A Better Birth Starts With Your Care Provider | Bring Birth Home

Home Birth Advocacy, Pregnancy

A Better Birth Starts With Your Care Provider

2 Comments 03 September 2012

The best birth starts with knowing what your ideal birth looks like. Your next step is finding a care provider. This post will help you find the right doctor or midwife. 

Today on Labor Day, hundreds of thousands of families are taking to the streets in the United States to rally in support of evidence-based maternity care.

Sitting in my nightgown sipping coffee while my eldest plays make-believe in her fort, my youngest is sleeping peacefully. I can’t help but think about how blessed I am to have given birth to both of them in the comfort and safety of home.

But what I believe was more important than where I gave birth, is who I gave birth with – my midwife.

The best advice can I offer women and families from home today is to doctors and/or midwives until you find the perfect person for the job. Your care provider will make all the difference in your birth.

You MUST know, like and trust the person who will help you have a healthy pregnancy and safe, fulfilling birth experience.

Who is your care provider? Do you know their first and last name? Do they know your name? I sure hope so!

Position yourself as a leader: Be the one in charge

If you want to give birth in a hospital and hire an OB/GYN, schedule a meeting with several doctors for a consultation – in their personal office. If you are interviewing a home birth midwife, you can have this meeting at your home, her home or a public meeting place like a coffee shop.

Make sure that you’re sitting in their personal office, seated in the chair before their desk, and bring a list of questions to ask them.

Ask for references and testimonials from former clients. Ask to speak with those who work with that doctor most frequently and fact check his or her answers to your questions. Make sure everything ads up. If something feels off, walk away.

Just a thought – could you bring along a pocket sized recording devise? Is that legal? Wouldn’t that be the ultimate shocker if you set the tape recorder on his/her desktop?! I guarantee that would be a game changer!

By approaching this process in this way, you are positioning yourself as the boss, interviewing and eventually hiring the perfect person for the job.

You just put the power in your hands.

Remember, there is absolutely no need to feel less than or “beneath” your doctor. He or she is your client, not the other way around!

For more information about how to find the right provider for you, continue reading here: Peaceful Birth – Choosing a Care Provider

Find a local Certified Professional Midwife or Certified Nurse Midwife through these useful links

Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Sue Sene says:

    Too bad laws prevent me from hiring the provider I want – NOT an OB. I had a successful vbac last summer but despite that, a midwife cannot attend my birth outside of a hospital due to laws in my state. I’m still trying to find another alternative before I become pregnant again (which will hopefully be soon).


  1. The Delicacy of a Woman’s Power During Labor and Birth | Bring Birth HomeOctober 16, 2012

    […] Women sometimes find themselves in this position during pregnancy, labor and childbirth. We enter into uncharted territory and might feel nervous about making decisions. Doubts arise. It feels good to have a guide – someone whom you trust to help navigate.  This is why I so strongly advocate choosing the right care provider. […]

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There is Light at the End of the Birth Canal | Bring Birth Home

Home Birth Advocacy

There is Light at the End of the Birth Canal

2 Comments 20 September 2012

It has been said that the hardest part of the journey takes place right before the breakthrough or transformation.

This is the position in which I see childbirth in the United States and around the world.

Everywhere, there are uprisings. People taking to the streets, reclaiming their power, strengthening their resolve, beckoning with their voices. No matter where, or what the reason, there is a similar tune: freedom.

Tonight I was part of a viewing of Freedom For Birth, a documentary film by One World Birth, and sat on a panel discussion after the film.

The entire event was exhilarating for me to be a part of. Although I had already seen the film earlier this week to prepare for the panel discussion, the depth in which I appreciated it’s content was just as, if not more, powerful as I’d felt watching for the first time.

Freedom For Birth is a film that will outrage you, that is for sure. The statistics and stories told from around the world about the abuses to women during childbirth are completely unacceptable.

But the film is also incredibly inspiring in that one can answer with confidence that change is not only necessary, I’ll go as far to say it’s on the horizon.

We’ve hit the bottom of the abyss. (I’m paraphrasing Michel Odent said in the film.) His statement is followed by this question, written out for us on the screen: How do we climb out of the abyss?

The same way our children come into the world. Pushing against what feels like nothing, twisting and turning, feeling stuck and then moving another inch. Sometimes backward an inch too. Yet all while, on some deep instinctual level, we are moving forward toward the light.

Our journey to reclaiming birth as a fundamental human right will be long and hard. But there is a very bright light at the end of the tunnel. That light signifies freedom. As long as each person who believes in birth lets their voice be heard – on a micro and macro level – there is nowhere to go but upward.

My final message is in these few action steps you can take to #1, ensure you have a choice in creating your ideal birth experience, and #2, how women and families can take back the power of childbirth.

  • Have a vision for your birth. Dream about your birth. Draw your birth. Meditate over your birth. What does it look like? How do you want to feel? What is the best way to bring your baby into this world?
  • Find the right care provider. I’m talking the perfect fit. You must know like and trust that person with all your heart and know your entire gut instinct says they are the one. Interview as many as you need to.
  • Share your positive pregnancy experiences and empowering birth stories with everyone you can. The world needs to hear about beautiful births. The balance is currently tipped in the favor of negative and fear-based tales. Let’s change that!
  • Get involved on a local, statewide, and even a national level to help change the conversation in a positive direction. What organizations can you become a part of? For me, it’s FoMM, and attending screenings like the one tonight (and BBH of course!).

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. What action steps do you think we can take as a nation, or as a planet of human beings, to change the culture of birth for the better?

Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Steve says:

    Agree with all you said Kaitlin! In response to your question “What can we do…”, I’d suggest the answer is ask more questions.

    Skeptical of why my wife wanted to fire her first OB, I leaned in to ask, listen & learn more. I followed the “trust, but verify” thingie we often hear.

    I thought I’d verify the maternity care system was legit & my wife might be uber ‘emotional’ because of all the changes happening inside her.

    Verification never happened. It was clear at my first go at pealing back the onion… many of the decisions made by those providing maternity care went against the best available evidence. So I asked more questions. And found more of the same.

    I knew I didn’t need a medical degree to see the situation, understand the options on the table & make a good decision. It required the same risk/reward decision making brain power as crossing the street.

    Where do we want to go (across the street to point A)? What options might help us get there (walking, running, skipping or patiently waiting to give us even more options)? What are the risks/rewards of each? What are we comfortable doing? Who will help us get there?

    We had to ask the questions to make better decisions, no one was going to do it for us.

    Like you said, I think that is what moms (couples) are realizing…to get better care, you have to be involved in the care. It’s naive & silly to expect the best results (for anything we’d do) by just showing up and expecting it all to ‘just happen’.

    Amazing, Incredible & Phenomenal care exists, but it’s up to us to seek it.

    I’d suggest our action steps begin with asking more questions of ourselves & of those who’ll potentially provide our care. Then asking those we hire to show us the evidence backing up their responses, decisions & actions.

    • Debra White says:

      I love this response and the street crossing analogy!! Another way to become positively involved is to be proactive politically in MI right now. There is, once again, murmuring about regulation of homebirth/midwives, even from among some very well intended MI midwives. Caution! Cross this street by another way! This action from a pro-abortive senator, Gretchen Whitmer, is the first step, or foot in the door, to making us comply with the overbearing policies that hospitals already enact, NO ThANK YOU!

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The Delicacy of a Woman’s Power During Labor and Birth | Bring Birth Home

Home Birth Advocacy, Pregnancy

The Delicacy of a Woman’s Power During Labor and Birth

2 Comments 16 October 2012

Women have power.

I visualize internal power as a soft glowing ball of light radiating within our chest walls. It can sparkle like the sun in the faces of our friends and warm the deepest crevices. How it feels so invigorating to achieve. Pride in accomplishments. It’s the best.

When you hand over your power, you dim that light. When you hand over your power, you’re giving someone, (who you may deem as more qualified) permission to make important decisions on your behalf.

Whether we shine through or are snuffed out can be in the middle of a “right of passage” moment in life.

Women sometimes find themselves in this position during pregnancy, labor and childbirth. We enter into uncharted territory and might feel nervous about making decisions. Doubts arise. It feels good to have a guide – someone whom you trust to help navigate.  This is why I so strongly advocate choosing the right care provider.

The incident might in the moment seem insignificant or minor. A simple assessment phone call during labor to discuss your progress peppered with advice about what to do next. Or feeling the iv cord bump into your thigh with each step. Suddenly feeling irritated and taken out of your “zone.”

During labor, distractions can be downright dangerous.

Each time a laboring woman is distracted, she is pulled from her animal-intuitive brain to her human-thinking brain. Complex thoughts and the actions that follow, as well as near constant monitoring by person or machine, releases adrenaline (this is our fight/flight response). Adrenaline opposes oxytocin, the hormone responsible for contracting the uterus.

As a result of these hormones butting heads, labor slows down. Due to this “failure to progress,” further interventions might be “needed” to induce labor, speed up labor, alleviate pain from overly powerful contractions due to induction and/or augmentation, and in some cases, cesarean section.

A woman just lost her power.

Keep your inner light lit by dreaming up and planning for a beautiful birth experience. Build a birth team filled with support. Don’t save the space for distractions and interference (at an absolute minimum). Stay away from negative press and conflicting philosophies that your feel might compromise your experience , during pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum.

Start with trust.

Labor and birth is for a woman the process of letting go and going in, if we allow it. Trust your Self, your body and of course, birth and the entire life cycle.

That is a lot to trust, and to have faith in. You are a lot to have faith in. I know from experience it can be hard to call yourself “worthy” of your own time and respect. But you are. No matter what you’ve done, or what kind of challenge you think you can’t endure, you are human mother giving birth to a human baby. And that is a normal physiological, yet utterly amazing event in our lives!

Looking for more empowered birth posts? These topics relate:

There is Light at the End of the Birth Canal

Natural Birth Relaxation Techniques

Why Birth Matters – An Introduction 

Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Buffy Owens says:

    Beautiful! I love the way you introduce your experience {image} of power as “radiating within our chest walls” I too imagine it like this, as well as it radiating from the abdomen/pelvic region {the point in martial arts known loosely as the hara or dantien}. To me this is one of the most amazing things about being woman–that this source of power rests in the area of the womb. There is the dance between the two, the power of the heart and the power of the hara. There is the dance between the mother and the child.

    This post is a wonderful reflection of that power and a great reminder on how to stay connected to that power. Thank you.


  1. Source: bringbirthhome.com via Kate on Pinterest | Kate Halloran Birth SupportNovember 14, 2012

    […] bringbirthhome.com via Kate on Pinterest Posted by […]

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I am a Friend of Michigan Midwives | Bring Birth Home

Home Birth Advocacy

I am a Friend of Michigan Midwives

2 Comments 23 October 2012

I recently joined the board of Friends of Michigan Midwives as the Regional Coordinator of Kalamazoo, MI.

Because I believe in this organization and our cause, I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to Friends of Michigan Midwives and what we’re currently working on.

Friends of Michigan Midwives, or FoMM, is a non-profit organization dedicated to educate and inform the public about the Midwifery Model of Care, promote and support the profession of midwifery as well as safe and legal access to out-of-hospital birth for families in the state of Michigan.

We at FoMM support licensing midwives and are currently in the throes of supporting Senate Bill 1310, companion to House Bill 5070, a bill that will license Certified Professional Midwives.

While I’ve only had a handful of opportunities to talk with consumers directly about this bill is important, I’m proud to report each acquaintance has walked away in support of of SB 1310!

Over the next year, I will be hosting several local fundraising events. Keep an eye out, SW Michiganders!

I’d like to take this great opportunity to share why I support licensing midwives with you.

Personally, I am in support of SB 1310 because I know many midwives, doulas and birth advocates have put in countless hours over the past few years crafting it.

When it comes to my health care options, I want to be able to trust the bill in place was written with me in mind, by people who know me. I trust the bill because I trust the women and families who have been working on it’s careful wording. I love knowing my midwife – the woman who helped bring our two precious babies into this world from the safety of our home – will be protected by law with the passing of SB 1310. She currently is not recognized by law, and that makes me feel uneasy.

Licensing makes midwifery an accredited profession attractive to midwives and consumers alike.

Those who are inspired to become a midwife in the future will know their career choice is viable and respected in our state. Licensing will set a standard of training. Right now, Direct Entry Midwives, (DEM) may go through long periods of time without studying the most recent evidence-based practices. While some may be up to date, there is no real way to know.

Midwives who have earned the CPM credential are required to earn continuing education credits, and licensing will ensure that all midwives meet that requirement.

This means a great deal to families interested in finding and hiring a midwife, as licensing CPMs will set into place a trustworthy, respected base of knowledge. I value accountability and training, and take those things into consideration when hiring any care provider whether they be a chiropractor to massage therapist, pediatrician or dentist.

Take action to provide state recognition to midwives and enhance the profession of Midwifery in Michigan today by visiting the official Friends of Michigan Midwives website.

Please click the link to visit their site and learn more and take your own action steps to support licensing midwives. The profession of midwifery in Michigan will grow and this bill will ensure families the right to birth where they choose.

If you feel strongly about this issue and would like to volunteer your time, energy or donate to the FoMM, please email me, (Kaitlin) at [email protected] and we can talk! 

Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Kate Nolan says:

    I agree, Kaitlin–and thank you for this important work! I know that the issue of DEMs will always be a thorny one, but I agree with your assessment about certifying the education and recent updating of it.


  1. I Get By With A Little Help From My FriendsOctober 29, 2012

    […] and invited me to gatherings, asked me to be a member of a panel discussion, voted me in as Kalamazoo Regional Coordinator of FoMM and gently nudged me to take a few more steps toward postpartum doula […]

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