Welcome to another Motherhood Chat Unfiltered! We're so thrilled to bring you a new perspective on the motherhood journey from Tiffany at Beautiful One Midwifery! She has such valuable input and a true heart for walking women through the process of birth and their postpartum journey!
Grab a coffee and settle in for our quick chat with Tiffany below!
Why did you pursue Midwifery?
After the birth of my daughter in 2010, I realized my calling was to support women through the birth process. I practiced as a birth doula for many years, trying to help my clients have a dream birth that just never got actualized in the hospital setting. It wasn't until I saw my first homebirth in 2012 that I realized the birth setting that kept the birth plan intact, included respectful and kind care providers and gave my clients the most satisfaction from their birthing experiences was at home.
How long have you been practicing?
I began practicing midwifery in 2014. I got to apprentice with 3 different homebirth practices and 1 community birth center. I graduated midwifery school in 2016 and opened a private practice in 2018. My partner Kelly and I have served families in homebirth and birth center birth for over 2 years. We are extremely passionate about sustainable midwifery practice. We both saw how easy it was to burn out as a birth doula and even more overwhelming to take on the heavy load of constant on-call midwifery. With the help of Madeline Murray of Believe in Midwifery we were able to plan our practice thoughtfully to build and scale it for long-term sustainable practice. For us, the most important part of this is regular time off-call. The most practical way to do this without turning away 6 weeks of due dates, is practicing with 3+ midwives. We hired our third midwife just a couple months ago and are so thrilled to welcome Christina Evans to our team. We are able to serve more families per month while also taking care of ourselves and our families. We find adequate rest and personal recouping time makes us better midwives!
What is the most important postpartum care advice you would offer?
Plan ahead! As moms we tend to get so geared up for the birth, and neglect meaningful postpartum planning. Postpartum planning should be done all throughout pregnancy. Women should read books, blog and listen to podcasts about postpartum recovery and adjustment. We recommend our clients set up some systems for getting adequate nourishment, help around the house and taking enough time off of work. In our society this is not easy to do! We have to remember that the early days of postpartum are all about healing (that wound on your uterus is the size of your open hand!), bonding with baby and getting breastfeeding well established, and just pure enjoyment and rest! The hardest thing to do sometimes is to ask for help. We usually tell moms to practice this in pregnancy so it's not so odd and uncomfortable postpartum. Ask someone to organize meals for you, to come help with older children, to fold some laundry or walk the dog. Your loved ones want to help but don't always know how, giving them specific instructions and requests can bring in needed support- and model for others that it's ok to ask for help!
How do you help moms overcome their birthing fears?
Education is everything when overcoming fear. Their birth desires should match the actual outcome available in the birth setting of their choice. If they want to avoid interventions, what setting gives them that best chance? If they want to freely move in labor and have maximum privacy, what setting gives them the best chance? Knowing you have choices and exercising that choice is empowering! Many women need to completely re-learn what they think they know about birth. It's a natural, normal process and they may need to spend their entire pregnancy surrounding themselves with the people, the resources and the information that reminds them of those truths constantly.
What breastfeeding advice would you offer to new moms?
Breastfeeding is another area that can benefit so greatly from planning ahead. Most women want to breastfeed, they know it's natural, and yet there is such a steep learning curve for many of us. Our (literally) buttoned-up culture makes nursing a pretty private thing. Women in other cultures may grow up watching their mothers, aunts, neighbors and friends latch and breastfeed their babies uncovered. This observation creates so much innate wisdom and knowledge around breastfeeding, but we are lacking this model in a lot of our modern social settings. Women can prepare for breastfeeding by watching TONS of videos, going to breastfeeding support groups, talking with their friends who breastfeed and consuming other valuable resources like classes, books, blogs and podcasts. Before giving birth moms should know where their local breastfeeding centers are, have a couple IBCLC numbers on hand and an experienced breastfeeding mama friend on standby for the times when she needs lots of encouragement! Knowing what challenges are normal and developing a mindset ready to meet the challenges will go a long way in her success!