Today's post features Sarah Weimar, who has been married to her husband (and best friend) Richard for nearly three years. She is the daughter of a gardener and a teacher, and from an early age, has been brought up to value creation care and life-long learning. Sarah enjoys knitting, baking, painting, singing and laughing. She and Richard will be moving to Oregon this summer so she can pursue her midwifery education at Birthingway College of Midwifery. We asked her a few questions about midwifery and how it can serve our city.
1. What is a midwife?
A midwife is a trained professional with special expertise in supporting women to maintain a healthy pregnancy birth, offering expert individualized care, education, counseling and support to a woman and her newborn throughout the childbearing cycle.*
2. What does a midwife do?
A midwife works with each woman and her family to identify their unique physical, social and emotional needs. When the care required is outside the midwife's scope of practice or expertise, the woman is referred to other health care providers for additional consultation or care.*
3. What is unique about the Midwifery Model of Care?
The Midwifery Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.
The Midwives Model of Care includes:
- Monitoring the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
- Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
- Minimizing technological interventions
- Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention.*
*[From Citizens for Midwifery website, http://cfmidwifery.org/resources/.]
4. How did your personal passion for midwifery develop?
I first learned about midwifery in my 20's, and it has been calling my name ever since. As I've learned about our country's maternity healthcare system, I see the deep need for the presence of educated, compassionate and strong midwives to re-humanize birth. Midwives are an invaluable resource to communities, offering a kind of dignifying whole-person care that our culture is lacking.
5. How will you use midwifery to bring God's shalom to the city?
The word "midwife" literally means "with women." When I consider that the name Immanuel means "God with us," I am struck by His patience and abiding compassion for us; the care of midwives for families and communities, for His creation, must hold a special place in His heart. I intend to partner with Him as a witness to and a guardian of the honor of creation, and to employ an ethic of wholeness and human dignity that is only found in God's purpose for humankind.
Within the realm of maternity healthcare and midwifery, I will encounter everything from the doctrine of feminism to sexuality and gender studies, from paganism and goddess worship to surrogacy and abortion, to defining (and redefining) concepts of personhood, motherhood, and family. I will have much to meet with grace - and tenacity. It is my hope to be a new voice speaking words of life, truth, and wisdom into ongoing conversations about what are some of the most crucial issues our culture is facing. I hope to partner with God in bringing newness where there is distortion, to empower and educate my clients and communities, and to be with them through vulnerability, fear, and triumph.