Earth Roots Midwifery (ERM) holds birth as a sacred experience in a family's life. Science now shows that what we experience in utero, and during the first 7 years of our life, shapes who we become as a human being. With this "new understanding", we need to be viewing pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period as an imperative, and optimal time for supporting families.
Earth Roots Midwifery supports families by cultivating the Biodynamic Model of care; this means that we support a woman and her baby with the least amount of interventions, while protecting their well-being with Evidence-Based Practices. We believe that allowing women to make Informed Choices about their care, is the cornerstone of helping women to feel empowered by their experiences. ERM envisions a world where every person, regardless of their race, religious faith, gender identity, socioeconomic status, or choice of birth setting, has access to high quality midwifery care.
Earth Roots Midwifery currently offers:
- Midwifery Services;
- Monitrice Support;
- Postpartum Doula Support;
- Well-woman Care; and
- Holistic Pelvic CareTM
Taking clients with due dates in August 2017, or later! I am also available as a resource to help guide you in the direction needed should you be looking for other services related to the childbearing years.
While the United States has the highest per capita spending on health care in the world, this has not led to optimal outcomes. The maternity care sector, in particular, has many trends that are heading in the wrong direction.
- U.S. infant mortality rate is worse than over thirty other industrial nations
- U.S. maternal mortality rate has not improved since 1982 and is steadily creeping upward
- Rates of premature and low birth weight infants are exceedingly high
- Declining rates of normal physiologic childbirth are alarmingly common
- Cesarean section is the number one surgery performed in the United States, 1 in every 3 pregnant women will undergo surgical birth
- Health status and perinatal outcomes for women and infants of color are far worse than for their White counterparts
- Hospital costs are without a doubt the largest sector of health care costs
- Hospital costs for mother-baby care are considerable and are the highest of all hospital “profit centers”
More and more, women are seeking care outside of our current mainstream healthcare model. Women are remembering that they really do have the right to advocate for themselves, and their babies. Birth belongs to women, not the medical establishment. It is my passion and intention to offer another option to women; an ancient practice that sees the mother and baby as one unit that are to be honored and respected. Midwives have always known that women are powerful and that when supported with the least amount of intervention possible, more often than not, mothers birth their baby's with little to no help from those who surround her. Birth is not a medical event. Birth is sacred, and should be treated as such.
A monitrice offers the same love and support as a doula, but with the added benefits of being able to assess fetal heart tones, perform cervical checks and check blood pressure when a woman is in labor. This information can help you with making a decision as to when to move to the hospital for your birth, at which point, your monitrice will accompany you and act as your doula. Women who are planning on having a vaginal birth after a cesarean birth (VBAC), can greatly benefit from having a monitrice's support at home until they are in active labor and ready to transition to the hospital for their delivery. ***It is important that your PCP (Primary Care Provider) knows about your desire to hire a monitrice, and supports your decision in doing so. It is important that your PCP and monitrice meet during your prenatal care to establish a relationship. If your PCP is not comfortable with you hiring a monitrice, I regretfully say, I can not offer this service to you.***
Benefits of monitrice care:
- The same level of emotional and physical support as a doula, with the added benefits of...
- being able to stay at home longer to lessen your chances of unnecessary medical interventions, and
- being able to have you and your baby's vitals monitored at home while in labor,
- This level of support and care is a great option for first time mothers, VBAC mothers, and any woman choosing to have a low-intervention hospital birth.
Your monitrice is *not* your midwife, and she will not assist you in delivering your baby at home.
Postpartum Doula Support
Overall, a postpartum doula will "mother the new mother" so that she and her loved ones ease into their new roles confidently and smoothly. The quality of emotional care received by the mother during labor, birth, and immediately afterwards, is a vital factor that can strengthen the emotional ties between the mother and child. The importance of this relationship cannot be over emphasized, since these early relationships largely determine the future of each family, and also society as a whole.
Benefits of a postpartum doula:
- Reassurance and emotional support to help parents feel comfortable and confident with their babies,
- Breastfeeding and newborn care support,
- Practical hands-on help such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry and short errands
- Provide childcare/sibling care, and
- If a birth doula becomes your postpartum doula, it provides continuity of care which can be reassuring during such a big transition in a family's life.
Most women go to a gynecologist for their well-woman care. If you are interested in another option, I offer the following for well-woman care:
- Pelvic exams
- PAP smears
- STI screening
- Breast exams
- Contraceptive information
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist (ACOG) says, "No evidence supports the routine internal examination of the healthy, asymptomatic patient before age 21 years, although it is recognized that pelvic pathology sometimes is identified by a pelvic examination on an asymptomatic patient. A pelvic examination always is an appropriate component of a comprehensive evaluation of any patient who reports or exhibits symptoms suggestive of female genital tract, pelvic, urologic, or rectal problems. For patients younger than 21 years with problems, such as menstrual disorders, vaginal discharge, or pelvic pain, an internal examination may be necessary. Testing for STIs is recommended for sexual active adolescents."
"The College guidelines recommend that a pelvic examination be performed on an annual basis in all patients aged 21 years and older. No evidence supports or refutes the annual pelvic examination or speculum and bimanual examination for the asymptomatic, low-risk patient. An annual pelvic examination seems logical, but also lacks data to support a specific time frame or frequency of such examinations. The decision whether or not to perform a complete pelvic examination at the time of the periodic health examination for the asymptomatic patient should be a shared decision after a discussion between the patient and her health care provider."
Holistic Pelvic CareTM
Holistic Pelvic CareTM (HPCTM) is a unique approach pioneered by Tami Kent, MSPT to physically and energetically realign the pelvis. On top of being an amazing woman and a pioneer in women's health, Tami birthed these books into being: Wild Feminine, Wild Creative, and Mothering from Your Center. Tami lives in Portland, Oregon with her family and has a thriving holistic practice. She has a 2-3 month waiting list to get in for an appointment -- her work is that transformative.
"Most women do not truly have weak pelvic muscles, but rather muscles that are not able to fully engage because of core tension and other pelvic imbalances. Every woman has a range of pelvic motion. As a result of postural patterns, emotional stress, energy blocks, trauma, injuries, or other pelvic events, the pelvic muscles often become imbalanced. Once pelvic muscles are actively engaging, Kegels are typically unnecessary. " ~Tami Kent~
I completed Tami's HPCTM workshop for health care providers in April 2016, and I am am excited to offer this work in my practice.
Benefits seen and experienced from this work:
- Clear pelvic congestion and support pelvic wellness
- Facilitate core energy flow and creative wellness
- Restore pelvic muscle balance and engagement
- Support organ health and alignment
- Alleviate pelvic imbalances
- Pelvic pain and menstrual problems
- Support sexual health, libido, orgasm
- Facilitate pelvic connection
- Encourage self care and root wisdom
- Enhance fertility and support fertility journey
- Support transition to menopause and long term vaginal health
- Prepare for pregnancy
- Increase postpartum healing
- Heal traumatic or difficult birth outcome
- Support healing of miscarriage and birth loss
- Support effects of cancer treatment and abnormal PAP tests
- Heal trauma and restore a woman's rightful presence in her bowl
- Decrease core stress and enhance balance
- Establish clear energetic boundaries
- Support full sensation in the pelvic bowl
Earth Roots Midwifery does not currently offer birth doula services, but strongly advocates for every women to have access to a doula. See www.lakesuperiorbirthcollective.com for active doulas at this time.
Studies indicate that when a doula is present, labors tend to be shorter with less need for technical aid, and there is greater maternal satisfaction. Doulas help foster a more relaxed postpartum environment as well, and enhance early mother-infant relationships, breastfeeding and family adjustments.
Benefits of a doula:
- Doula's understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- Assist the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
- Provide continuity of care, emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint
- Help the woman and her partner obtain information they need to make good decisions
- Decrease a woman's likelihood of having a cesarean birth by 50%
- Decrease pain perception, thus, reducing the use of pain medications and anesthetics by 60%
- Less use of Pitocin to stimulate labors by 40%
- Decreased use of forceps and vacuum extractions by 40%
- Decreased chance of episiotomy
- Higher rates of satisfaction with the birth experience
- Greater sense of empowerment and control during the birth process
- Partner's are able to take short breaks to attend to his/her own needs which helps them support you more efficiently
- Higher success with breastfeeding
- Increased confidence transitioning to motherhood
- Support for older siblings during the birth and postpartum
- Decreased rates of postpartum depression
It is important to note that a birth doula does not replace the woman’s partner or care providers, nor make decisions for (or speak instead of) her client. In addition, at no time will a birth doula perform clinical or medical tasks, such as taking blood pressure or temperature, fetal heart tones, vaginal exams or postpartum clinical care.
Childbirth Education Classes (CBE):
Earth Roots Midwifery does not currently offer CBE classes, but strongly encourages women to consider the benefits of such a resources. See www.lakesuperiorbirthcollective.com for local childbirth educators.
CBE classes are a great way to connect with other families, and to support you in building a supportive community around you.
Earth Roots Midwifery does not currently offer placenta encapsulation, but strongly encourages women to consider the benefits of placenta medicine. See www.lakesuperiorbirthcollective.com for local placenta encapsulation services.
What is placenta medicine?
The placenta is an amazing organ!!! An amazing, temporary organ designed to help sustain your baby's life as s/he grows in your (amazing) uterus. Many animals after giving birth eat their babys placenta. Granted, their reasons may be a little different than ours to some degree; they eat their placentas in order to protect their young from predators. Nonetheless, Chinese Medicine supports and encourages the ingestion of a babys placenta after the birth for many reasons.
Benefits of placenta medicine...
- boosts milk production
- boosts hemoglobin (iron levels in mom)
- stabilizes hormone shift
- helps lessen postpartum depression and baby blues
- boosts energy level
- lessens bleeding after the birth (because of all the hormones in it)
- supports uterus shrinking back down (which decreases bleeding)
Placenta encapsulation can be done via the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) method or via the Raw Food method. TCM involves steaming the placenta with warming herbs such as ginger, cayenne and garlic, then dehydrating, grinding and encapsulating the placenta. The Raw Food method skips the steaming process and the placenta is cut into small pieces and dehydrated at 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Once dehydrated, the placenta is then ground up and encapsulated in the same way as the TCM method. Placenta medicine can also be consumed by taking it as a tincture or by being cut into cube's and frozen to be added to smoothies.
I have assisted many women who have taken placenta medicine and most have said it made a dramatic difference with their postpartum transition, especially if they had had a previous birth and had not taken placenta medicine before.