the MANA conference!
Donna and Alexa working the booth. They got to meet so many wonderful women at the MANA conference. Can you see those beautiful new Birth Boot Camp DOULA booklets? And all the amazing coupons and brochures that were handed out? We love this job!
There were more than people friends at MANA. This is Maggie, a french bulldog who made gremlin sounds and came to visit our booth.
One of the many people we had the opportunity to meet was this midwife and homeopath, Cheryl, who works in Longmont, Colorado. Good times!
That sums up some of the highlights of the recent Birth Boot Camp trip to MANA. We love helping get the word out about the work we are doing to help women and their families have more access to education regarding their birth. There is much to be done but we are so excited to be part of this process. If you are a midwife and are interested in having some of our brochures or coupons to give to your clients, please contact Birth Boot Camp! We would love to help you out.
One thing that is very important to us at Birth Boot Camp is supporting and encouraging the midwifery model of care. We are honored to have a very experienced and insightful midwife, Melody Morrow, CPM, as a member of our Advisory Board. Why is Melody so excited about Birth Boot Camp? She has seen the classes improve outcomes for her clients. Here are a few of her words. Thank you, Melody, for your support!
Birth Boot Camp childbirth education has had an incredible impact on my midwifery practice. As a midwife, I have found that the midwifery clientele has shifted recently and become more mainstream. Women are now choosing midwifery care that haven’t necessarily researched and taken responsibility for their choices in birth. Some just want to try a waterbirth because it looked cool on television. What this means for me as a midwife is that if I take these clients, I have to make sure they are properly educated before the birth. If they don't receive that education, I will likely be spending many, many more hours with them in pre-labor, labor and possibly a traumatic transport to the hospital.
I began to require that all my primips (first time moms) and women birthing outside the hospital for the first time take a childbirth class. While something was better than nothing, I didn’t necessarily notice a significant difference in outcomes for my clients who took a short class (4-6 weeks). However, I did notice that clients who took a longer Birth Boot Camp class did often have very different outcomes. Women were less fearful and more determined. They participated in their care and were making informed choices. Dads were providing excellent, confident support throughout pregnancy and, noticeably, in labor. Moms who would have otherwise had epidurals or C-sections, were having unmedicated births.
I believe Birth Boot Camp will enhance and support your work as a midwife because:
1. It promotes and affirms the midwifery model of care. The Birth Boot Camp curriculum is based on the Mother Friendly Childbirth Initiative. What they teach aligns perfectly with how I practice.
2. It gives parents 10 weeks of intentional education. This enables parents to make appropriate decisions for their care and increases their ownership of responsibility. In short, more families "own" their birth choices. Education lasts approximately 18-24 hours, so they simply have time to learn what they need.
3. The live classes promote peer support, encouragement and determination. Think of these couples meeting for 10 solid weeks to learn about birth with like-minded people and a dedicated teacher who has done it before. They are supported and positive about their birth and having more of their emotional needs met.
4. Someone else, besides you, is encouraging the same things you want them to hear. Good nutrition, exercise, positioning, and much more are all things they are learning about OUTSIDE of your visits, not just during them. My clients are more likely to be intentional in caring for themselves when they are given directed information, statistics, etc. and discussing these things with their partner and other birth workers.
5. Dads become more confident, involved and less fearful. A confident and involved dad really helps with mom's well-being. Many clients will become even more passionate and appreciative of the choices they are making, even if they don’t have their desired outcome.
6. It is contemporary. The films are current and interesting. The topics concerning birth and interventions are up-to-date. In class, they discuss babywearing, cloth diapering, chiropractic care, doulas, Spinning Babies™, and other things that we want our clients to know about, but may not have time to fully teach them. Their class will connect them to resources that I might not be able to.
7. It forces couples to stop and focus on their pregnancy in this fast paced world. Couples connect with their pregnancy and with each other. They discuss issues and they come to an understanding. They appreciate their baby and the experience together. I wish every couple did this!
8. Knowledge is power. This means less confused, fearful phone calls and false labor runs for you.
In short, when my couples access the kind of quality childbirth education provided by Birth Boot Camp they have a better birth experience, my job is easier, and if things don't go as they planned, they are comforted in knowing that they did all they could. This kind of childbirth education truly makes a difference.
Melody Morrow, CPM, LM, BBCI loves babies and birth. Since 1998 she has attended over 1,100 births and assisted in the training of over 70 midwifery students. She is passionate about preventative, respectful care for mothers, babies, and their families. Melody works in Texas at Edenway Birth Center as the administrator and senior consulting midwife. She is enthusiastic about her calling and loves to help empower families as they become informed and educated about their choices during their maternity and birth experiences.
Are you thinking about a home birth but wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips to get the ball rolling.
First, decide what you are looking for in a midwife. What things do you feel you will need at your birth in order to feel safe and happy? What kind of skills do you want your midwife to bring to the table?
Second, start talking to birth professionals- Doulas, natural childbirth educators, and experienced mothers in your area may be able to help you find a midwife who fits with you and has the skills and personality that you would like present at your birth. Once you get a good list of people, then start interviewing midwives. After an initial phone interview, you may decide to meet in person. Bringing your partner to this meeting may be a great idea. You will both be around her during the birth and it is important that you both have a good relationship with her.
Third, begin educating yourself. Choosing a home birth is just the beginning of your birth journey. You will benefit from a comprehensive natural childbirth class that covers relaxation and helps prepare your partner to help you. Reading books, especially those geared towards home birth, can help prepare your body and mind for the process.
Fourth, do everything possible to stay low risk and healthy so that you can get the birth you desire. Proper nutrition, chiropractic care, exercise, and, of course, education make a huge difference in having the joyous home birth you dream of.
Home birth is growing more popular and can be a wonderful option for the prepared family.
Many women desire the benefits of midwifery care for their pregnancy but become overwhelmed when they start to look into it and find that there are many different types of midwives to choose from.
While options, certifications, and even legality vary from one state to another and from one country to the next, here are a few basic tips for deciding what type of midwife you want. There isn't necessarily a right answer, just different choices for different situations.
The Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)- For women who want to be attended by a midwife in a hospital setting, the CNM is a great option. A CNM is someone who has trained as a registered nurse and then attended further training (often a master's program) to specialize in midwifery. A CNM has some medical background and can function in various different settings. Many work within a hospital, some work in or own birth centers outside of the hospital, and some even attend home births (though the legality of this varies from state to state).
The Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)- For women who desire to birth at home, a CPM is often what she will choose. A Certified Professional Midwife is usually certified through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and has completed their testing and requirements.
A CPM is not required to have the medical background that a CNM has but has completed reading, apprenticing, and testing in order to specialize in normal birth and has also studied variations and emergency situations that can occur in a birth setting.
Some states also have their own state licensing and will have licensed midwives (or LM) who have passed their state licensing. States vary in their requirements.
There are also, in some states, Direct Entry Midwives (DEM) who have studied midwifery and apprenticed but have not necessarily licensed through an organization or school. A DEM will work in a home or birth center setting but not within the hospital.
Knowing your options and the different types of midwives is a wonderful start to making informed birth choices for you and your baby.