Is Homebirth for You?

Robina Khalid of Small Things Grow Midwifery explains what it takes to truly consider a homebirth, and shares with Adriana how to prepare for a successful experience.

What myths or misconceptions do you have about homebirth? We’ll unpack them at @birthfulpodcast on social media.

Listen directly through our website player, or however you usually listen to podcasts.

 

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Related resources*:

 

Take action:

The one thing you can do for you, especially if you’re looking into having a homebirth is to sign the petition Homebirths need to be fully covered by insurance companies during COVID-19 and always!, which was started by Flor Cruz of BadAssMotherBirther. One of the many benefits of making home birth options an integral part of the larger perinatal system is that areas within healthcare deserts gain access to much needed care.

The one thing you can do for the rest of us is to help empower the next generation of midwives by contributing to scholarships that allow them to pursue their education. For example, the National Association to Advance Black Birth offers annual scholarships for Black aspiring midwives who aim to serve the Black community. And our friends at Elephant Circle have one-time mini-grants to uplift birthworkers and those working in reproductive justice.
 

Transcript

Is Homebirth for You?

Adriana Lozada:

Hello, mighty parent and parent to be. Welcome to Birthful. I’m Adriana Lozada.

Robina Khalid: There is a DIY elementary home birth. And that’s not to say that you’re cleaning up your own blood. What I mean by DIY it’s exactly that. It’s that emotional preparation. And it’s that responsibility.

Lozada: That is licensed midwife and owner of Small Things Grow Midwifery, Robina Khalid, giving a glimpse of why a home birth needs to be approached differently than a hospital birth. When the pandemic began, home birth midwives were inundated with requests, way more than they could accommodate. I mean, even doulas like myself were fielding questions from clients wanting to switch to giving birth at home. And the truth is we still are. In response to all those new requests and on behalf of NYC home birth collective, Robina wrote an open letter to the birth community regarding COVID 19 and the increased interest in home birth to address the increased fear of giving birth at a hospital. Now for a while now, I’ve been trying to get Robina on the show to talk about what people need to consider when deciding if a home birth is a good fit for them. And the thing is we’ve had to reschedule at least four times because either she or I had to go to a birth, which of course seems strangely appropriate because ultimately we’re all at the mercy of when babies decide that it’s a good day to be born. And chances are that you are too, whether that birth is going to be at home or not. So finally here is my talk with Robina. You’re listening to Birthful, here to inform your intuition.

Lozada: Welcome, Robina. It is so lovely to have you here on the show. Finally, we made it.

Khalid: I’m so excited to finally make it.

Lozada: Can you tell us who you are a little bit about yourself and how you identify?

Khalid: So my name is Robina Khalid. My pronouns are she and her. I am a community home birth midwife in New York City, which just unceded Lenape land. And I have been a home birth midwife for the last three and a half to four years. Before that I was a hospital midwife and I’ve been attending births for the last seven years in one or the other setting.

Lozada: And so you’ve recently gone through a lot of disruption, like we all have because of COVID and the pandemic, but especially at the beginning. What I was seeing, what I was hearing is people really were leaning towards doing home births and trying to figure out about, oh, is a home birth, right for me, because they were feeling especially unsafe in the hospitals. How did you navigate all that?

Khalid: It was a lot to navigate. What I think happened was that COVID exposed, I would say, the sort of inherent fragility to a system that treats birthing people as sick people, because all of a sudden we had birthing people with whom there’s nothing wrong having to go into an institution that were really catering to people for whom there was something really wrong. You were always going into a hospital with sick people and where there were lots of infections, but it really exposed that element of it. And so particularly in New York City, where I practice, very quickly, there were a lot of draconian, non-evidence based policies put into place in terms of not allowing doulas and not allowing partners into the birthing room with people. And so understandably nobody wanted to give birth like that.

Khalid: So all of the home birth midwives in New York City, I mean our phones, our emails were just ringing off the hook constantly from clients’ husbands, clients’ parents, doulas, friends. Everybody was trying to get us to take more people. And we were already many of us full.

Lozada: And I did have that same feeling like the minute we started seeing these changes in the hospitals and doulas were being restricted, my clients were reaching out to me saying, okay, what are our options then? Can we do a home birth? So what are some of those things that people need to consider when trying to decide if a home birth is right for them?

Khalid: Home birth is not a hospital birth in your home. It’s its own thing. And so in order to want a home birth, you have to want a home birth. You can’t just be afraid of something else. Right? I think for the vast majority of birthing people in the United States right now on a physical level, most people are excellent candidates for home birth because most birthing people are low risk, but there’s some new nuance to whether you want to. If you’re asking the question of, should I, or do I want to, it’s different than am I a good candidate? Does that make sense?

Lozada: Absolutely. And regardless of where you give birth, you need to feel safe, secure, and loved so that your oxytocin can flow and your body can work to birth this baby. And if you’re doing it from fear, it’s not a question of the place where you give birth. It’s actually, let’s talk about that fear. What are you afraid of and how can we work around it and resolve it? How can we make you feel safe in the hospital if that was your first choice anyway? So you mentioned people needing to be low risk. What constitutes being low risk and what other things aside from being low risk are needed, I guess, required? That’s like a hard word to use. It sounds very definitive, but to do a home birth.

Khalid: Yeah. So I’ll answer the slightly less complicated question first, which is the low risk, what constitutes somebody being low risk. So even that question has some nuance to it, right, because we know that in the medical industrial complex, people are being told if they’re 35 or over they’re advanced maternal age, and that increases their risk. And that’s, this blanket term that doesn’t actually confer really any risk that affects your choice of birthplace and different home birth midwives and different home birth families will have certain gray areas of what’s too high risk, right? So some home birth midwives might not do vaginal birth after cesarean. They might decide that’s too high risk, or they might not do breaches, or they might not do twins. And some home birth midwives might feel confident that’s low enough risk to be at home. So there are a few things that are not absolute risk factors, but I think most midwives would agree that there are a few things that are absolute contraindications. And one of them would be placenta previa, which is where the placenta is essentially covering the cervix. And that could be a emergency if you go into labor with your placenta there. Very preterm birth would be a contraindication to home birth. You want to have a full term baby at home because you don’t have a peds team.

Lozada: Just to clarify, that would be counting from 37 weeks, at least.

Khalid: Again, there’s a little gray area there because preterm up until very recently was defined as pre-36 weeks. So that 36 to 37 weeks depends on the midwife and the family’s comfort. But yes, the official definition is 37 weeks. Again, that’s a risk factor later, right? You wouldn’t know that necessarily when you’re signing on with a home birth midwife, same with placenta previa, that would be something that would risk you out during the pregnancy.

Lozada: I also want to say that placenta previa is going to risk you out even in a hospital birth as well. If your placenta doesn’t move away from your cervix, you can’t have a vaginal birth because the placenta’s in the way. So that would be a cesarean anyway.

Khalid: Yes, no matter where. And it’s also worthwhile to point out because this is one of those things, a lot of people will pick up a low lying placenta on their 20 week ultrasound and be like, oh my God, I’m going to have placenta previa and not be able to have a vaginal birth. It’s pretty rare for a placenta to stay low in the absence of a prior cesarean birth. So if you’re somebody who’s considering home birth and you’re like, I have to see if my placenta is okay, almost certainly it is. So these are very rare risk outs.

Lozada: Yeah. I’ve seen cases where more often than not, there is that. And then the placenta moves out of the way by the time you are ready to deliver.

Khalid: So other risk factors that you might know about before you get pregnant, are things like an active seizure disorder or hypertension, or I think most home birth midwives probably would not take on somebody with uncontrolled diabetes, whether it develops during the pregnancy or prior to the pregnancy. If you get gestational diabetes during a pregnancy and can control it, most home birth midwives do not consider that a risk out, right, because your blood sugars are under control. But if you have preexisting diabetes, a lot of people will consider that a risk out. What else would there be? Like a heart disease or a cardiac anomaly or some kind of anomaly seen on the anatomy scan of the baby. If we know that there is a chance that the baby might not breathe well or might need some kind of intervention shortly after birth, then that baby probably should be born in a hospital. Again, all of these are very rare, right? How many birthing people have you taken care of who have any of these issues? Because most birthing people are young and healthy. But I will say those things potentially developing during the pregnancy is not a reason to not get started with the home birth, if that makes sense, because you will have the benefit of the prenatal care of your home birth midwife leading up to that, and you will have the attention place so that if those things developed, they’re not ignored, which is often what happens in the medical, industrial complex, particularly to black birthing people.

Lozada: So that ties into another question that I had, which is when is the ideal time for them to contact you if they’re looking to having a home birth?

Khalid: Yeah. So I always tell people the earlier the better. Sometimes people have an idea like, oh, I should initiate care with an OB and then transfer to a midwife just so the OB can like verify that I’m pregnant or draw my initial labs. Midwifes do that too. We do all this standard care that an OB does. And because the care is individualized we don’t take as many clients as a hospital based practice would, right, because we can’t. So the longer you leave it, the less likely you are to find somebody. So that’s why I think it’s a good idea to think about this seriously as early in your pregnancy as you can. That being said, you can transfer at any time. If you can find a midwife who has room in their schedule, you can transfer later if you need to.

Lozada: We know how research shows that having midwifery care, whether it’s at the hospital, in a birth center or at home improves your outcomes, lessens the risks, lessens the chance of bad outcomes. So we need more midwives all around.

Khalid: We absolutely need more midwives and we absolutely need more midwives of color because it’s also shown that having a care provider who is culturally similar to you also improves outcomes. And we know that our maternal health crisis is worse for black birthing people. One of the benefits I think people really see about home birth is that they trust their provider. They trust that their provider is on the same team as them and wants the same things as them.

Lozada: And that definitely stems from the months of building a relationship and having these meetings with you that are not 10 minutes long, but are actually an hour long or more, or whatever the person needs, which is a drastically different way of caring for somebody and centering their needs. Yeah.

Khalid: A big part of what makes home birth safe is that in the vast majority of cases, birth itself is safe. So I don’t don’t want to say that it’s all because you have this relationship with the midwife and the midwife keeps you safe. No, most of the time it’s safe because it’s designed to work. And actually the more we intervene with it, the more we increase risk that something might not quite go the way it’s supposed to go. But I will say that in the situation in which most birthing people are giving birth in this culture, part of what makes home birth safe is that relationship, right? We’re talking to you about your emotional health. We’re talking to you about your familial health. We’re talking to you about your nutritional health, which is not just shaming you for how much weight you’ve gained, which is talking about, do you feel well-nourished. How do you feel in your body? So we’re talking about that. And then we’re also talking about your physical health in addition to all of that other stuff. And so what ends up happening is that the client really understands that the midwife cares about their health holistically and begins to trust them. And the midwife starts to learn a lot about the client so that if anything is off, everybody feels comfortable communicating it and also has the ability to notice it.

Lozada: What are the responsibilities of an aspiring home birther because the preparation that is required for home birth at all levels, physically, mentally, how you prepare your house, how you prepare your emotions is different than if you’re birthing at a hospital or even a birth center. So what are some of those responsibilities? How do you facilitate emotional preparedness?

Khalid: Okay. So you’re thinking about whether you want to have a home birth. In thinking that you really have to question whether you are open to being that agential, autonomous person, right, that you want to be, to be an active participant in your care instead of a passive consumer of care or a passive recipient of care. Part of what that means it is there is a DIY element to home birth. And that’s not to say that you’re cleaning up your own blood after you give birth. No that’s not happening at all. The midwife and the birth assistant are taking care of… People often ask me, is it messy? You don’t have to worry about that. It is not messy. And we take care of any mess that happens. That is not anything that you have to consider when you want to consider about a home birth. But what I mean by DIY it’s exactly that. It’s that emotional preparation and it’s that responsibility. So I’ll give a couple of examples. In the medical industrial complex, typically what’s happening is there are certain standard tests that are done and half the time people are drawing your blood and you have no idea what it’s for. And often when clients come into my home birth practice having gone to an OB beforehand, I’ll say, so when they took your lab, did they talk them over with you? And they’re like, they just said they were fine, but still don’t know even what the labs are. That is hopefully not happening to you in a home birth practice. So the first thing you need to know is that you are going to be asked to make decisions that you might not be asked to make in the medical industrial complex.

Khalid: I’m never even going to draw your iron levels without asking you, if you want your iron levels drawn explaining to you why it’s important and explaining whether most people do or don’t get that test, right? So we’re going to have true informed consent. And most people want their iron levels drawn, but sometimes it’s a bigger conversation about, for example, do you want genetic testing? Sometimes people will just get blood work drawn without talking about the ethical implications of genetic testing in terms of what you do with that information. Do they want that information? What will that make them feel differently about their pregnancy and so forth? I think it’s important of people understand the consequences of certain testing. That being said, most of my clients do get genetic testing. They do choose it, but they choose it understanding what it means. Or sonograms. How many sonograms do you want? What’s the value of frequent third trimester sonograms. Many people just get sonograms at every visit in the medical industrial complex, and don’t know why. And don’t know that’s often looking for things that might be benign, but then we’ll give a reason for an intervention. So you’re not going to have that kind of relationship in home birth. You’re going to have to make those decisions yourself. So that’s one thing, you do have to be comfortable with that because it usually means that you’re going to end up reading something or you’re going to end up having a long conversation about something and then having to decide it.

Lozada: And that goes right hand in hand with the level of involvement and education that you have to do. You really have to go neck deep into learning what happens during birth at all levels because of these decision making that you’re having to do.

Khalid: That’s my second example. So first there’s all this stuff that comes up in the prenatal care that you have to be an active participant with, but then there’s the birth. And so part of prepping for a home birth, particularly if you have not given birth before, right? It’s a little different for somebody who’s given birth before, because they have some idea of what it means for them and what it looks like, and maybe what it feels like. But if it’s your first baby in particular, you really have to be prepared for what normal physiologic birth looks like because it does not look like what we’re taught it looks like in the movies. It’s not over typically as quickly as anybody tells us it’s supposed to be. It usually happens later than everybody tells us it’s supposed to happen. The frequent reality that it’s going to be 40 weeks and you’re going to reach your “due date”, and people are going to ask you, what are you going to do? Are you going to get induced? And lots of people around you are all going to have their babies before you maybe, and you’re going to have to have this faith that like that is okay. And the way you have that faith is that you’ve done that kind of education with your midwife or in a childbirth education class or with a doula or by listening to podcasts.

Lozada: And I want to piggyback on that, understanding that interventions, when we talk about interventions, we’re not just referring to medical interventions, like taking your blood, but that anything is an intervention. Just having a due date is an intervention. Deciding who’s going to be present is an intervention. Deciding if you’re going to have that blood work is an intervention. Having fetal monitor, like everything is an intervention when it comes to what the needs of physiological birth are because you need to be undisturbed.

Khalid: Yeah, exactly right. People need to understand all of that. And it’s funny as a midwife, the longer I practice, the more my constant refrain in my head is like, what would happen right now if I wasn’t here? That’s always how I’m checking myself because every single thing I do and say is an intervention. Just saying to somebody, do you feel pressure as an intervention, right, because if they’re not already actively pushing, then that gets them into their head. Should I be pushing? Am I feeling pressure? What’s happening? There are no absolute in births, so I don’t want to say there’s never a reason to push before somebody’s physiologically ready. But in the vast majority of cases, if you’re cerebrally telling yourself to push it’s too early to push.

Lozada: Right, if you have to ask the question, if you have to think about it, then you’re thinking about it. It’s not time. And I do want to say though, everything’s an intervention, but not all interventions are bad. Some of them are necessary. And it’s great to have a doula and a midwife.

Khalid: I hope I’m not a bad intervention.

Lozada: And I think what you were saying, it’s a great moment to suss out a little bit of what types of home births there are. And we’ve been focusing more on a midwife assisted home birth, but there are also unplanned home births that happen and planned unassisted home births that happen. And then there’s also this which refers a little bit to what you were talking about of undisturbed home births that I think the movie, These Are My Hours is a great example of that, where they did have a home birth midwife present, but because they were so intentional in their choices of having an undisturbed as possible birth, the midwife was there in the background, letting the person do everything on their own, unless they ask for something specifically. So you do a little bit of both is what I’m hearing.

Khalid: Well, I like to think of myself as a somewhat intuitive midwife in that I can adapt to or whatever a situation throws at me, right, because I have a lot of different people who are choosing home birth for different reasons and have different expectations of what home birth look like and have different cultural understandings of birth. And so I really try to meet people where they are. I would say most of my births I’m aiming for that undisturbed birth vibe. I don’t know, I’m really trying to not disturb and not hurry and just be there to hold space. Obviously, if there’s some kind of emergent situation, if someone’s having a hemorrhage, I’m not stand there being like, well, I shouldn’t disturb this, right? That is something that I will actively intervene in for the benefit of everyone involved.

Lozada: And which is why they’re having you there.

Khalid: Exactly, exactly.

Lozada: Another part of the things that people need to prepare for, one of the responsibilities of the home birther is to actually unlearn and really dig deep into all the cultural beliefs they have learned through their life of nope, but you have to have a vaginal exam or you have to have this, or you have to be told how to push. There’s that preparation that also needs to happen depending on what type of birth they want to have.

Khalid: You’re right in that trying to do as much work ahead of time really helps you weather when it starts to seep through. There’s so much value I think in people going through whatever hard things they’re going through in labor emotionally or physically and getting through it. So you want to set yourself up to be able to get through it by arming, I hate warfare metaphor, but with empowering yourself with as much information as you have going into it. And I think one of those big things that we need to unpack is pain in labor and what that means and how pain can have value and how it’s not just pure suffering. That’s something I talk with my clients a lot about in their prenatal care because it is a big part of choosing a home birth, right? You’re not choosing a home birth thinking, well, I can just go to the hospital and get an epidural if it hurts too much. Nobody’s going into a home birth like that.

Khalid: And so we have to wrap our brain around the fact that we’re going to do something really painful without any pain medications. And so I feel like I have to do a lot of talking and encouraging of people to just… You know what I think a lot of the prenatal care is in a home birth setting is facilitating acceptance of people’s selves, that we can just get through whatever we need to get through with how we have to get through it. And that’s okay. That’s very counter cultural that idea that we have what it takes and whatever we do is fine is something I have to convince my clients of because they’ve been told their whole lives that they need all this other stuff. And so part of preparing for a home birth is realizing you’re going to reach this point where you are like, this is crazy. This is horrible. Why am I doing this? And then you’re going to get past it. And you’re going to have done this insanely amazing thing and tapped into this power that you did not know you had. And then you have it for the rest of your life. And going back to the why do people choose home birth question? If you’re interested in a physiologic birth and you’re interested in doing birth without pain management, first of all, home birth is one of the only places where you might actually have a real good shot of that. But that aside it makes it easier to, which is not to say that it’s easy, it just makes it easier to do that in a place people are not pathologizing it. So people have faith with you that you can do this, that people aren’t treating it like it’s suffering, people who care about you that you’ve met before and that people you care about because there’s a relationship there.

Khalid: All of that does make the pain of it, the work of it, easier to handle. I feel like there’s stereotype, maybe I’m a home birth midwife because I have some philosophical attachment or aesthetic attachment to natural birth and have some judgment that’s better when really the truth of the matter is I’m a home birth midwife after practicing the hospital because I believe I can give better care and because I believe that for the vast majority of low risk people, it is safer. When you’re looking at whether you should give birth in hospital or you should give birth at home, a lot of people see it as like I’m choosing the hospital, which is known to be safe or the home birth, which is maybe less safe. That’s not really what the calculation is. Both the hospital and home have certain risks. And so what you are doing when you’re choosing between the two is choosing which set of risks you have more tolerance for.

Khalid: So if you’re choosing to give birth in the medical industrial complex, your risk of having some intervention that may physically or emotionally cause some kind of trauma to you or your baby is very high, actually. It’s probably likely. When you’re looking at a home birth, you’re choosing a very small risk that some kind of emergency might pop up for which it would be better if there was a whole team there, but that’s not that likely to happen. And that’s an individual process. But I will say that we know that home birth comes with a lot of benefits, like better transition, respiratory transition for the baby, less suturing for the client, obviously much higher rates of vaginal birth, increased rates of breastfeeding, which is huge from a long time health perspective, typically less postpartum depression and emotional trauma. There are actually physical benefits to choosing to give birth at home as well, in addition to many emotional ones.

Lozada: Yeah. And you did mention that you have seen an uptick and your colleagues as well have seen an up uptick in terms of requests for home births. I want to put it into perspective. Right now in the US, the data that we have is like from 2017, 2018, which is off. But even then we’re talking about less than a 2% of all births happen at home. So in terms of the large scheme of things, there are heavy cultural beliefs that are still keeping us in the hospitals. And so I think this is a good opportunity for people to explore their choices, given the realities that the pandemic highlighted for us in terms of how we give birth in this country.

Khalid: Yeah. I think one of the things that I really liked about what happened during COVID in terms of home birth was that I am seeing more diverse populations look into it. People who didn’t think they had access to home birth suddenly were like, do I have access to home birth? And so you didn’t have to have the same amount of cultural capital to know that it’s an option. So it’s been really nice for me because I pursued midwifery as social justice work. So it’s been nice for me to know that there is increasing access or ideas about access for home birth in the wake of COVID.

Lozada: And we all benefit from more choices. Robina thank you so very much for this fabulous conversation. We could talk for hours, but…

Khalid: We definitely could.

Lozada: Thank you so very much.

Khalid: You’re so welcome. Thanks for having me.

Lozada: That was home birth midwife, Robina Khalid, owner of Small Things Grow Midwifery, a thriving home birth practice in New York City. Robina loves the art and the science of midwifery and the way that it constantly challenges her to grow. You can find her on Instagram at Small Things Grow Home Birth. I hope your main takeaway from our conversation is that birthing at home can be a safe, valid option for many birthing people, and that it requires you to prepare differently than for a hospital birth. So one thing you can do for you, especially if you’re looking into having a home birth is to sign the change.org petition titled home births need to be fully covered by insurance companies during COVID 19 and always, which was started by Flor Cruz of badass mother birther.

Lozada: One of the many benefits of making home birth options an integral part of the larger perinatal system is that areas within healthcare deserts gain access to much needed care. To sign, go to change.org And search for insurance covered home births. Then the one thing you can do for the rest of us is to help empower the next generation of midwives by contributing to scholarships that allow them to pursue their education. For example, the National Association to Advance Black Birth offers annual scholarships for black aspiring midwives who aim to serve the black community. And our friends at elephant circle have one time mini grants to uplift birth workers and those working in reproductive justice. You can learn more at bnaab.org and elephantcircle.net.

Lozada: You can connect with Birthful on Instagram @birthfulpodcast, and to learn more about Birthful and my birth and postpartum preparation classes go to birthful.com. Birthful was created by me, Adriana Lozada, and is a production of LWC Studios. The show’s senior producer is Paulina Velasco. Jen Chen is executive editor. Cedric Wilson is our lead producer. Kojin Tashiro is our associate sound designer and mixed this episode. Thank you for listening to and sharing Birthful. Be sure to subscribe on Apple podcasts, Good Pods, Amazon music, Spotify, and everywhere you listen and come back for more ways to inform your intuition.

CITATION: 

Lozada, Adriana, host. “Is Homebirth for You?” Birthful, LWC Studios, September 29, 2021. Birthful.com.

 


 

Headshot of Robina Khalid, with brown skin and dark brown hair with blunt bangs, who smiles at the camera

Image description: Robina Khalid, a brown-skinned woman with medium-length dark brown hair with blunt bangs, wears a red tank top and smiles directly at the camera.

About Robina Khalid

Robina grew up with her feet on two continents, reading books on Brooklyn stoops and running through rainstorms on Lahore rooftops.  Her experiences as a working class, biracial child in the United States and in Pakistan awoke in her a deep curiosity about race, gender, and class, and the intersections between them.

That curiosity initially led her to complete a PhD in English with a focus on race and gender in early America at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her experiences there influenced her calling to midwifery, which was both spiritual and political: she believes that pregnancy and birth are sacred experiences that also happen to exist in a world often hostile to those doing the birthing, and she wanted to work to change that.

She received her Masters of Midwifery at SUNY Downstate, where she was awarded top honors upon graduation.  From there,  she began working in a high volume public hospital where she was able to care for some of the most vulnerable people in our city and advocate for their right to be educated and make decisions about their health while promoting the safe and loving births of their babies.  There she learned from hundreds of individuals and families diverse in race, class, ethnicity, and gender expression, and from an amazing team of strong, skillful midwives. She brings those experiences to her homebirth practice.

She is licensed by the Medical Board of New York State, and is currently working on licensure in New Jersey.  She holds current certification in Basic Life Support and Neonatal Resuscitation.  She is also a member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.  In previous years, she has worked with her state and city midwifery chapters on advocacy efforts, because she believes every person deserves a midwife.

She loves the art and the science of midwifery and the way it constantly challenges her to grow intellectually, personally, spiritually, and politically. She is so honored to have been called into the ancient sisterhood of midwifery, and to continually witness the courage and strength it takes to bring another person into the world. It is her sincere belief that when that power is valued and supported, it has the capacity to radically change our world.

When she is not working, she still delights in curling up with a book or being in any body of water.  But she find her deepest joys learning and traveling with my husband and their three homeschooled children, all born at home with a midwife. You can also find her on Instagram at @smallthingsgrowhomebirth and her midwifery practice website Small Things Grow.

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