Monday, October 27, 2014

I'm done.

Today is my last doula birth. I'm retiring. I've spent five years fighting the good fight. I've encouraged families to choose hospitals known for their low intervention rates and providers that support natural birth. I've labored at home with women who were motivated to have natural births. I've supported women, who after being informed of their choices and evidence based practice, still chose the 'other.' I'm done. I can no longer sit idle while providers give bad care and propagate antiquated practices (no eating in labor, continuous fetal monitoring, immediate cord clamping, perineal massage, episiotomy, Freedman's curve...the list goes on and on). I'm done.

Today I step away from my role as a doula and fully embrace my role as the midwife I would want my doula clients to have. The midwife that follows evidence based practice and supports her clients in making informed, autonomous choices about their care. The locus of power in birth belongs with the woman giving birth and I will continue to support her on her journey. I honor the path that being a doula has brought me down and I hope that I have paved the road, in some small way, for the doulas that follow me; however, I'm done.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Jack and Kelly

My go-to breastfeeding resources are anything Jack Newman, MD says and and this weekend I was fortunate enough to go to the La Leche League conference in Cocoa beach to see both of these breastfeeding giants speak. If you don't know who Jack and Kelly are please take the time to familiarize yourself, they are a fantastic resource for providers and families.

If these links stay active, here are the PDF's of Jack and Kelly's presentations:

How Birthing Practices May Affect Breastfeeding - Jack Newman

How Breastfeeding "by the numbers" Ruins Breastfeeding- Jack Newman

When The Baby Has Not Latched- Jack Newman

Anatomy and Physiology of the Breast- Kelly Bonyata

Gadgets and Gizmos of Breastfeeding- Kelly Bonyata

Monday, September 29, 2014


Friday's home birth was my 50th birth on my license, marking the point where I've officially attended as many births as a midwife as I had attended as a student. One hundred first breaths, one hundred new humans.

I applaud all of my classmates who graduated from school with their 50 managements and embarked on independent practice. I am only starting to feel confident in my skills as a midwife so to be on my own right off the bat would have been very stressful. I am very grateful for being in a practice with experienced midwives as my mentors and guides. It's also been great to be in a practice that does approximately 150-200 births a year. Being busy has given me the opportunity to attend a lot of births in a short period of time, allowing me to practice and perfect my midwifery skills every day!

As I embark on my next 50 births, I am making a conscious decision to become more integrated in my local midwifery community. I also want to promote midwifery by embracing student midwives and help them in anyway I can. I find mentoring student midwives a great way to share what I've learned and to also reflect on my own practice. They offer an astute mirror to view your practice style if you're open enough to respect their thoughts, questions and opinions.

Onward I go!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Guest Post: Welcoming Anna and her last year of midwifery school!

Anna is a midwifery student and this is her last year of school. She has joined the birth center and we are so happy to welcome her as part of our team. Read her guest blog post on her first week and join us in welcoming her to our community! 

“So here we are, in our rare and precious lives, surrounded by gorgeous moments begging to be noticed and celebrated.”

Officially in my final year of midwifery school, I found myself at a crossroads. And in what can truly be appreciated by a student of midwifery, I made the decision to take the proverbial leap and...change preceptor sites.

So with my devoted partner, beloved village, and sassy chickens in my rear view mirror, I drove towards this new horizon with a tear in my eye that contained one last bit of lament and all the joy and anticipation for what was to come.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Guest Post: Kitty's first day of midwifery school!

Kitty is a birth assistant at the birth center I work at and started midwifery school at Florida School of Traditional Midwifery, where I went, this week! I asked her to write a guest blog post, so here it is!

The Birth of a New Day, by Kitty Lakey, Student Midwife

Monday, September 8, 2014

Each one teach one

My preceptor/employer teaching our student midwife how to do a pap smear 
(Yes, I'm snacking on cereal. A girls gotta eat.) 

Now that I'm officially back to blogging, I took some time yesterday to re-orient myself to this blog. Boy, is it hard to read some of the things I wrote as a brand new student midwife- cringe! If reading my own writing taught me anything it is to be patient with student midwives. The passion I have for midwifery is apparent in my writing but so was my naivety. Oh, how I've grown as a person and as a midwife since starting this blog four years ago. 

Here are my five tips for new student midwives:

1. Be present. 
Make your clinical site your priority and make yourself available as much as possible. Be in the office, help the administrative staff, make useful handouts for clients, know where everything is and what everything does. Help your clinical site by being present and productive. Attending births is just a small part of what happens in a busy midwifery practice. Show up and be a part of the BIGGER picture. 

2. Set boundaries. 
Make your clinical site your priority but don't let your preceptor rule your life. Have days where you are OFF-call. Turn your phone off and don't answer emails or texts. If your preceptor treats you unfairly because you request days off call when they like you should be available 24/7, 365- find a new preceptor. Set firm boundaries early and push back. You will finish your numbers (Trust me, I completed all my managements in my last year of school.) 

3. Be involved.
Know what the laws and rules are in your state, in your country, and globally when it comes to women's healthcare choices and midwifery. Be involved with the decision making processes around the advocacy of midwifery in your community. Reach out to the public and inform them on what midwifery is and what midwives do. Be the face of midwifery to your family, friends and peers! 

4. Read.
Did you read about that new study that came out on the benefits of x? Did you hear about the new recommendation in regards to y? Did you read that powerful blog post by that seasoned midwife? Who are the big names in the birth world in your community, in your state, in your country, globally? Know who they are. Read their books and articles. Attend their workshops and conferences. Read as much as you can about what midwifery is and means. Know where you are and where you came from. 

5. Take breaks when necessary. 
I dropped out of midwifery school twice. Sometimes it sucks. People will get in your way. You'll have shitty births and difficult confrontations with hospitals. The program you are in may make things unnecessarily challenging and be unwilling to compromise. Take a step back and take breaks if necessary. Becoming a midwife is not a race, finish in your own time and on your own terms. 

Best of luck to everyone who answers the call of a lifetime. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I'm a midwife!

My first catch on January 11th, 2014, while the ink was still drying on my license 

This blog has been neglected but I'm making a conscious commitment to update it more often. I finished my clinical number in December of 2013 and became a Florida licensed midwife in January! That's right, I did it. It was trying but being in a high volume, stable clinical site really helped me finish my number, find my focus and motivated me to finish. 

Since January, I've attended 47 births as an "official" midwife. Check out my rad stats below: