Childbirth is fluid and has a life of its own. We can’t guarantee an outcome, but we can prepare ourselves throughout our pregnancy by making the best choices for our babies and our bodies.
We can choose a place of birth that gives us space to be private, and where we feel safe, and find a care provider who listens, answers our questions, and works collaboratively with us throughout our pregnancy.
For most families in the United States, due to accessibility, and medical insurance, that will be a doctor and hospital, but for a growing percentage, that means birthing at home with a midwife.
Jocelyn Brown is a licensed midwife who delivers babies in Los Angeles. Read on for her insight on midwifery and home birth.
Becoming a Midwife
What motivated you to become a home birth midwife?
It was more of a gut thing and not a conscious motivation. I think I was drawn into the mystique of it all, that there was an “alternative” to doctors and hospitals and I wanted to be that. Then I learned that other countries use midwives as mainstream sources of maternity care and have *better* outcomes than we do in the US. So now I don’t want to be on the fringe – I think it’s an injustice to our pregnant population that midwives are considered the “alternative.” We should be the go-to.
Midwifery Model of Care
What can a family expect from midwifery care that is different from the care they receive from an obstetrician?
Time. And more of a relationship with your care provider. Most midwives can offer up all the same low-risk prenatal testing and screening options as OBs do, but we actually sit with you, explain your options to you, give you alternatives if you want. We also are highly invested in keeping your pregnancy low risk, so we are going to give you tons of nutritional and lifestyle advice for good health. Many OBs have little choice but to see 20-30 patients a day. They don’t have time to talk to you about nutrition and yoga poses for your sciatica and building your emotional support network. It’s bonkers!
Some midwives have offices that their clients drive to. I personally do all visits in clients homes, so that’s a huge perk. You get all the same care, but in your home with your kids and your pets and your spouse around. It makes the home birth aspect so intuitive.