Guest Blog about Home Birth from Roots and Wings Midwifery for National Midwifery Week 2017

October 1-7 is National Midwifery Week!

As doulas, we love working with midwives, whether in a hospital, birth center, or at home.  When planning how we wanted to honor the midwives who have helped our clients, we wanted to reach out to those who help with home births. Home birth is a wonderful option for many low-risk pregnancies in Knoxville and we are honored to have Rachel and Rebekah with Roots and Wings Midwifery help us explain why home birth is so cool by being our guest bloggers. Without further ado, let's meet them!

by Megan Flanagan of Break the Mold Photography.

by Megan Flanagan of Break the Mold Photography.

Who we are:

Rebekah Mustaleski

I believe that laboring women are strong, amazing and a bit vulnerable.  
This moment in their life will leave lasting impressions on them. Because of that, it’s so important for them to be surrounded by those who love them and will support them as they find their way through the labor process so that the impact will be encouraging, inspiring, and empowering.  Professionally, I work hard to stay up to date on the current research and studies so that my care will be evidence based. I have a strong desire to educate women about their options regarding labor and delivery so that each family can make their own decisions about what is right for them. As a licensed CPM, I am thankful that I can continue to encourage women to be in charge of their birth experience. In addition to being a midwife, I am also a wife, a mom, a daughter, sister, friend. My family and friends are the most important parts of my life and I like to drink coffee, play games, watch movies, and in general just share life with them. 

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Rachel Chandler

One thing about me is that I've loved pregnancy and childbirth for as long as I can remember. I've been honored to serve women and families as a doula and childbirth educator in Knoxville over several years where I was given the opportunity to attend deliveries in a variety of settings. This experience was exciting and enriching in so many ways and is ultimately what inspired me to pursue my passion for traditional midwifery and home birth.  

When I'm not attending deliveries, I enjoy time outside with my husband, kids, goats, and dogs. Zumba is one of my favorite ways to sneak in some exercise around our homeschool day, which typically begins early with a little quiet time and a tall mug of coffee. 

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It's no secret that choosing a birth team with whom you feel empowered and supported is one of the most important steps in preparing for delivery. As home birth midwives with Roots & Wings Midwifery, we are excited to be an active part of the East Tennessee birth community who are focused on just that. We strive to provide excellent care that is both evidence-based and family centered with a huge emphasis on informed decision making and personal autonomy.

Prenatal care with us includes many of the components found in most care settings. What makes our prenatal time different is that we schedule a full hour to be sure that there is plenty of time to discuss any questions or concerns while getting to know each unique family and the hopes they have for pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. We also spend a significant amount of time discussing diet choices, exercise, and any helpful supplementation to promote and maintain a healthy, low risk pregnancy. While we do offer a variety of testing and preventative care, we encourage each family to research these options for themselves and ask plenty of questions in order to help them make decisions. There is a lot of freedom in home birth care, an important component of true informed choice and empowerment in parenting both short and long term.

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When labor is in full swing our clients don't come to us, we go to them. At each delivery, we bring along and set up oxygen and other resuscitation equipment, medications including pitocin and IV supplies to help with a postpartum hemorrhage, and suturing materials in case any are needed. We also provide each family a birth kit and a birthing tub is available for those that choose to labor and/or birth in water.

Laboring at home is quite different from laboring in a hospital. Women are encouraged to eat and drink as they have the desire and move about the home freely. Although we tend to be more "hands off" to allow space and privacy for a woman to establish her unique labor rhythm, we keep a close eye on her and baby through intermittent monitoring that can be done almost anywhere.

Once baby arrives, we like to give everyone plenty of time to get acquainted with as little interruption as possible. We draw up a soothing herb bath where mom and baby can soak while we tidy up any messes that have occurred and prepare for a thorough newborn exam. At this point, most everyone is ready for some much deserved rest. We say goodbye but remain on call in case concerns arise. We return after 24 hours to check in and offer hearing and newborn metabolic screening for baby.  We also collect information for baby's birth certificate and social security card to submit to the state.

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It has been a joy and privilege for our team to bring this style of midwifery care to families in our community. If you're interested in learning more about Roots & Wings Homebirth, please visit our website