Northern Glow Midwifery Sees Increase With At Home Births
Having a baby at a hospital versus at home is always a case by case basis and one that involves not only the health of the baby but the mom as well. Both options offer different resources and medical staff and involve personal decisions.
“I was really excited when I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter in the fall. Then six weeks before the due date, the pandemic hit and there was a lot of uncertainty,” says Lauren Mueller of Traverse City.
For Mueller, it was an uncertainty that had her re-thinking how she would give birth to her second child.
she had a traditional hospital birth with her first baby but this time she was considering something different.
“It was scary not knowing if the hospitals would be open, whether my husband would be able to be there with me, what the impact was on COVID-19 for pregnant women,” says Mueller.
That’s when she researched other options outside of a traditional hospital birth. She contacted licensed midwife and certified professional midwife, Kristen shook with Northern Glow Midwifery in Traverse City.
“We started talking weekly and she really just explained to me what I could expect with a home birth which was something I wasn’t familiar with. She was able to give me all the information I would experience in the hospital and I would experience it at home,” says Mueller.
“I’ve been a registered nurse for 18 years and started off as a pediatric nurse in oncology and did public health nursing with pregnant women and women who were post-partum. Then I had my own children and started to move into midwifery. I had all three of my babies at home with midwives and had really amazing experiences with that,” says Shook.
Now after a year of starting Northern Glow Midwifery, Shook helping women discover another birthing option. She’s also noticing an increase in women turning to home births.
“Midwifery care and out of hospital birth has really exploded in the last 10 years. Since COVID-19 there’s been a major switch over to home birth and every midwife has seen an expansion of her practice to cover that. I think that’s a huge reason why women have looked for out of hospital birthright now during COVID-19, wanting to make sure who they want at their birth is able to be there,” says Shook.
Shook says there are ten licensed midwives in northern Michigan making sure mom and baby receive personalized care.
“Midwifery care starts as soon as you know you’re pregnant and ideally the sooner you start it, the better. We do prenatal appointments similar to what you’d get with an obstetrician. I bring a second midwife and a third assistant with me who is trained in resuscitation,” says Shook.
Plus, it doesn’t end there.
“Midwifery is also part of postpartum care. I’m licensed by the state of Michigan to be the provider for the baby until six weeks old,” says Shook.
If you are considering a home-birth there are certain things you need to keep in mind.
“Homebirth is really just meant for low-risk women, so if you have a previous medical diagnosis that would prevent her from being considered low risk. You have to be ok with an unmedicated natural birth and so there’s no epidural but we do a lot of back massage and position change and a lot of support in that process as well as water birth,” says Shook.
For Lauren Mueller, when that moment arrived, she was confident she made the right decision.
“I called her and I was having contractions. So, she came over with her team. there was so much activity. People were blowing up the inflatable bathtub, playing music, and lighting candles. They were able to create a relaxing environment. It was a beautiful experience, different than I had before,” says Mueller.
“I see birth as a really sacred time and a turning point for both the birthing person and the family. I hope that people can feel that is honored and there’s a space in the birth to unfold in the way the woman wants it to unfold,” says Shook.
For more information about Northern Glow Midwifery click here.