I’m certain that the internet is about to implode. Beyoncé just dropped the informational bomb we’ve all been curious about, she announced that she’s pregnant – and with TWINS, yay! We’re so happy for her, Jay-Z and Blue Ivy that they are expanding their family.
The negative nancy comments have already started rolling in on social media.
“She will have to get a c-section.”
“She will deliver early.”
Let me just say, those are common misunderstandings about twin pregnancies. It is possible to deliver vaginally and carry to term. Here are a few strategies to carry full term and delivering vaginally twins.
We have to reclaim our legacy as midwives and the narrative of the granny midwife of the rural south.
My heritage runs deep. Before my roots reach the rich soils of Africa, they run through rural Arkansas on my maternal side.
At RootMama we celebrate Black heritage, culture and history every day, all day. And we’re still happy to see a special emphasis on Black heritage during the month of February from the greater community.
It was Shafia Monroe who first introduced me to the Legacy of the Black Midwife. Her presentation allowed me to hear my calling to become a birth worker. I became even more interested in my own personal lineage and familiar ties to Black midwives. My great-grandmother had 17 children at home. I called on her strength and wisdom as I went through my own birth at home. I talked with my aunts and found out that it was a midwife, Ms. Cecily, who delivered my great-grandmothers first 10 or so children, including my grandmother.
When I am consulting with a mother-to-be and she has not selected a health care provider or is unhappy with her current health care provider, I always encourage her to explore the idea of using a midwife for her obstetric care.
Midwives are professionals trained to provide medical care to pregnant women before, during and after birth. Midwives can also provide well-woman exams, breastfeeding education, nutritional support and basic fertility consulting. The state you live in determines how midwives are credentialed.
Many women have the misconception that using a midwife is old fashioned . Others have the misconception that midwives are only for women who pay for services out of pocket. To the contrary, midwifery care is on the rise. Many families are rediscovering the numerous benefits of working with midwives. Many insurance plans now cover midwives in hospital, birthing center and even home birth settings.
1. Longer Visits - The average midwife meeting with mothers is 45 minutes. A lot of families really appreciate the time they can spend with the midwife to discuss all of their pregnancy and health concerns. One of the top complaints of women receiving conventional obstetric care from doctors is that they feel rushed. Mothers feel valued and heard when they are treated like a person and not a number.
2. More Comprehensive Care - Midwives tend to get to know you better. They look at not just the bump on the belly, but also the entire woman. They factor in a woman's family dynamics, beliefs, and desires when delivering care. Older siblings of the unborn child are often welcomed to visits and can even play a role during the birth.
3. Flexible about Birth Variations - Midwives are professionals trained to assist a vast variation of normal births. Midwives typically have more training and feel more comfortable with variations in labor. They also can offer remedies, position changes, emotional encouragement and other techniques to help moms and babies get through labor difficulties.
4. Breastfeeding Success - Midwives offer immediate support to moms wanting to breastfeed. At subsequent postnatal visits after the birth, midwives can continue to provide direct support to breastfeeding mothers. For more acute issues, the midwife can refer the mother to a lactation consultant.
5. Low Risks and Low Interventions - If you're a mom that is considered low risk, you may want to avoid many popular interventions and medications that augment labor. Using a midwife is your best bet for having a low intervention birth. Many midwives would be open to trying herbal, naturopathic and traditional remedies before resorting to medicines (in home birth or birthing center settings). A low risk mom is in good hands with a midwife. Your midwife will be very motivated to keep the mom healthy and low risk so that she can continue to see her. The midwife typically provides more nutritional and wellness counseling to expectant mothers than doctors. Midwives are very knowledgeable in that area.
These are just some of the reasons to consider choosing a midwife. Have you worked with a midwife? What was your experience?
I had the blessed opportunity to sit at the feet of Mama Sherry Payne and learn the value of a village prenatal. We recognize that standard obstetric care allocates about 15 minutes for a prenatal visit and that time slot is often double booked. So that puts a strain on both the provider and the expecting family. 7.5 minutes is simply not enough time to deliver comprehensive care to an expecting family.
In my own personal experience as a doula and childbirth educator, I've heard clients say that they didn't have enough time to ask questions or enough time to talk through issues they were having during their pregnancy.
Sherry explained to me that her models allocates about an hour and a half for prenatal appointments. I was able to witness and learn from the innovative methodologies by which she addressed the entire woman. The Village Prenatal model is not about zooming in on her belly only, and forgetting the rest of the mom. To the contrary, the visit aims to address the whole mother. Her thoughts, fears, concerns, wellness, worries, and family all affect the outcome of her pregnancy. The idea is to give her time and support in addressing all issues.
Also, the incorporation of doulas and community mamas during the visit was helpful to the mother. She felt supported and affirmed. The doulas and community mamas backed up the efforts of the midwife, and as a collective, we put our intentions towards supporting this mom to full-term so that the entire village can rejoice when a chunky, healthy baby is born.
Three and a half years ago a friend sent me this video in an email. I listened to it while at my 9-5. I was forever changed. I was inspired, motivated and proud at the same time. I felt compelled to research more about my family's ties to midwifery. My great-grandmother had 17 children at home in rural Arkansas. My grandmother had two children at home, one being my mother.
When my friend first mentioned to me that I should look into becoming a midwife, I thought he was crazy. "Me, a midwife? LOL." I knew the work was important, but I thought it was too important for me... too great of a task to handle for me.
This video planted a seed in my mind and heart which grew into a desire to answer a divine calling. I took the next step in my journey of practicing holistic women's health. Becoming a doula was a natural progression.
I'm blessed to have had an opportunity to be trained by Mama Shafia Monroe at the headquarters of the International Center for Traditional Childbirth.
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Sis. Freya is the creator of RootMama. She loves encouraging women to achieve greatness.
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