Monday, July 5, 2010

Interview with a Local Midwife

I had the opportunity and honor to be taken care of by Diana Janopaul, a local midwife here in Tallahassee.  It was during my pregnancy with Rita Clare, when I spent some quality time sharing my new journey into motherhood with her.  At the time, she was working at The Birth Cottage.  However, she decided to take a leap of faith late last summer to start her own practice, being allowed to grow more intimate with a few clients while spending more quality time with her family.

I briefly interviewed Diana and encourage you to take a look at her website, learning more about what she does in the community as a midwife....awesome and inspiring woman!

 How/when did you first become interested in becoming a midwife?

 I first became interested in midwifery when I was living in NYC at 18 years of age attending NYU.  Honestly, I probably had never even heard the word "midwife", but when I found a copy of Ina May's Spiritual Midwifery in a bookstore on 8th Street, I knew that was what I was put on the planet to do.  (You can read my article The Call to Midwifery online-- it talks a lot about my journey to becoming a midwife)

What's the best part of being a midwife?

The best part of being a midwife, other than the obvious baby catching part, is the emotional connections I get to forge with women and their families.  Birth is a peak experience and I have the honor of being present for that moment over and over.  It is wonderful! 

 What's the worst part?

I don’t think there is a worst part.  Some parts are harder than others-- not being able to plan to do things with my family if I have a woman due is hard.  Lack of sleep is hard.  Dealing with insurance is super-hard.  But, those things are outweighed by all of the good things.

Why did you start "Where the Heart Is Midwifery?

I started Where the Heart Is Midwifery last November.  I had been practicing in a birth center setting for almost four years, but needed more flexibility for me and my family.  I wanted to slow down a little bit and be able to focus more on each woman.  I also was intrigued by the idea of doing all of the care in the woman's home.  It has worked out really well for me.  I accept two women a month (occasionally three!).  I come to their homes for all the care, including the prenatals, lab draws, birth, postpartums.  I can be flexible to meet their scheduling needs, so I do evening and Saturday appointments, if need be.

 If you had someone call you skeptical about a home birth, what would you tell them?

If someone were interested in homebirth, but skeptical about it, I would suggest that they sit down with me and their list of questions/concerns and talk.  Most concerns that couples have are easily addressed and often based on inadequate information.  My job is not to "talk someone into" a homebirth; it is to present accurate and complete information so that the couple can make a good decision for themselves. I find that out-of-hospital birth works well because women feel safe in their own nest.  It is important for a woman to feel safe, no matter where she chooses to birth.

If you had only a couple minutes to talk with pregnant mamas on the best ways to take care of themselves during their pregnancy, what would you emphasize?

I would tell them to get to the basics-- eat real, whole food.  Sleep as much as their body requires-- if it is asking for a nap in the middle of the day, go for it.  Avoid those things that we know are not good for us and, therefore, couldn't be good for a developing baby.  Exercise--stretching, yoga, swimming, walking are all good exercises for a pregnant mama.

Relax, laugh and enjoy the pregnancy!

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887

1 comment:

someday said...

Thought you might be interested in a Tallahassee Contest!