National Midwifery Week: A Q-&-A with Jamie Schumacher

It’s National Midwifery Week. To highlight the work of a midwife, we talked with our moms who recently gave birth. Here, they share their experience in their own words. 

Jamie Schumacher, 34, gave birth to Madeline Anne in July and worked with Debra Stealey, CNM.

Was it your first time working with a midwife? Yes

How did you settle on a midwife? Being able to breastfeed was a big priority for us, and many of the choices we made were in an effort to set us up for success with that. We wanted a birth with as little medical intervention as possible, but with the support of a qualified professional. We also wanted a strong advocate and somebody who would intervene with a surgical Caesarian section only if medically necessary.

Debra Stealey was recommended to us by a nurse at The Mother Baby Center. Deb is a certified lactation consultant, registered nurse and certified nurse midwife.  After researching both Debra and Diamond Women’s Center, we made the decision to transfer and fortunately, she was available!

During the pregnancy, what was it like working with a midwife? Working with a midwife was fantastic. We joked that we felt we got more information out of our very first appointment with her than we had at all of our appointments prior!

We also appreciated that she approached the pregnancy and our care as a team effort. My husband was involved and very welcomed into decision-making and the labor and delivery planning and process.

Howd the delivery go? Long and laborious! 🙂 But especially after labor and delivery, we couldn’t be more pleased with the care we received. Deb helped guide us through a very difficult labor. Thanks to her coaching and care she helped us avoid a c-section and other complications and interventions that could have easily taken place due to the size of our child and the length of labor, among other factors.

Throughout the process both my well-being and the health of our daughter were prioritized as we worked through our birth plan and delivery. Deb provided us professional guidance through the difficult decisions – she honored the choices we outlined in birth plan and helped guide us in our decision-making when things didn’t go exactly the way we imagined. Our daughter Madeline was born naturally on July 6, 2013, healthy and happy.

Is there anything else you want to share about your experience? In follow-up to one of our original goals: though we had a few hiccups getting started, breastfeeding is going well! We’re proud to have made it this far already – Madeline is going to be 3 months in a few days, exclusively breast milk-fed. I know the support we received from everybody along the way played a big factor in our success.

I have to say that I’m also extraordinarily grateful for the amazing care and support we received at The Mother Baby Center. All of the nurses who cared for us throughout the labor and afterwards were exceptional–helping us with everything from labor coaching, to nursing to postpartum self-care.

Even though it wasn’t exactly the way we pictured (is it ever?) I’m very proud of our story, and so happy with our choice to work with a midwife. I think the relationship we’ve established with Deb Stealey is the kind of relationship every woman should be able to establish with her physician – one of care, trust and mutual respect. I hope that more women can have a positive and empowering birth experience like mine, and hope that the practice of midwifery grows.