I had an unassisted birth at home, but I wanted midwives for my prenatal care as this was my first baby and I did not know much about pregnancy or what to expect. They were both really incredible and extremely positive of my decision to UC. They have two different personality types. Aubrey is more medical minded so she likes to take over the tests and things. Malu is more into what I'd call spiritual midwifery. She's very...ah...I guess you'd call it "hippie dippie"
But in a really good way. Can't knock it if you're a hippie too, can you? She's a very spiritual person but so warm and kind and full of love. She has more love in her than anyone you will ever meet and she is extremely enthusiastic about what she does which is wonderful.
They were not legally licensed at the time. Aubrey was a CNM whose certification had lapsed and she had not renewed and Malu was working as a lay midwife. Both of them are much older women with several children each and many many years of experience. Because they did not have certification, they could not ask for payment, so they were accepting "donations" of whatever mothers could afford and also barter. I had nothing at all at the time, but they wanted to see me anyway, so they did it for free. It was a really wonderful and big of them to do that for me and I owe them a huge debt someday.
They did everything any other midwife can do, but they also provided other services. They came to my house once a month or so. Here's some of the services they did for me:
-let you make pretty much all your own decisions
-help you locate baby items if you need them
-medical testing, urine tests, etc.
-craniosacral therapy (I developed some back pain in my third trimester and this helped)
-teach you how to care for a new baby
-checked my posture and taught me how to sit properly
-did some pregnancy yoga with me and taught me positions that would help
-brought me supplies that I would need (calendula cream, peri bottle, witch hazel, etc.)
-one thing that was really great was after my second trimester when they would visit, Malu would rub my feet while Aubrey discussed things with me
-supply birthing supplies (birthing ball, tub, etc.)
-teach you how to do infant Heimlich and CPR
-teach you how to breastfeed (plus they come by for followups after the birth)
-postnatal checkups of you and baby
I had my UC and called to let them know I was in labor and then called again once the baby was born. It was late at night, so they came by the next morning to check us out. They did a full newborn exam and told me what to do to cure my daughter's jaundice. They checked to make sure we were breastfeeding properly and they also gave me stitches for a bad 2nd degree tear that I had gotten.
All in all, they were wonderful, plus Malu is also a trained doula, so she likes to give a lot of support both physically and emotionally.