Midwifery self-care… take time to celebrate you. In a world of working hard in caring for women, it’s time to take a breath and reset your energy. Revisit what motivates you to care for women, what keeps you going and how you came to be a midwife. #MidwivesMakeADifference; #NatMW16; #GeorgiaMidwives
GEORGIA MIDWIFE OF THE DAY
Name: Erin Graham
Years of Practice: 2.5 years
Practice name/location/website: Atlanta Birth Center (http://www.atlantabirthcenter.org)
Population served: We serve predominantly low-risk pregnant clients who desire to birth in a out-of-hospital birth center setting. The majority of our clients live within the metro Atlanta area, but some travel long-distances, even coming from neighboring states to be given the option to birth as they desire. When the need arises, we are able to proceed with labor and birth in a hospital setting for those clients with moderate risk-factors that may arise during pregnancy and/or labor.
Why midwifery: I became a midwife after having been a doula for several years in NYC, and my decision to do so was heavily influenced by my time serving families in that capacity. I chose midwifery because I felt at my core that women and their families deserve to be treated with the utmost kindness, respect and compassion during pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. As a doula, I witnessed both the best and the worst of what the current American model of obstetrics has to offer, and I felt compelled to do all that I could to provide the kind of care that encompasses not only the physical wellbeing of mother and baby, but their mental, emotional, and psychological wellbeing as well.
ACNM member? Why? Yes! Absolutely! I am a member of ACNM for so many reasons–for mentorship, camaraderie, and for ongoing learning opportunities. I am also a member of ACNM to stay engaged in the hard work being done at the legislative level to demand the respect, visibility and autonomy that nurse-midwives and other APRN’s deserve. There is power and solidarity that comes with engaging with and participating in the collective whole of those doing similar work to help propel the profession forward.
Words of wisdom to midwives: Include yourself in the circle of compassion you draw around the clients, women and families you serve. Take time for self-care & for self-nurturing–however that may manifest for you–and resist the urge to prioritize every one else’s needs before your own.
Words of wisdom to women: Find your tribe. Find your village, and allow those who care for you to help you when you need it. Everything I know about strength, power, courage, vulnerability and beauty, I’ve learned from the clients I’ve been lucky enough to serve, but all too often, I see women who are depleted because they don’t know how to allow others to step in and help them. We are stronger together.
How you celebrate midwifery: Occasionally, in the middle of a particularly chaotic and overwhelming day, a still small voice inside reminds me of the absolute miracle of this work. To bear witness not only to the birth of the baby but to the transformation and birth of the parents is so incredibly humbling. Those quiet moments of gratitude and awe are my favorite kind of celebration.
**Come get outside and join Erin and the other midwives of the Atlanta Birth Center Saturday, October 8, as they celebrate National Midwifery Week! Join them at Noguchi Playscape in Piedmont Park from 2:00-4:00.
Details here: Celebrating National Midwifery Week is about celebrating the ancient practice and most importantly celebrating those we serve. This week is National Midwifery Week and Atlanta Birth Center would love to enjoy an afternoon at Piedmont Park with you! We will provide light refreshments and water, spend some time playing on the playground, and get moving with a nice walk around the park. Please bring your family and walking shoes to this family friendly event at Noguchi Playscape in Piedmont Park. Look for blue, green, and purple balloons to find us easily. This play area is most easily accessed through the 12th and Piedmont entrance to the park.