What exactly is a midwife?
A midwife provides healthcare to women. Midwives can be different depending on credentials and where they practice.
I am a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and Certified Direct-Entry Midwife (CDM). With those credentials, I only practice out of hospital. Within my scope of practice, I am able to care for a woman throughout their entire pregnancy, birth, and postpartum up to six weeks for the mother and four weeks for the baby.
How long have you been practicing and how many births have you attended?
I began practicing almost nine years ago and I have practiced in both Alaska and Haiti. I have attended nearly 800 births!
What is the role of a midwife during labor?
The #1 priority of a midwife during labor is the ensure the physical wellbeing of the mother and baby. A midwife also plays a huge role in supporting the mother emotionally, ensuring the mother feels supported and safe.
What led you to become a midwife?
Prior to being a midwife I was a doula. I loved supporting families during the labor process and walking with mothers through pregnancy and birth showed me that I wanted to be more involved in the medical part of it all.
I have a bachelors degree in psychology with a minor in women’s studies. I completed my doula training and certification through The International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) and my midwifery training and certification through Via Vita School of Midwifery.
What advice would you give to an expecting mother on how to find or choose a midwife?
There is a midwife for everyone; different personalities click. Search for the midwife with a philosophy for pregnancy and birth that matches yours. Ask yourself, what type of birth you would like to have? Do you want to have a medicated or non-medicated birth? Do you want a water birth? Find someone that you jive with; someone on your same wave-length.
What are the benefits of having a midwife?
Midwifery care is personalized and attentive. Appointments with your midwife will be longer and you will have time to create an emotional connection, collaborate on your care, and be educated on the physiological birthing process. It’s more than just an appointment and you are more than just another patient. Midwives have the time to hear your concerns and address them. Midwives want to know you as a person, you as a mother, and your spouse.
How does prenatal care differ with a midwife?
Not only are you building that relationship and connection with your midwife, but you are receiving all of the same medical care that you would from an obstetrician (OB). Women under the care of a midwife have access to all of the same tests, such as labs and imaging, as women under the care of an OB.
What are some common misconceptions about midwifery and how would you address those?
The most common misconception is that somehow midwifery care is subpar or substandard to conventional obstetric care and somehow also it is less safe. People think that by choosing a midwifery experience, they might have a better experience but are consciously choosing to be less safe. The truth is that midwifery care is safe and demonstrates positive physiological birth outcomes. The most recent published data shows that midwifery care is safer and has more positive outcomes.
What is the best part of what you do?
I develop relationships with every mother and family. I have the honor to see a first-time mom have her baby, watch the mother grow as a mother, and the baby grow into an amazing person. I am friends with many of the mothers on social media and I get to see their children grow.
Where do your births take place?
The births I attend take place at homes or at Integrated Wellness Center for Birth. Our birth center is located in Wasilla, Alaska. We are nationally accredited and licensed through the state of Alaska. Our birth center is popular among mothers wanting a water birth. We have large tubs and water is a well-known natural pain reliever commonly used during birth. Our practice has two midwives, two nurse practitioners, and an OBGYN. With the variety of modalities, credentials, and trainings of our team, we are able to collaborate and provide the very best midwifery care.
Can patients bill insurance?
Yes! We accept Medicaid and Denali Kid Care and are in-network with Multiple, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield, Tricare, and United Healthcare. We bill all insurances for our patients, even those out-of-network.
For more information, visit https://integratedak.com.