Ep 23: Believe in Midwifery with Madeline Murray

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Hatched at Home-Midwife Carrie LaChapelle: 




Show Notes:

    • Madeline Murray is a CPM working in Atlanta, Georgia. She is part of a 3-midwife practice called Modern Midwifery


    • She had her first child this past year, and remembers people telling her that having a baby would make her a better midwife. Though she’s not sure if she agrees, she definitely thinks being a midwife made her a terrible pregnant lady!


    • Madeline was born at home in 1982 (her mother had her first baby at home in 1977). When she was growing up, homebirth was the norm for her


    • How she got into midwifery: Her job was coming to a close as a nanny, and she witnessed her sister-in-law’s victorious VBAC


    • She went to Midwife’s College of Utah for her didactic training


    • She attended births in Haiti and the Philippines, then finished her training in Oregon at a birth center


    • Madeline explains “Believe in Midwifery”


    • She discusses how difficult it was to be living in Oregon and not be able to experience anything outside of an hour away from the birth center. She was feeling suffocated from being on call all the time, but felt she wasn’t allowed to say anything about it.


    • “I was either going to quit or figure out a way that I could get a little time off.”


    • “I knew that I wanted to be a midwife, I knew that I was going to be a great midwife, but I also knew that I couldn’t do it in the system that is set up right now.”


    • Madeline developed a schedule for the midwives and midwifery students that showed how each of them could receive time off while still providing continuity of care for their clients. She presented this at a staff meeting.


    • The midwives told her that it would work, but that’s not what “midwifery is”.


    • Madeline discusses the physical toll that on-call workers take by that type of lifestyle.


    • “I could be both things: I could be a good midwife and someone who wanted to have a life, too.”


    • “The midwives model of care is the answer to so many of themajor problems with the birth culture in The United States”


    • “To make midwifery sustainable, midwives need to have regularly scheduled time off call.”


    • Madeline discusses how she feels like if mothers knew and understood what that on-call lifestyle was like, they would be just as happy to have this system as midwives.


    • She mentions that one incredibly depressing statistic is that the average career time of a midwife is a mere 7 years.


    • She also brings up a fabulous point: how one midwife for one client in and of itself is still somewhat isolating. The ability to have several women pouring into each client is an incredible benefit and truly more in the sisterhood vein that midwifery was intended to be!


    • Contact Madeline!:


    • com/believeinmidwifery


Episode Roundup:

1. It’s okay to want to be a midwife or birth worker but have a life outside of that, too!  Your family is important, and you need to be able to be there for them.

2. In order to provide more services to more mothers and to prevent burnout and short careers, we need to find a way to make midwifery more sustainable.

3. For mothers, seeing several midwives gives the benefit of seeing several different women, perhaps with different styles of mothering or in different phases of motherhood and life.  I know this left a huge impact on me, and I’m so grateful that I was exposed to a few strong mothers/care providers before entering into motherhood myself.