Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

The Making of Mothers: Vermont Midwives Association

It’s not just the making of babies, but the making of mothers that midwives see as the miracle of birth.

Barbara Katz Rothman

We are so thankful to Vermont Midwives Association for sponsoring our “How I Became a Mother Series”! These beautiful women have helped countless Vermont families bring their little ones into this world and we are honored to dedicate this post to this group of midwives as we learn a little bit more about who they are and what they are passionate about.

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What is the Vermont Midwives Association?

We are a community of professional homebirth midwives committed to serving families during the childbearing year. We promote the health and well-being of mothers and babies through comprehensive and compassionate care. Our mission is to not only serve families, but to advance the midwifery profession, provide public education, and improve maternity care.

Our membership is comprised of a variety of midwives who attend home births, including Certified Professional Midwives, Naturopathic Doctors, and Certified Nurse Midwives. Other members of the VMA include student midwives and community members.

Can anyone join the Vermont Midwives Association?

Yes! We welcome new members who want to join us. Find out how you can become a supporting member by visiting our website and sending an email through our contact page. Join us in our mission to improve maternity care.

What do you love most about being a midwife?

We all love our jobs! Every aspect of pregnancy, birth and nurturing a newborn is beautiful and amazing.  We especially love the unique relationships formed with each family. As home birth midwives, we develop these relationships over the course of their childbearing year–from early pregnancy through six weeks postpartum.  We spend a least an hour with every family during prenatal and postpartum visits, as well as provide continuous care during labor and birth. Postpartum care is initially provided in the family’s home for both mother and baby. After the first week the postpartum, visits are carried out in an office setting. This continuity of care, in part, defines the practice of home birth midwifery.

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What do you love most about helping families birth at home?

We love and appreciate supporting families within the comforts of their home. Here, families are in their own element and able to follow their natural rhythms and instincts. For example, laboring moms may eat when they are hungry, go outside for fresh air, soak in a tub full of warm water, and “meet” their babies at their desired pace in the immediate postpartum. This can safely occur under the care and monitoring of midwives at home.

We strive to preserve and support an environment at home that promotes normal birth and strong bonding. We believe the first impression generated by this kind of childbearing experience creates a peaceful and positive foundation for the new family unit.

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Why should families consider a home birth? Is home birth an option for everyone?

Home birth is a safe option for healthy women. The largest prospective study of planned home births with Certified Professional Midwives shows that home birth is as safe as hospital birth for low-risk women, yet carries a much lower rate of medical interventions, including cesarean section.

Many women also find that they feel most comfortable at home with the ongoing attention and care of a midwife who is an expert in normal birth. Women are most likely to labor best in a place where they feel free, safe and private. Ninety percent of planned home births occur at home.

Through individualized care and continuous support, women who experience the care of a home birth midwife report feelings of great satisfaction and empowerment.

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What is the rate of home birth in Vermont?

Having a home birth with a Certified Professional Midwife is a choice that is more commonplace in some areas than others, such as Seattle, Washington or Portland, Oregon. In Vermont, the general population is not as aware of the availability of home birth midwifery care. Through our organization, we hope to increase this awareness and access. The rate of home birth in Vermont varies from year to year. The general range is 2-5%.

Can you provide some notable 2013 birth statistics of women under the care Vermont home birth midwives?

  • All of the women planning a home birth after a previous cesarean (VBAC) had successful vaginal births at home.
  • Our transport rate during labor was 7%
  • Our cesarean section rate was 4%!  Please note, hospital cesarean section rates include women with high-risk pregnancies. It is most accurate and useful to compare our statistics to women with low-risk pregnancies in planned hospital delivery.
  • 100% of mothers breastfed their babies though the first six weeks of life.
  • There were no maternal or neonatal deaths.

Vermont Law requires all Certified Professional and Licensed Midwives to participate in the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) statistics project. MANA collects data on birth and associated perinatal care and outcomes, focusing on home births attended by midwives. This dataset is intended to support research on midwifery practice and normal birth with the goal of improving care of women and babies and increasing the choices available to childbearing families. Vermont midwives are proud of our statistics!

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