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Embrace unexpected, love, be flexible: Moms, midwives' thoughts on motherhood

Posted October 31, 2013

The great folks over at Midwifery at Women's Health Alliance are sponsoring this year's Go Ask Mom Cutest Baby Contest.

They'll be offering some health information in the coming weeks, but I thought I'd introduce the group, with offices in Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham, today.

The group of certified nurse-midwives and health care professionals aims to offer comprehensive midwifery care to expectant moms and women planning on pregnancy. They are backed by a full staff of OB/GYN doctors, who are there if needed when a new mom delivers at The Birth Place at Duke Regional Hospital.

Check the website for more information about the services that they offer. But here's a bit from some of the practice's midwives, who also happen to be moms. They share their thoughts on what they've learned from being a mom and how that knowledge carries over to their patients.

For me, it's always great to hear from other moms about their experience raising kids. It helps to remind me why I love my kids so much - a needed prompt some days when you're in the thick of tantrums, whining and sleepless nights.

Cheryl Carroll, midwife and mother

I've learned many things over the years in both these roles, and the thing that stands out for me today is: Don't be afraid to draw a line in the sand to protect yourself, to protect your family, and to protect whatever you find important; but don't be alarmed when an ocean wave washes over those lines, making them blurred and illegible. Regroup, rethink, reshape, redefine, reaffirm. It will be your growth.

Anne Brand, midwife and mother

I have learned so much about parenting via providing care for women during their pregnancy and childbirth. This takes patience, trusting the process and understanding that children and birth are not something to control, but rather support and guide. Midwifery at WHA logo


We learn to appreciate individuality, embrace the unexpected and provide our children and our patients with information and opportunities to make their experience an empowering process.

Mary Ellen Lowry, midwife, mother of four and grandmother of four

The most interesting thing I learned while raising my children was that each child is completely different. Finding each child's strengths and building on those strengths can be challenging. At times it can look (and feel) like you as the parent are treating your children differently from each other. In reality you are, but that is because each child is different!

Jualeah Early, midwife and mother of three

We, as mothers, teach our children and our children teach us. Though each child differs from the next, they are all smart, respectful, loving and caring. As parents and midwives, we begin teaching these qualities from the first hour of life, and continue through adulthood. I love my babies (yes, they will always be my babies!)

Leigh Ann Joel, midwife and mother of two

One of parenthood’s most challenging lessons is to discover how each child is unique. My children are their own special, and completely different, human beings. They each have their own needs, motivations, and desires. Both discipline and praise, for example, work differently for each child. We assumed when we had our second child, that all the tricks and techniques that worked for our son, would work for our daughter. We quickly discovered that she required her own approach and we had to parent her differently.

In some similar ways, each of our patients requires something different from us as midwives. Our challenge is to figure out what each women needs. During labor, one woman may need quiet presence, and calm reassurance, while another may need a cheering squad and more concrete direction. A third may require both complex and insightful clinical decision making, in addition to support.

I have learned that it is not possible to parent my kids from a “cookbook,” nor can I care for my patients from one. Very rarely exists "one" right answer, or "one" correct way to handle a given challenge or circumstance. Both parenting and midwifery require flexibility.

Stay tuned to Go Ask Mom for health information from Midwifery at WHA next week. Midwiferye at Women's Health Alliance is a sponsor of Go Ask Mom's Cutest Baby Contest.

1 Comment

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  • 123skipjack Nov 2, 6:12 p.m.

    very sweet...