You’ve found and booked your newborn photographer. Check!
Now, onto other pressing matters: finding the midwife you want to help deliver your baby.
(I kid, I kid 😉 )
You know you want to hire a midwife, but it can be hard finding the right person when you are at the beginning of your parenting journey.
I’ve been following Jessi of Salem Midwife for a while now on Instagram and absolutely love her vibe. She’s a wealth of knowledge, very kind, and is incredibly passionate about her work.
I’m interviewing her here today to give you more information about her Salem Midwife practice. I hope this helps you check one more thing off your list!
Here’s what Jessi had to say about her practice:
Why did you become a midwife?
I was studying global female health issues while pursuing a degree in English and developed a passion for human rights and social justice in the context of health. Birth-work was a natural outlet for these developing passions and when I started pursuing midwifery I knew I had found the thing “which makes me come alive.”
I am a midwife because I believe wholeheartedly in the autonomy of the individual, while also recognizing the importance of community support. This job lets me educate, connect with and support people while they walk an incredibly vulnerable and transformative period of life: the childbearing year. It’s a huge privilege!
What areas do you serve?
I serve the Willamette Valley and Oregon Coast. Pretty much anywhere within a 2 hour radius of Salem and McMinnville!
How many births have you attended?
274, the last I counted!
Is there a special story of a birth you could share with us?
I attended an amazing birth recently for a woman who suffered from severe anxiety, and had a history of postpartum depression. We worked hard to establish trust with each other during the pregnancy, and spent a lot of time in emotional and mental preparation for the labor and birth process (which she was anxious about).
When the time finally came and she went into labor spontaneously it was incredible. Her body just took over immediately and began progressing steadily with each contraction. Throughout the labor she continually voiced her concerns and fears as they came up, and this allowed us (her midwives and doula) to support her while making space for her to feel heard through the process. It was an extraordinarily intimate labor and such a beautiful experience to be a part of.
She eased into the birthing tub just as her body started to push, and I encouraged her to feel her baby’s head as it emerged into her hands. She kept her hands there, and I helped her to catch as her baby slipped out into the water. She brought her own baby out of the water and up to her chest and it was so sweet. The joy and relief on her face were so amazing and humbling to see!
Birth is so raw and powerful, and to watch someone walk toward that experience (even with anxiety!) and to totally rock it, changes you. I can’t help but be in awe of women every single day!
Are you certified/licensed? What was your education like to become a midwife?
I am certified nationally as a Certified Professional Midwife, and licensed by the State of Oregon as a Direct Entry Midwife.
I first certified as a doula with DONA International, and then went on to get monitrice Certification with the Oklahoma Midwives Alliance.
I assisted midwives at births for 4 years before applying to Midwives College of Utah, where I spent the next 4 years getting my Bachelor of Science in Midwifery and working in various apprenticeships to gain clinical skills and birth experience.
Over my education, I worked with 12 different midwives here in the states doing home-birth and birth center birth. I also did a 6 month internship with 1 obstetrician in Egypt introducing waterbirth into the hospital.
Do you have a backup midwife? How did you choose them?
I do! Meredith Mance, CPM, LDM, IBCLC and I are in the process of setting up a partnered midwifery practice here in the Willamette Valley. We believe strongly in the group practice model, because this allows for off-call time and back up support. Without this backup, midwifery is just not a sustainable profession!
I chose to work with Meredith because she and I have experience attending births together already, and we have co-managed many client cases and so I know our practice styles are similar and very compatible. I can feel confident that clients are in good hands, even if I am suddenly unavailable. I think she and I have a great coworking chemistry that makes our care have continuity and consistency.
How many clients do you take a month?
What makes you different from other midwives in the area?
I have a background in working with trauma survivors during the childbearing year, and a particular passion for those with previous birth trauma. When clients know they have a history which may influence their experience of pregnancy and birth, I walk them through what triggers and surprises they may find in the process. This allows them to approach birth with tools, support, and realistic expectations.
I also routinely emphasize education surrounding safe transfers of care from community birth to the hospital when necessary. My own birth was a transfer from home to hospital, and it gave me a unique perspective on how to prepare expecting parents for that possibility and ensure that the experience is as calm and smooth as possible.
Do you offer any additional services?
I also offer placenta encapsulation services and teach childbirth education and fertility awareness method (FAM) classes periodically.
Want to learn more? You can find Jessi’s website at www.salemmidwife.com
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