This week is a very special week – National Midwifery week! Now that Hattie is here, I’ve started reflecting back on my time at baby+co. baby+co. is a women’s health and family wellness center focused on natural birth and all things pregnancy. They provide preconception planning, complete pre- and post-natal care, birth, education, and beyond for families in the Triangle. You can learn more about their model of care and the services they provide here. I’ve been going to baby+co. since the start of my pregnancy (I called them at 5 weeks pregnant!) and I’ve been more than happy with the care model.
baby+co. uses midwives, registered nurses, and educators, which has allowed for a much more personal experience than the one I had with Jude at a traditional OBGYN. A midwife is a highly trained health care professional, just like a OBGYN. The biggest difference, to me, is that a midwife is an expert in normal, healthy pregnancies. Since I had a normal pregnancy with Hattie, I was lucky enough to receive all of my prenatal care and the delivery at baby+co. with midwives. I put my trust in them, knowing that they would be there to empower me throughout my journey that I could do this, just like women have for thousands of years, without any kind of intervention. In my “Why I Chose a Birth Center Birth” post, I talked about how I had a healthy pregnancy with Jude, but still had my OBGYN insist on an induction on my due date, which caused a less than ideal delivery, and I was determined to find a care model that trusted me and my body to birth my second child without intervention. I knew that this time around, the midwives at baby+co. in Cary, NC would be with me every step of the way, supporting me, providing advice, and caring about my well-being and giving me the ideal birth that I imagined I’d have.
One of my favorite moments during my prenatal care was during one of my appointments with my midwife Karen. I admitted to her that I wasn’t taking my iron supplement twice a day like Angela, another midwife, had advised me a couple of weeks prior. I became anemic while pregnant and it was imperative to continuing my care with baby+co. that I brought my iron levels back up to normal. My dad had come to this appointment so after I showed him the birthing suite, Karen pulled me into a room with her and Jualeah, another midwife I hadn’t met yet. Jualeah introduced herself and immediately started joking with me about how she was going to spank me because I hadn’t taken my iron correctly. Then she got serious and explained why it was important during my pregnancy and labor to have enough iron. The midwives are all down to earth and will easily joke with you, but they also provide a wealth of information and want what’s best for you and your pregnancy. There’s a balance that I never got with my traditional OBGYN with Jude. Each time I walked into the center, the staff and midwives called me by my first name and really took the time to get to know me.
My little girl Hattie is now over a week old. I went into labor two days early, and had her a day early at baby+co. Mandesa and Karen were the midwives on call (I had Hattie at 2:39am!), with Swiyyah assisting as the nurse on call, and they encouraged me throughout labor and brought my baby girl into the world safely. It was a completely different experience than with Jude – like night and day. I felt empowered throughout my labor and birth. Karen constantly reassured me that I was stronger than I thought. Mandesa kneeled in front of me when I pushed, giving me direct eye contact and continuously told me that I was strong and could do it. Afterwards, she joked with me because I literally started growling at her. But her presence was exactly what I needed.
There was never a time where a doctor or nurse offered me pain medication or told me that they needed to speed up my labor with Pitocin. Karen and Mandesa both trusted the process of birth and trusted me to tell them how I was feeling and when I was having a contraction or ready to push.
I got the birth I wanted thanks to the incredible team of midwives at baby+co. I will forever be a patient for my women’s health needs because I know I can trust the midwives to always have my best interest at heart. I’m unbelievably thankful for Karen and Mandesa for being there to help me welcome my baby girl into the world, and for the entire care team for helping me throughout my prenatal journey.
If you’re interested in a more holistic approach to your prenatal care and delivery, even if you’re unsure, taking a tour of baby+co can really provide some insight into how the care differs, and how you’ll feel being supported through your pregnancy journey.
Happy Midwifery week, y’all! They really do deserve to be celebrated.
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