Becoming a parent is perhaps the most transformative step that an individual may take in his or her lifetime. It is an honor to work with families as they grow through the profound experiences of pregnancy, birth and newborn care. Midwifery care is a gift that women and their families provide for themselves, for it is a holistic care model that is unmatched in the medical community. The essential physical caring of the pregnant woman, attending her birth and assisting her with newborn and postpartum care would be incomplete without attention to the cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of becoming a parent.
The midwife’s role through pregnancy is to assess, inform and support her client in the process of becoming a parent to a new child. I achieve this in my practice through partnership with my clients. I rely upon the processes of continuity of care, individualized care, education and an emphasis on health and well-being. The Birthing from Within (1998) philosophy of England and Horowitz resonates with me, as do the theories of Dr. Michael Odent and Ina May Gaskin. I avoid interventions, especially invasive ones. I incorporate natural remedies that treat systemic concerns when appropriate, and assist the family in their adjustments to parenthood.
My philosophy of care honors the whole person.
Raising four children and maintaining a fulfilling marriage has impressed upon me the importance of respecting the communication styles and personal needs of each individual. Pregnancy and birth are life events that enhance the mind-body connection, making holistic care modalities especially potent.
Continuity of care is an important component of my practice.
My personal experiences with obstetric and midwifery care illustrate the importance of continuity of care. Seeing your personal midwife at each appointment, knowing she will honor and respect your needs and wishes, deepens the relationship between the midwife and client, increasing trust and aiding in individualizing care.
Individualized care is another pillar of my practice.
I never approach a client’s pregnancy or birth as a script to follow. Rather, I embrace the individuality of each woman and her family, encouraging her to determine the path of care she needs or desires. However, I have protocols and utilize my skills to maintain a nurturing environment and evidence-based practice.
Health and well-being are emphasized in my practice to assist the woman in having an optimal pregnancy, birth and postpartum period.
Nutrition and exercise are essential aspects of a healthy pregnancy and post-partum healing. Pregnancy provides preparation for becoming a parent. In fact, parenting begins during the prenatal life of the child. What the mother consumes, the child consumes; her emotions are intertwined with the hormones that bathe her child in utero.
Nutritional counseling is a cornerstone of a healthy pregnancy, and I assist the mother in finding whole food diet sources. I have been studying nutrition and eating a whole foods diet myself for twenty years, and have come to understand the great potential for healing through nutrition.
Similarly, exercise is essential to maternal well-being, and thus, her child’s. Her emotional state is uplifted through exercise and superb nutrition.
This holistic care of the client promotes personal growth in the unfolding of motherhood, especially for the first- time mother. But experienced moms also need holistic care to support them in creating room in their lives for a new child, deserving in attention and love.
I respect the woman’s birthing process as being that of her own.
I approach each birth as a unique experience. When women are given the space and respect to tune into their bodies, they often find optimal labor positions to assist the birth of their babies. Couples caress and soften their labors through love and related hormones. There are times when a midwife’s skills are useful and times when a midwife should allow a woman to birth without interference. I strive to learn from each woman whom we serve to achieve a balance of non-interference with non-invasive skills, relying on interventions only when indicated.
I use non-invasive skills to assist a woman’s birth.
I rely upon other skills, such as abdominal palpation, fetoscope, rebozo, acupressure, homeopathy, herbs, and guided imagery when invasive procedures can be avoided. Many women don’t want to give birth on their back, have vaginal exams every hour, or experience the pain of an invasive manual procedure without consent. I respect these women’s choices and strive to support them in having the birth experience they want.
Natural remedies are employed in my practice to improve systemic health.
Twins Ella and Lily with Genevieve and Cindy. What a beautiful birth!
I provide my clients with natural remedies for common discomforts of pregnancy, birth and post-partum care. Many of these I’ve learned through the years, but I continue to educate myself about homeopathy, herbs and other natural health care modalities. I consult with a local herbalist, who lovingly prepares the herbal remedies in my birth kit. Herbal teas, tinctures, and infusions have proven to be quite effective at healing most of the discomforts of maternity. Certain situations, especially in birth, are efficiently treated by homeopathy, and I carry homeopathic remedies to every birth. One technique that I’ve used with great efficacy is the rebozo technique for optimal fetal positioning. This has shortened the labor of women and assisted them in having a smoother birthing experience. I continue to seek training by attending conferences where traditional healers are featured, and reading articles and books written by traditional midwives. Likewise, I encourage mothers to educate themselves about holistic alternatives to healing.
Education is a focus of our practice.
I recognize the central importance of client education. Through education comes empowerment, and birth should be an empowering experience for women. From nutritional, parenting, and childbirth education, women can become empowered to make good decisions about their health care and that of their families. They can experience the benefits of seeking out information, thinking about it critically, and exercising decisions that resonate with their personal values. The transformation can be inspiring. A woman who has been well prepared for the birth experience will have less fear in childbirth because she has tools at her disposal for comfort and reassurance. She knows her own power. She can become an amazing mother.
Collaboration and referral are another important characteristic of competent midwifery care.
One of the most important purposes of midwifery education is to train midwives to screen clients for illnesses that are out of the scope of practice of the midwife. It is the responsibility of the midwife to refer clients to other health care professionals when appropriate. This may mean collaborating care with a licensed acupuncturist, chiropractor, massage therapist, naturopath, psychotherapist or physician. At times, care for a client can be co-managed with an obstetrician, and some women will need to be under the primary care of a physician if complications arise during her pregnancy or birth. The safety and well-being of clients, mothers and their babies, is my primary goal. I strive to work in harmony with other professionals, both allopathic and non-allopathic healers. I have deep respect for each of these professions, and value their contribution to maternity care.
|Genevieve serves women and their families in Austin and surrounding areas.You can call Genevieve at:
512-658-5628 (Austin)Or you can contact Genevieve via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our central Austin office is located at:1825 E 38 1/2 St, Austin, Tx 78722This is at the corner of E 38 1/2 and Airport Blvd.
Sisters Midwifery accepts Visa, MasterCard & insurance. Payment plans available.
Contact Genevieve Schaefer, midwife Austin, Texas for more information about midwifery services in Austin, Texas. Genevieve is a practicing midwife in the Austin area and has been serving women and their babies in private practice since 2011. The home birth experience is a natural and safe method of welcoming your new baby into this world. It promotes quick bonding with parents and child. Additional benefits include quick establishment of successful nursing and quicker healing for mother.