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Interview a Midwife: Barb/Maggi315

710 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Triciabn
This is a continuation of a little series of threads I'd like to see. Midwives are always interesting!

Mind answering a few questions?

I see you are in Pennsylvania, what is midwifery like there?
Where did you go to school/apprentice?
Where have you practiced?
What brought you to midwifery?
What is your practice like?
Homes/birthcenter/hospital?
What are your stats?
Do you work with other midwives or doulas?
How would you describe your midwifery style?
What is important to you in your practice?
Have you ever bartered your services?
For what?
How/ do you advocate breastfeeding or intactivism?
What are your plans for the future?
Do you have a dear partner?
What is it like having 5 kids and being on call?
Describe your most interesting/memorable birth.
What has been hardest for you so far?
What is your favorite aspect of midwifery?
Least favorite?
Advice for new/student/aspiring midwives?
What other hobbies/interests do you have?

THANKS for taking all this time to let us get to know you better!!!!
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I see you are in Pennsylvania, what is midwifery like there?

We are "allegal", I know some hate the term but that is the best way to describe it. We have a large amish/mennonite population in my area so homebirth is not unheard of.
Where did you go to school/apprentice?
I am also a nurse, doula and lactation consultant so I didn't want to go to school. I did a 18 month apprenticeship with a local midwife and worked some with another new midwife. I plan to take the CPM exam at the mana conference in October
Where have you practiced?
Here is south central PA
What brought you to midwifery?
I have been involved in birth, breastfeeding, etc. since my oldest was born-16 years ago!
What is your practice like?
I am just starting out on my own, so only have about 1 client a month right now. I don't have an office yet, just doing home visits. I do have the use of a birth center if I would want to use it. And the senior midwife I apprenticed with is great, I can use her office, lab, get supplies, use her ultrasound, etc.
Homes/birthcenter/hospital?
Home, although I will work at a hospital as your doula plus have use of a birth center
What are your stats?
Uh, not sure, I have them in a book that is currently packed ( i am moving locally in 2 weeks) but about 50 births as a midwife, not sure how many as a doula.
Do you work with other midwives or doulas?
Yes, see above. Plus there is another newer midwife in my area and I think we will be working more together as we both get busier covering for one another so we can both have a life
How would you describe your midwifery style? I'm pretty laid back and open to what the family wants.
What is important to you in your practice?
Helping empower mom and babies!
Have you ever bartered your services?
No, but I would be willing to. I always have stuff that needs done! My senior midwife has done quite a bit with the amish/mennonite, they are great craftsman and I would love a quilt!
For what?
How/ do you advocate breastfeeding or intactivism?
Well, I am LLLLeader and lactation consultant so I go on the assumption that all my clients will breastfeed and do my best to empower them to do so.
What are your plans for the future?
Build my practice, open office/women's center and do more speaking
Do you have a dear partner?
Yes, I am married. He is an insurance agent but very supportive of what I do. We both love to work our own schedules and do our own things.
What is it like having 5 kids and being on call?
Crazy! I wouldn't be able to do it with my dh and my teenager. That's why I waited so long to get started. My dh works from home about 1/2 of the time and is flexible with his schedule if need be.
Describe your most interesting/memorable birth. Have to get back on this one, I do have several, like my first catch on my own by kerosene after searching in dark for an amish house in the middle of nowhere! Or the one where I delivered her standing up in kitchen with her 18 month old climbing on my back!
What has been hardest for you so far?
Seeing people make choices I don't necessarily agree with. being humbled again and again and giving up control. Remembering it's not about me!
What is your favorite aspect of midwifery?
I love, love, love being invited into people's home to be part of their most important day. and I love, love, love babies!
Least favorite?
The hours, getting up in the middle of the night on a cold, nasty night when all I want to do is sleep
Advice for new/student/aspiring midwives?
Be realistic on what is expected. Most of what you do is not about being a birth, there's lots of hours before and after. Don't sacrifice your family, strike a good balance, be willing to put if off til later if it's not working out. Be open to learning, you don't know something just because you read it somewhere!!! Be humble and learn from the women you serve and more senior midwives.
What other hobbies/interests do you have?
I love to scrapbook, read, ride bike, travel, and just learned to knit. Now whether I always have time to do this stuff...well, that's another story.

Thanks for doing this, I think it is great! I can't wait to meet the other midwives, I love reading stories about midwives lives, I hope to write a book today that is basically a journal of my births, etc. I love the book "dr. frau", it's really like how I have practiced.
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Thanks for answering the q's.


As a doula, I am definitely just starting to learn that it's more about the process than about the "goal," and I'm trying to avoid goal-oriented (as in, let's just get to the birthing part) thinking.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Maggi315
I see you are in Pennsylvania, what is midwifery like there?

We are "allegal", I know some hate the term but that is the best way to describe it. We have a large amish/mennonite population in my area so homebirth is not unheard of.
Where did you go to school/apprentice?
I am also a nurse, doula and lactation consultant so I didn't want to go to school. I did a 18 month apprenticeship with a local midwife and worked some with another new midwife. I plan to take the CPM exam at the mana conference in October. . .

. . .Advice for new/student/aspiring midwives?
Be realistic on what is expected. Most of what you do is not about being a birth, there's lots of hours before and after. Don't sacrifice your family, strike a good balance, be willing to put if off til later if it's not working out. Be open to learning, you don't know something just because you read it somewhere!!! Be humble and learn from the women you serve and more senior midwives.
Cool that you chose a path that didn't require actual midwifery school. I really like the apprenticeship model of learning. Good luck on the test.

I have a question about your advice. When you say "be willing to put it off til later if it's not working out" did you mean midwifery or just anything? I am putting off midwifery right now to have/ raise my family. This is hard for me, but I try to make the most of my time by continuing to learn where ever possible.

Thanks for sharing, I'm looking forward to the birth stories!!!
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Yes, I meant that if midwifery or doula work or school or whatever is not working out for the family then it needs to be put off til later. And there's no magic age or anything, I mean, I have teens around so I can work with little ones. Some people have family-grandparents, aunts, sil, etc. so they work something out. Each person needs to take into account their family needs and balance.

This is fun, can't wait to hear about others.
I love this thread, it is facilnating.
Thank you for sharing, Maggi. I liked your advice for aspiring midwives too. I am an RN and would LOVE to be a midwife but it doesn't work now, but I can read, read, read!
How close are you to State College, if you don't mind me asking.
I believe I am about 1.5 hours away from state college. Not sure, I'll have to check with my husband, been years and years since I went up that way.

I am glad I was able to apprentice rather than have to go back to school. I learned so much from working full-time during those 18 months and I had studied so much previously that really what I needed was hands on experience.
Barb,
I frequent the Lancaster country area 1-2 times a week. I am close friends with many in the Amish community. When you say you are in South Central Pa....what does that mean? How far do you practice?
Tricia
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