Seeking midwife or practitioner in PDX--recommendations? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 07-09-2008, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!
Can anyone recommend a beloved midwife or ob/gyn in Portland? Someone familiar with natural childbirth; someone who allows parents to weigh in on decisions; someone who will not automatically induce without sound medical reason; someone "mothering.com"-friendly, someone female (sorry if that's not PC--that's my preference)...YKWIM.

Ooh, also taking hospital/birthing center recommendations and reviews.

I have Uniform Medical insurance, by the way.

Thank you in advance!
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#2 of 19 Old 07-09-2008, 03:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pepe View Post
Hi!
Can anyone recommend a beloved midwife or ob/gyn in Portland? Someone familiar with natural childbirth; someone who allows parents to weigh in on decisions; someone who will not automatically induce without sound medical reason; someone "mothering.com"-friendly, someone female (sorry if that's not PC--that's my preference)...YKWIM.

Ooh, also taking hospital/birthing center recommendations and reviews.

I have Uniform Medical insurance, by the way.

Thank you in advance!
Check out Melissa Gordon Magnus at Almamidwifery.com, she attended my birth center birth at alma as well as my homebirth. She is amazing! I was 21 days late with ds1, there was no reason to induce so we didn't: I would use her again in a heartbeat if I were to have another baby

Angie
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#3 of 19 Old 07-09-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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If you decide to go the hospital route, the midwives at OHSU rocked my world with my last birth. Penni Harmon, CNM is my MW. :
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#4 of 19 Old 07-09-2008, 07:19 PM
 
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I had my DD (VBAC) at Andaluz Waterbirth Center in Tualatin. It's just off I-5, you can see it from the highway. It was wonderful. The center is beautiful and peaceful inside, and the midwives were excellent. My midwife was Adele. I her!
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#5 of 19 Old 07-09-2008, 07:57 PM
 
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I love Ellie Legare!!!

http://www.rightathomemidwifery.com/

Allison wife and mom to four. 

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#6 of 19 Old 07-09-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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if homebirth is someting you feel comfortable with i suggest either Pamela Hines-Powell or Lennon Clark.
they were my midwife and co-midwife for my HBAC a year ago and were wonderful! both are MDC members too.

treehugger.gif )O( unschooling, witchy mum to Addy(7) and Niamh(4)
Living with an invisible chronic illness.
Fat and hairy. And happy with both *( o Y o )*
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#7 of 19 Old 07-10-2008, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all VERY much. I appreciate the referrals. We are planning on a hospital birth, but want to keep it as natural as possible in that setting.
Thank you!
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#8 of 19 Old 07-10-2008, 12:43 AM
 
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Jen Gibbons is a fantastic naturopathic physician and midwife who attends births at the Natural Childbirth and Family Clinic birth center in NE Portland. She gives a free interview and tour to check out their birth center. If she had a fan club, I would be president, I can't say enough wonderful things about her care. Best wishes finding your perfect birth space.
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#9 of 19 Old 07-28-2008, 03:03 AM
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Me too! She delivered DS who was 21 days "late"... no need to induce, was totally supportive of all the decisions that I weighed in on. Offered all kinds of great advice. I was really sad when m six weeks pp appt was over because i knew I wouldn't see her again. She takes insurance. She has just recently joined forces with another midwife name Heather soemthing.... I think. Their office is at 64th(?) and Burnside. It's called Balanced Birth Midwifery or something along those lines.

Birth Doula and Owner of an online natural baby boutique. Aspiring to be a Midwife.

Wife to Chef DH, Mom to DS (4/15/08), and DS (2/11/12) joy.gif

 

cd.gifintactlact.giffuzmalesling.giffamilybed1.gif

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#10 of 19 Old 07-29-2008, 01:44 PM
 
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The midwife team at OHSU is wonderful. The only bad thing about being there is the fact that there is no way to make sure your primary midwife delivers. But, since they are all so great, it really isn't an issue. I had one or two funny issues come up during pregnancy and they always took the "it is probably fine - but do you want to do further testing" attitude and even listened with interest to my own research. I also liked how they shared the actual printed email from the high risk OB which had the cited literature when they felt the issue was out of their comfort zone. Went a week past due date with absolutely NO pressure to induce. When I asked around 39 weeks about their policy, said they wouldn't even have the conversation about inducing options until week 41, and even then, it was up to me.

Delivering at OHSU was good... probably about as good as hospital delivery can be. Make sure you ask for a natural birth friendly labor nurse... not all are (at the very end, at shift change, we were "lucky" enough to receive dual care from a not so natural friendly nurse... but my original nurse stuck around to offset and the midwife in training did a great job about keeping her in line). But, they were very respectful of all my wishes, my instincts - well, except they wouldn't let me push on the toilet, and of my space after baby was born. Baby placed on chest until nursing happens is standard care, etc. Baby wasn't even measured or weighed until at least an hour after delivery. L&D room is one and the same (very nice rooms), but recovery is on another floor... but they didn't rush us out at all. We were in L&D nearly 1.5 hours... I even ate breakfast before moving.

Nicole, dissertating mama to M (Nov 2007) and expecting another (Mar 2012)

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#11 of 19 Old 07-29-2008, 08:18 PM
 
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Loved Ellie Legare and Heather Hack. Together they are Balanced Birth.
Very respectful of birth, mamas and babies

So many wonderful midwives in the area. Hope you find the best fit for you.
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#12 of 19 Old 07-30-2008, 10:00 PM
 
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I'm 28 weeks and have been seeing the midwives at Legacy Emanuel. We'll be having a hospital birth with them. When I found out I was pregnant I tried to make consultations with all the midwives or midwife groups that my insurance covers. Providence offered to let me meet with an office manager for 15 minutes in the morning, and other offices I talked to said that they don't even do consultations.

Well, one of the legacy midwives met with my husband and I for over an hour, and we found much resonance in our philosophies. We were thrilled that she patiently answered all our questions and was excited that we wanted a natural birth. It's a group practice, which initially I wasn't sure about, but I found that I've really liked all of them. Our of the 8 appointments I've had so far with them, I felt a little rushed by one on one occasion, but perhaps it was just one of those days. The rest of the time they let me take all the time I need to get my questions answered (and I have a lot, being a nervous, first-time mom). And I've never had to wait more than 5 minutes in the waiting room.

How the practice works in a hospital setting is that there are 7 of them and they each have a 24 hour shift at the hospital. The only issue I can see from a facilities standpoint is that the recovery rooms at Emanuel are quite small, but I don't think my husband and I will be caring much when all is said and done. They are also in the process of getting approved for waterbirthing at the hospital. Though this process may not be done in time for my delivery, I was told that the pools will most likely be ready for relaxing in.

I'll come back here and post a full assessment after I deliver.

http://www.legacyhealth.org/body.cfm?id=295

Best of luck in finding a provider that's right for you!

Happy mama to a toddler & baby, dd happytears.gif born 10/18/08, and ds  baby.gifborn 10/3/10.
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#13 of 19 Old 07-31-2008, 02:27 AM
 
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I just wanted to chime in and say that I helped my friend birth at Andaluz Waterbirth Center 6 weeks ago it is was so very perfect. I loved the midwife and and center. If you will consider a birth center as an option, I would look into it.
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#14 of 19 Old 07-31-2008, 01:06 PM
 
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I am going to hesitantly put in my two cents here and *hope* that no one is offended...
PLEASE don't consider using Andaluz birth center! My mom is a labor and delivery nurse at OHSU and she has nothing but horror stories about there birth center and deliveries. SO many stories about unsafe practices, bringing women into the hospital way later than was safe when there was a problem, and overall scary stuff! It has become so bad that many of the local hospitals wont even take Andaluz patients/staff because there practices are so unsafe.
I am sure that many people have had great births and experiences with this birth center but I would feel guilty not speaking up when it comes to something as important as this.

Oh- and I used Nora and Catherine at A Gentle Beginning and we loved them! They are both CNM's as well as ND's, have a great facility and work with many insurances (including OHP) and have payment plans. Here is there website
http://agentlebeginning.com and congrats on the new addition to your family!

Mama to my three little loveys and living the good life in the beautiful Pacific North West 
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#15 of 19 Old 07-31-2008, 07:39 PM
 
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I just wanted to say that I personally know the midwives of Andaluz, and they are wonderful and safe midwives who support women's right to chose how they birth their babies. Keep in mind that doctors and nurses generally only see the 'scary' cases of when there are complications from homebirth/birth center transports; they don't hear about all of the many women who birth perfectly fine, with no problems, complications, or interventions.

Mama to ds#1 (7) and a ds#2 (1 1/2)
Homebirth midwife
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#16 of 19 Old 07-31-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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i've birthed 2 babies at providence portland and i personally really like it. you stay in the same (big, quiet) birthing suite the whole time you are there. i birthed with an OB both times.

if your care is with an OB and you go into the hospital in labor your care is managed by the nurses assigned to you. (if you go with a midwife i think they are there for your whole labor). i think many of the nurses are very open to natural childbirth and are used to moms who want that. they ask for your birth plan and are genuinely interested in what you want. (and if they aren't you can request another nurse be assigned to you). you can also really ensure your natural birth by bringing a doula along to manage the nurses.

the first nurse on shift when i was in my first labor was not the greatest (and i didn't have a doula that time). every other nurse i've had there has been wonderful. (well, with my 2nd birth i got there fully dilated and so they just had me start pushing and that was that)

also a lot of things are very routine there: baby goes right onto your chest unless it is in distress and needs help. dad/partner gets to cut the cord when ready. nurses help you latch baby on breast right away. babies are weighed at some point when you are ready and aren't bathed until you are ready (if you ever are).

they have water tubs for laboring but not birthing. i never even made it that far. also i think if you're someone who doesn't want to birth on a bed then a hospital isn't the place to go. that's kind of par for the course there.

anyway i am someone who has wanted hospital births and i was happy there. it felt comfy and like we were in our own little world. you are screaming away and know that other women must be doing the same thing at the same time and you can't hear anyone!

fwiw i also stayed for 3 days at providence this march when i had my appendix removed. it was also a fine experience (as much as something like that could be).
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#17 of 19 Old 07-31-2008, 08:38 PM
 
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If you are certain about a hospital birth over birth center, the OHSU midwifery practice is really good, but it's a big practice and you rotate seeing many midwives. Karen Parker Linn, CNM is at Providence Portland Medical Center, and I agree with the earlier poster's comments about birth being better there.


Any of the area's free-standing birth centers will give you a free 1 hour consultation to talk about the differences between a free-standing birth center and hospital birth and answer questions. Alma and Andaluz are both popular and local.

Thank you Reha. This really is the chance we take when we put clients choices/needs/wants before our own. And it's still worth it.
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#18 of 19 Old 08-01-2008, 03:02 AM
 
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Now that the world is sleeping, I'd like to speak a bit to the philosophy of Andaluz, having been served by their midwives in my births and now being one of their midwives. Our philosophy of care may differ slightly from other practices in that we abide by a passion for true informed choice and will allow women to have the ultimate say about their bodies/babies, potentially moreso than other practices (as evidenced by the occasional other practice referring a more complicated (but still in the range of normal) situation to us knowing that our comfort level may differ). We don't fire clients for not doing what we say. We inform them of the risks, benefits, advantages and disadvantages of all testing, interventions and actions. We abide by our licensure laws as set forth by the State and inform our clients of what our legal boundaries are. We give a lot of information and are passionate about our clients choosing their risks/path with full informed consent. I believe in this with all my heart and was grateful to have this from my Andaluz midwives when other healthcare practitioners -- even midwives -- were trying to tell me I was broken for birth (pelvimetry and history of shoulder dystocia) after my first two births.

I really believe it is not fair to judge a midwife who is willing to believe in a wider range of clients. The midwives at Andaluz are taking on a greater risk by seeing a wider range of normal, but we feel like women deserve this chance. It is fairly well-known that we take most area breeches and twins because a. we believe in these mamas and b. we've been believing in them for so long that we've started to rack up a lot of experience. But it does leave us vulnerable in that we are more likely with these higher risk births to need to transport.

Andaluz has had a good working relationship with OHSU, although we were recently informed during a transport there that they had heard we had recently had some bad outcomes at other hospitals. It turned out to not be us that they were talking about. Other midwifery practices came forward to claim these outcomes. We take nearly all of our transports to OHSU and sometimes transport is medically necessary, as I'm sure you know. I have never been turned away from or discouraged from going to any other hospital. We did have one doctor once express his discomfort with out of hospital birth when we were arranging to transport to him at a hospital we almost never work with and when we addressed it, the hospital bent over backwards to apologize. We have our share of supportive doctors at various hospitals who actually like what we're doing.

Andaluz is currently the highest volume midwifery practice in the area, and as such is going to have the most transports. A practice that is only doing 2, 4 or 8 births a month is not going to have a chance to be noticed or talked about. The point of view of the staff at our receiving hospital is skewed by our volume and the fact that they are only seeing these cases in our high volume practice (and not all of the great, normal births!!!). Our transport rate is about 6% with about a 4% cesarean rate. These are really normal/good numbers, but our volume creates a different impression for someone who only sees the transports. We do not transport moms in labor for time reasons unless mom's or baby's vitals are out of the range of normal. It seems really strange to OHSU that we would "allow" someone to labor for 3 days before coming in for an epidural or cesarean, but it's not a matter of allowing them. It's a matter of that mama having choices and knowing she can elect to transport but we are going to stay with her and support her wherever she chooses as long as she and her baby are doing fine. And we are not going to abandon her if she refuses to take our advice. This process and these choices are fundamentally her right.

I have personally been involved in transports to OHSU which have gone beautifully.

My apologies to the OP, pepe, for this enormous digression, but I had to respond. I'm glad that Shannacat shared her perspective as it moves us all to talk about these things and get the truth out there.

Pepe, re-reading your post, it sounds like your biggest concern is induction and unnecessary intervention. Just stand your ground and say "I do not consent" if you are pushed by the hospital care provider you choose. If they can't work with that, find another one. (Also, I am certain that at Alma or Andaluz you would not be pushed to induce or accept interventions). All the best to you in your search!
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#19 of 19 Old 08-07-2008, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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THANK YOU so very much, everyone, for all of the ideas and support. No worries about the digression--I am happy to tune into whatever is being said and discussed as I try to find a practitioner.
Thanks again!
Pepe
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