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Midwives- Your Natural Birth Ally (Part I) – with Mandy Rojas

August 22, 2023

Today, we have the privilege of hearing and learning from my personal midwife, Mandy Rojas. Mandy is a wife, mom, a midwife who has over a decade of experience in birth work, helping moms, and mentoring other midwives. Plus, she even owns her own birthing center. There is so much to unpack when it comes to pregnancy and birth, and we wanted to honor your time. 

So this will be a two part series. We will be discussing the differences between standard care and midwifery, what an out of hospital birth can look like, how to support the most low risk birth possible for you and your baby, and so much more. Get ready to take some notes, my friend. 

Oh, my gosh. I am so excited for this particular episode because not only are you hearing from an amazing midwife and all the things we’re going to dive into so much today, but she is my personal midwife. So I guess you could say I’m a little biased. But I’m so lucky to have Mandy in my life.

Maren:

She has taught me so very much. In hindsight, I wish that I had her for my entire pregnancy, but she was my go to for the second half when I moved to Florida. And I just really want you guys to appreciate this conversation, because the beauty about Mandy is because we know when it comes to crunchy health, sometimes the spectrum can be one extreme or the other. 

And what I love about Mandy as a person and working with her personally through my pregnancy and postpartum is that Mandy has experienced both standard care as well as obviously owning and running her own midwifery practice. She’s given birth personally in a hospital, and she has also had home births. 

She’s worked with moms in the hospitals, and she works with them in giving birth in her birthing center in their own home. So I really want you to appreciate that she’s coming from a place of, hey, this is a different, unique situation depending on the mom, and she’s personally been through it herself. So welcome, Mandy. I’m so excited you’re here. Hi. So why don’t you explain to everyone what made you get into midwifery in the first place and kind of just give a brief background?

Seeking Truth in Childbirth: A Conversation with Midwife Mandy Rojas

Mandy:

It all started for me at the age of 13. My mom gave birth to four out of five of US. Children in either birthing centers with midwives. I myself was born in a birthing center, but I had siblings. And when I was 13, my mom actually gave birth to my little brother with a midwife and she actually had had, prior to this, a C section with my fourth brother. She was with a midwife. 

They had complications during the delivery. They ended up transporting to the hospital for fetal distress. And my brother Joshua was born via C section. And then three years later, she found herself pregnant again. That doctor said, no, we have to do another C section because you’ve already had a C section. But my mom had already had three children prior to that C section, vaginally naturally at home or with midwives and birthing centers, that kind of thing. 

And so she was not having that. And so she found a midwife that supported her having a VBAC. And so my brother Josiah was born in a birthing center, and he was a VBAC. And not only was he a VBAC, but he was ten pounds 4oz. And so I just remember watching the midwife. 

His shoulders were a bit stuck because he was so big, and shoulder dystopia can be a very scary, dangerous complication for a provider. And I just remember standing there watching the midwife do all these maneuvers to get him out and then realizing that this was like the adequacy of like a two or three month old baby that had just come out. He was so big, most people would have thought, oh my God, that must have been so scary. 

But I was standing there and I was in complete awe. I just thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. And then the midwife going, oh my gosh, I think this baby must weigh at least ten pounds. And we’re all I didn’t even know what that meant at that time, but I was like, this is freaking insane, but yet so cool at the same time. Nothing crazy happened. 

My mom had the baby there, and the doctor prior had told her that that wasn’t possible, that it hadn’t been long enough since she had had her C section and that the safest thing would be to have another C section. And she just was not buying that. And so that day, I was like, oh, this is what I’m going to do. This is it. 

And so I never wavered from that. And then just going into my own adventure with having children. Funny enough, I was a very young mom. And my mom, who had even had out of hospital birth, was like, you’re really young. Maybe we should take you to the hospital where you can have an epidural and just in case. And I thought to myself, I’m not going there, and I’m not doing any of that. 

Because I had heard horror stories and the idea of having a needle shoved in my back and just giving birth, laying down and being numb and not really feeling when you give birth to your baby and stuff like that, I don’t know, it never appealed to me. And I just said to my mom, at that moment, unless there’s something wrong, I’m not doing that. And so she supported my birth plan. And I had my daughter with a midwife, all naturally. 

And there were moments when my mom was very overwhelmed. I think I even threw her out. I don’t remember exactly, but I was like, Get out of here. Because she was so worried about me being so young that something was going to happen. And no, nothing happened. And I went on as a young mom. Not only that, she was like, you don’t have to breastfeed if you don’t want to. 

No, I was breastfeeding. I was doing it all at the mere age of 17 years old. And so that carried over into me going, yeah, even young moms, they don’t need to be in hospitals. They don’t need any intervention. They need education, which I had. They need support, which I had. They need help, which I had. But they don’t need to be in hospitals if they’re low risk. And so that was where it all kind of unfolded for me.

Maren:

I think that’s so important because, you know, that’s what I advocate for is education. I feel like midwifery. When people think of midwifery, it’s like we automatically because we’ve been trained by society, whether it’s watching movies or TV shows or that drama that goes into having the baby at the hospital. That’s what we’re programmed to think. And when we hear midwifery, we think it’s these women in a cave with no electricity, squatting in fields.

Maren:

That’s what we’re made to believe. Right. And I have so many different paths that I can go on with what you just said, and I will touch on them all. You had your daughter, like you said, all natural, but you made a point about low risk, and there are times where it is a situation where both the mother and the baby are at risk. And so it was with your son, your first son, so your second child, that you had to go to the hospital, or…

Midwives and doulas challenge traditional birthing practices

Mandy:

So I had had my first two children naturally, midwives, no medication, nothing. And then my third baby decided he was going to come a month early. And so I was in the middle of moving. 

It was a very crazy situation, and my water broke, and it was like, okay, I didn’t even have a doctor. I remember getting to the hospital and then saying, who’s your doctor? And I’m like, I don’t have one. And they’re like, So what, you just didn’t have any prenatal care? They were very confused. 

Now, this is going back almost twelve years ago. That child is almost twelve today. But they were very confused as to why I didn’t have a doctor. How could you not have a doctor? You’re pregnant. Were you negligent with your care? And I’m like, no, I’ve been seeing a midwife, and she’s on her way here. She’s going to bring all the records and everything. 

But it was just funny to me how the hospital just had no clue, even just not even twelve years ago, like, what this was even all about. And I remember one of them now, mind you, this birth was 2 hours and eleven minutes from the time my water broke, like this baby was coming.

And it was crazy because when I arrive at the hospital, I can feel like these contractions are the real deal. 

I know what my body does and I know how fast I give birth. My first child I had in five and a half hours. My second child, I had 3 hours and ten minutes or something like that. And this one, I knew it was going to be even faster. And they were like, oh, we’ve got to put you in this triage room.

Everybody has to go in this triage room and get monitored, and then you’re going to be checked and, oh, we’ve got to call the anesthesiologist because you’re going to need an epidural just in case we have to do a C section. And I’m like, what? I need a room. 

This baby’s coming now. And my husband was working, like, over an hour away because now, mind you, we didn’t think this child was coming until the end of July, and here we are in June. I was just like, no, I’m going to have this baby now. And no sooner did they finally the charge nurse came out and was like, no, let’s just get her in a room. These contractions are every two minutes. 

And no sooner did they get me on the monitor and all the paperwork signed and everything, they were like, oh, the doctor is in a C section. I’m like, you better find another one. I don’t know what to tell you. And they’re telling you, don’t push. And I’m like, what do you mean, don’t push? My body is doing it anyway. 

And then finally, I just ripped the drape off of me and I was like, listen, I’m a midwife. I don’t need you people to catch my baby. I can catch my own baby. And the doctor comes running in as the baby’s coming out, and then all the nurses are standing there cracking up like, oh, you know, your body.

I’ve been telling you for over an hour that this baby is coming and no one is listening to me. 

It was a very frustrating situation, but praise God, he was six pounds, even healthy. There were no complications or anything like that. And he never had to go to the NICU. Thank God.

Maren:

I always love how they are and that’s one of the things that I really want to stress to people about. There’s no right way. Right?

The end game is a healthy mom, healthy baby. But it’s so important to weigh all of the pros and cons of each situation and be at peace, because I have some friends that are right now, either their first time parents, they’re pregnant, and so this is all brand new to them, or their parents that now they want to do things differently than their first child. 

And so I keep saying to them, you have to be at peace with the fact that these are birth preferences. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a birth plan, because, full stop, my preferences were to give birth in the birthing center with Mandy and have the twinkling lights and the birthing pool and all of that. 

But when push came to shove, we did go to the hospital, and it’s because I developed Hellp Syndrome. And I will say Mandy was monitoring it. She can vouch for me. I did all the right things in pregnancy. I’m like the healthiest person you can imagine, but sometimes that’s life. 

And in hindsight, I always tease Nick because I’m like, you know, it’s the male that causes Hellp Syndrome. So it wasn’t my fault. But it is important to make sure that you know, when you’re going into the hospital, how to advocate for yourself. And that’s why it’s so important to have the support of your team, your midwife, your doula, whatever it may be. 

And I love how you were telling these people, hey, I know what’s coming. A, this is what I do for a living. B, this isn’t my first rodeo. This is my third rodeo. So look at her. Because they definitely I hate to say it, but a lot of the times you’re on their schedule, I remember, yeah.

Mom's guide to healing

In this FREE guide I’ve compiled all the ways I’ve helped my body and my baby’s body heal when dealing with all the seasonal germs — honoring the holistic healing remedies I value

[OPT IN] COVID Protocol

Mandy:

Well, they minimize what you’re going through. And that had me infuriated, you know what I mean? And it’s like, the lady goes, well, you don’t look like you’re in very much pain. I’m like, well, I’ve already done this twice at home with no pain meds. Like, I know, labor coping mechanisms, right? 

And my first two kids were all back labor, two posterior babies at home, all naturally. This baby was not posterior, so I didn’t have any back labor. And when you’ve gone through two full back labors, regular labor is a breeze. It really is. I mean, I thought to myself, if this is as bad as it’s going to get, whatever, have twelve kids.

Maren:

Yeah, well and I just think knowledge is so much power, and I commend you for standing up for yourself in that and then taking those experiences and teaching other women how to do it, too. So a couple of things that you said when you went into the hospital, they were like, what do you mean you don’t see a gynecologist or an OB or doctor?

And I remember, full stop, folks, I’m someone that I would go annually since I was 18 years old. And then I remember postpartum saying to you, okay, now what? And you’re like, well, you see me next time you’re pregnant. Yeah, but I feel like that’s another cultural norm that we have to break out of, right? That standard care.

Mandy:

A lot of people get roped into going with an OB if they find themselves pregnant. They’re like, oh, okay, let me call my OBGYN. And then the OBGYN says, oh, okay, well, come on in. We’ll take care of you. 

And then they ever ask questions or deviate from just doing whatever the doctor says to do or whatever? And that was where COVID was actually a blessing in disguise, because all these people that had never, ever considered even researching a midwife, looking up what a midwife was, anything like that, they went out searching for alternative ways to have babies outside of a hospital. 

Then they found us. Now, hence, we’re on the other side of COVID kind of. And they had great experiences, great outcomes, little to no interventions, that kind of stuff. And they’re having more babies, or they’re going out and telling their friends, if they’re not having more babies, you don’t need to go to the hospital.

You don’t even need a doctor. If you’re a low risk candidate, you can have your baby with a midwife in a birthing center or at home at whatever level of comfort it is that you have. That was the blessing in disguise from COVID for sure.

The Rise of Midwives: “
All these people that had never, ever considered even researching a midwife, looking up what a midwife was, anything like that, they went out searching for alternative ways to have babies outside of a hospital.”

~Mandy

Maren:

Because I know just in my circle friends and granted, I do have a little more of a crunchier circle, but that’s the route that they’re going. They’re getting midwives, they’re getting doulas. And in fairness, right when I went into the hospital, the first doctor I interacted with, you could tell, definitely was irritated that I was with a midwifery practice. Like, full stop. 

I called Mandy y’all, and I was like, I am about to check myself out of triage. I am not going through this. These people are awful. And she called SOS to the head charge nurse and was like, listen, I have a mom there, and you need to regulate this doctor.

And she did. And the doctor who delivered me and the baby, that doctor understood, hey, this mom didn’t want to be here, didn’t plan to be here, and she knows what she’s doing. 

But a lot of these doctors, I feel like their world is getting rocked because people are waking up to the fact that what we do as women, we’ve been doing this for centuries and centuries, and we’re born to do this. All of the interventions and all of the medicine that’s only within the last few decades, even. 

And so I think that they kind of have a chip on their shoulder towards you as a midwife, and then they certainly have the chip on their shoulder when it comes to the delivering moms. Like, they’re irritated.

One of the things I wanted you to talk about is because you talked about high risk and all of that, and I remember you saying to me, listen, you don’t want to end up a transfer because then it’s just a whole domino effect. 

So when you went in with your son and you kind of experienced how they treated you and you’ve obviously seen this, how they’ve treated women who have and I will say Mandy has had minimal transfers, but how they treat the mom. So what would you say to that? Like, how women should prepare for that or what we kind of did too.

Mandy:

Keeping the line of communication open. And I will tell you also too, once in a while I’ll have that pissed off mom, that’s mad that I put them in the hospital, goes to the hospital. They cut off the communication with the midwife because they’re mad at me for putting them there and I’m not telling them what they want to hear or I’m making them deviate from their birth plan. 

And, like, in your experience or in experiences that I’ve had with other mothers, I’ve worked very hard to build relationships with the staff on those floors. Like, in your case, I called the charge nurse. She’s my friend. I know her. And I’ve worked very hard to build these relationships. 

Just because one person tells you one thing doesn’t mean that’s what it has to be. My sister in law had a baby at Wellington Regional, the same hospital that I’ve dealt with in that area. And her baby was actually born with a heart condition.

So we knew we did midwifery care with a hospital delivery because her baby required a level three NICU. And as soon as they got to the hospital, I said, oh, your baby has this. Okay, we’re doing a C section right now. 

And I was there, and I said, no, you’re not. That baby doesn’t even know it has a heart condition. I said, that monitor right there says that this baby’s heart rate is fine. So we’re not going back for a C section until I see that monitor say something different. We can stand here all night. 

And then they change their tune real quick. Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. And if you come from a place of like, I’m a midwife, I’m educated. I know what fetal distress is, and I know what fetal distress isn’t. And that’s not fetal distress or this isn’t that. They can get pissed off if they want to, but at the end of the day, it’s not their birth, right?

Cascade of interventions, meme about unnecessary interventions. 41 weeks, monitoring, no induction push.

Mandy:

It’s the cascade of interventions. If I had a dollar for every time I heard this story, I would be a millionaire. It literally is. And it’s funny because on Facebook, there’s this meme that goes around in the birth community. It’s like, oh, let me put you in the hospital because you’re 40 weeks and induce you because it’s your due date, and then start you on pitocin, and then your baby goes into distress because your body and your baby are not ready to be in labor. 

And then we’re going to do a C section and save the day and save your life and your baby’s life. And it’s like, well, what would have happened if we never did anything? And it’s just amazing to me. I hear this story all day long. Moms in and out. Okay, well, why were you induced? Well, it was my due date. 

Okay, but do you understand that most women don’t know the exact day, minute and hour that they got pregnant? That semen also lives in your vagina for three days and can fertilize an egg? You might have had sex on Tuesday and not conceived until Friday, right? So it’s a guesstimate. 

Unless you’ve done IVF, most women don’t. You don’t know exactly when you got pregnant and stuff like that. And so when women’s due dates come and go, they’re like, oh, well, what are we going to do? Nothing. We’re going to wait for the baby? I don’t know. We’re going to continue to monitor and continue to see you and do prenatals. 

And if we get to 41 weeks, we’ll do another ultrasound just to make sure everything’s good. We have surveillance there. We’re obviously making sure that everything’s on track and still low risk. It’s not that we’re not doing anything, but we’re just not pushing for induction.

Maren:

And I think a lot of women, they get pushed the induction route, whether.

Mandy:

They get told  that their babies are going to die, that’s what they get told. And that is just unbelievable to me, because statistically, if you look across the board, most first time moms go 41 weeks and three days that’s what they just ate, too, statistically. 

But the hospital policy is that if you get to 41 weeks, the patient must be induced because that’s hospital policy. Now, do these people know your cycle? Do they know how long you ovulate? Do they know how long in between periods you have? 

No, they don’t know any of that. They’ve just decided that this is our policy and whoever tries to go against this policy is going to get crap care. Even I feel bad because there are a lot of decent OBS out there that probably would practice a lot differently if these hospitals did not have these crazy hospital policies in place.

Maren:

Yeah, speaking of hospital policy, one of the policies that I encountered was once so with labor, the whole preference and plan, just so everyone knows, was to be in the birthing center with Mandy and I was going to be in the pool. 

That was my vision. Right, but the hospital rule was once you’re 8 must be on your back, you cannot deliver standing. Like I will say, in fairness, they had a peanut ball. They were open about certain things, but that was their rule. Once I was eight, they said, nope, you’re done now. I was like, Mandy, I was fast and furious. 

I think part of that was twofold. I think one was my preparation and being able to birth the baby down. But also I was on pitocin. So obviously Pitocin does speed things up a little bit. I wasn’t on a big dose of Pitocin.

And Mandy and I had already discussed, and this is what I would like to talk about too, you and I had discussed because I was not taking the Rhogam shot that I was, despite being in a birthing center and all the things crunchy. You did want to make sure that I had some small dose of Pitocin to get my placenta out, to make sure there was no blood mixing.

I think my question, what I would like you to kind of explain to the listeners is sometimes certain things are necessary. Right? It’s kind of one of those pros and cons, like, okay, a big no no for me was no Rhogam. 

But it’s like, okay, if we’re going to go that route, Maren, we got to hedge our bets and we do need to have this, right? So we need to have Pitocin. So kind of explain to people the difference between home birth, what’s available and what’s not in a birthing center. 

And then obviously we know every freaking intervention under the sun is available at a hospital. But just kind of explain the difference because you had told me, listen, there are certain things I can’t do for you at home that I can in a birthing center.

Hospital-birthing center differences: Medications, monitoring, options

Mandy:

Right. So one of the things that people don’t realize is that with a birthing center we don’t have at home. Now, I happen to have a very good close relationship with my backup doctor, and I trained with his wife and everything, so he trusts me to be able to use IV pain medication in the birthing center. 

We also have nitrous oxide in the birthing center. Now, we do not do those things at home, and that’s just because, number one, your house is not a medical facility, obviously. And number two, in the birthing center, I have access to advanced fetal monitoring where I can run a strip like they do in the hospital if I need to so that I can monitor the baby closely, much more closely. 

A lot of people also don’t realize that midwives like me do carry Pitocin. Now, we don’t use Pitocin to augment labor, but we use Pitocin. If you were having a postpartum hemorrhage or in your case, you were foregoing your Rhogam, so we wanted your placenta to come out so that we didn’t run the risk of hopefully mixing blood back and forth and things like that.

We also have Methergine that we have access to, which is another hemorrhagic drug that we use for Hemorrhaging, and then we also have Cytotec. 

And these are all drugs that we can use to control postpartum hemorrhaging, depending on what the level of the hemorrhage is, depending on what level of the drugs that we use. I typically waver between Pitocin.

Usually a shot or two of Pitocin will stop any excess bleeding, but we have Cytotec if we need it. And a lot of people don’t know that we have those kinds of things. They think, well, what am I going to do if I start bleeding out? Is my wife going to die? They also don’t understand that we have the ability to start IVs to run fluids on mom. 

If you’re dehydrated, I can give you Zofran, I can give you Phenergan. A lot of the things that the hospital has, we have them too. We just obviously don’t use them all in the capacity that the hospital uses. 

A lot of people don’t realize Pitocin is the number one overused drug in the United States of America. It just is. 

And so a lot of people don’t realize that. Also, when your newborn is born, the vitamin K, the Erythromycin eye ointment, the newborn screening, where we stick the baby’s foot and take the five drops of blood and send it to the health department, a lot of people don’t understand that we do offer all of that stuff.

Do you have the option to say, I don’t desire those things for my newborn? 

Of course, but we have them readily available. It’s not like you have to run out and get a pediatrician to do it or something like that. So just because you’re in an out of hospital setting doesn’t mean that you can’t get some of the things or none of the things or all of the things that you desire for mom and baby.

Maren:

And I think. That’s important for people to know because, like we said, there’s this misconception that midwifery is just squatting in a field. Right. That’s not what it is. And at the end of the day, sometimes these interventions, like you were saying, if it’s a hemorrhage, they’re necessary. 

And I think that that’s very important for people to know, because in the crunchy community, it’s almost like you’re totally looked down upon if you had to have one of these things. And then there’s this mom guilt and shame, like, oh, I did XYZ. 

Well, it’s like, yeah, you did it to save your life and the baby’s life. So at the end of the day, that stuff will be out of your system soon enough. Don’t worry about it.

The end game was a healthy mom, healthy baby. And I want people to understand that just because you’re not in a hospital doesn’t mean that you can’t have these types of tools and resources.

“Birthing centers offer a middle ground between home birth and hospital birth. They provide access to pain management options, advanced fetal monitoring, and the ability to control postpartum hemorrhaging, while still offering a more natural and personalized approach to childbirth”
~Mandy

Mandy:

And the other thing is, like, you, Maren, yes, you did have to be in a hospital because we realized that this was a high risk situation. But you had pitocin. You had a lot of the things, but you were still able to achieve a natural birth with a Doula. Pretty much. Same birth plan, different venue, right?

Maren:

Yes, exactly.

Mandy:

Because a lot of people don’t believe that they can do it. They’re told that basically their bodies are lemons. It’s not going to work. And so if you don’t listen to us, your baby could die, you could die, everybody could die. And I’m going. What? 

Our bodies have been doing this for millions and millions and millions of years, going back to what I told you in the beginning when we opened up this interview. Had my mom listened to what that doctor told her, she would have never had her ten pound, four ounce VBAC with a midwife. 

She trusted her body. She knew what she was capable of, and she wasn’t going now, she wasn’t going to risk her baby’s life, but she went with a provider that she felt comfortable with that would support her birth plan up until a point.

Mindset, help, risks, and unnecessary medical interventions

Maren:

I love it. And in the hospital, I think so much of this is a mindset like your mom had it set that this is what I was going to do. I personally did the same thing once I got in there because of help and being high risk and my blood pressure and all the things, blood platelets, yada yada, yada. 

They kept saying, you know, you might have to have a magnesium drip. And I was like, I’m not going to know. I was like, there’s babies coming out. I’m not getting the drip. Because I knew like, okay, fine, you got to give me the Pitocin. Sure thing. And they offered other things to me, too, the Foley Balloon. And I remember saying to them, like, I need you to check me. 

I’m not getting something that I don’t need. And sure enough, the doctor came back, checked. She’s like, oh, yeah, you’re too dilated. Like it’s a moot point. I was like, see?

My doula was on her way to the hospital. So I obviously had people to kind of check and balance my decisions. But it was a mindset. It was like, nope, I’m going to do this. And I think that’s so important with your mom’s situation, right? 

Because I do believe there are a lot of people who listen to the doctor, and there are certain doctors that straight up tell you, I won’t deliver you as a VBAC, right? They won’t do it. So I guess I have two questions. 

And one of my girlfriends and I were talking about this before we hopped on together today because she did have a C section. And in her situation, her pelvis, they told her that she needed to have a C section because the baby was starting to be distressed because her pelvis was too narrow and the baby couldn’t come down. 

And her question to her OB was, well, is this it? Can I never have a vaginal birth because of my pelvis? And obviously you’re not examining her, so you don’t know what her pelvis is. But do you think and just your opinion, this is just your opinion, why do doctors go that route? 

Why do they not pursue the VBAC and why are they so quick to C section? I know there are certain situations where you have to maybe have a C section, but in your opinion, do you think that that’s something that is pushed too much, I guess, is my question.

High C-section rates due to insurance issues

Mandy:

Well, I mean, sadly enough, in Florida, one in three women are having C sections. So that’s basically saying that one out of every three ladies, their body, for whatever reason, can’t give birth. I know that that’s not true. 

A lot of it has to do, unfortunately, down the slippery slope of insurance, the insurance reimbursements are crap. They are literally paying doctors a few hundred dollars to do a delivery. It doesn’t make any difference now since used to doctors would do C sections because they got paid more for the surgical birth. 

Well, then the insurance companies caught on to that when they said, oh, okay, it doesn’t matter whether it’s surgical or vaginal, you’re going to get the same. So then it became, oh, well, we can just schedule ten people for induction and probably 75% of it will fail.

And so then I’ll have to do maybe seven C sections and a couple of vaginal deliveries, and I’ll knock it all out at the same time and not have to get up and go to the hospital in the middle of the night and deliver my clients. 

The other thing is now a lot of people don’t realize that there’s what they call hospital lists. These hospital lists have just come in the last few years. They are contracted with the bigger OB practices. These are brand new OB students.

Their residents that have come out, they basically sit at the hospital all night and do deliveries, and they get paid $350 a delivery, nothing more, nothing less. 

So of course, they want to do as many deliveries as they possibly can when they’re on, because they’re only making $350 a delivery. And then they sit there. When you say, well, where’s my doctor? Oh, well, I’m the doctor that’s on for that practice tonight. Okay, who the heck are you? I’ve never met you before in my entire life.

Oh, I’m working for Dr. so and so tonight. You don’t even know that. That doctor does not even work in that practice and may have never even met before, and they’re entrusting these people to take care of their patients. That’s wild mind boggling to me.

Maren:

And I’m glad you brought that up, because I know from personal experience being in the hospital, I’m trying to think it was at least two. I don’t know if it was three, but I had at least two students following the doctor on call around. And part of my birth preference was, listen, I understand everyone’s gotta start somewhere, but it’s not going to be on me. 

One was when I was delivering the placenta, I remember Tina, my Doula, literally heismanned this student because she was starting to pull on the cord, and Tina knew we needed to deliver this as safely as possible. 

And Tina straight up said, no students. And the doctor was like, oh, sorry, I didn’t, so I’m grateful that I had because you’re holding your baby, you don’t know what’s going on down there, what are you guys doing? 

And so Tina was the eyes and ears of what was going on there, which I cannot say how important it is to have a Doula as well as a midwife. But anyway, the other thing is, when you’re talking about these students, and this is a very controversial subject, as you know, and we’ve talked about this, you’ve had personal experience with it, and it goes on in the crunchy community, is when parents opt to have circumcision and that baby is taken from you. 

You don’t know if that’s the first time that student is doing a circumcision, and we hear about these botched circumcisions and all of that, because you’re not with the baby, you don’t know who’s doing it. And so I personally, if someone opts to do that, and that’s their choice, I personally say, wait and go to a pediatric urologist who does this for a living, and does it all day, every day.

Well, you can clearly see why I was so comfortable as a first time mom to be in Mandy’s care after that episode. Make sure you tune in next week for part two of my interview with Mandy. We will be discussing one of the most neglected pieces of childbirth, the postpartum recovery. 

Helpful Resources

Parents want more information and resources when it comes to informed consent? Here is a list of my favorite books you can start with found on Amazon.

Informed Consent: This is one of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow. – @justtheinserts. You can also visit the website.

In our house, we keep everyone’s immune system strong with Dr. Greenmom’s doctor-formulated organic products. From supplements to nontoxic baby soap and lotions, probiotics, and more. Want to save on all Dr. Greenmom products? Use my code MAREN10 anytime and save!

Mandy has been doing birth work since 2010 and became a midwife in 2017. Not only is she a wife and mom but she is also a business owner and owns the Palm Beach Maternity center. You can follow Mandy on IG @palm_beach_midwife or visit her website.

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