Childbirth Insights

“If we hope to create a non-violent world where respect and kindness replace fear and hatred. We must begin with how we treat each other at the beginning of life. For that is where our deepest patterns are set. From these roots grow fear and alienation ~or love and trust.”

– Suzanne Arms

A Path to Midwifery

Marianne Power Licensed Midwife, Certified Professional Midwife, Registered Nurse

My journey to becoming a midwife started before I knew anything at all about birth. When I was a young nursing student barely 20 years old my sister needed my help during her second pregnancy. After a very long labor with a posterior baby she triumphantly pushed her baby out with joy and determination. This experience made a tremendous impression on me. I knew when it came time to have my babies I would follow the same path. My sister gave me some very important reading material to prepare me. Suzanne Arms “Immaculate Deception” and Elizabeth Davis “Heart and Hands” My first experience was in a hospital with a doctor and all the medical trappings. In 1980 there were no home birth midwives or birthing centers in Florida. Although my birth was induced and completely manipulated I was determined for it to be un-medicated. This experience laid the foundation for my belief that no matter how difficult or painful, the power to birth my baby was mine alone. My second child was born in a birthing center in 1983 under the skilled watchful eye of one of Florida’s founding midwives, Skippy King. I was surrounded by family and friends and returned home in a few hours to the comfort of my home. This birth started the seeds germinating for my own path to midwifery. Seven years later my daughter was born at home with another skilled and passionate midwife. While raising my family I worked as a nurse in a variety of settings gaining the medical and critical thinking skills necessary for my midwifery career. I began midwifery school January 1996, completing one year at FSTM in Gainesville then transferring to the International School of Midwifery in Miami, where I completed my training May 1998. In December of 1999 I was offered a part time position at Labor of Love Birth Center in my home town of Lakeland. I assumed full time duties at Labor of Love August of 2000. Ten years and 500 + births later I have started my own home birth practice. In addition to work I enjoy spending time with my family,and friends, riding my bike, traveling to fun and interesting places,learning more about the world and the people who live in it.

Midwifery is about making a safe space for women to find their own path through the birth process. Midwives are here to guide, teach, learn, and mentor women during their pregnancy and birth, with the ultimate goal a safe and satisfying birth experience. The real work lies with the mother, in the creation of her child in the healthiest body possible, then preparing her mind body
and spirit for her path to becoming a mother. Midwives are the guardians of normal birth. We can only provide the sacred space, it is the woman who must occupy that space.

During my training I experienced the healthcare inequalities that exist in the third world as well as our own back yard. The Midwifery Model of Care is a sustainable affordable solution to healthcare disparities. A healthy model uses midwifery care from the top down, where every woman starts with midwifery care and utilizes high risk specialists only when necessary. Lakeland Midwifery Care provides respectful culturally sensitive care to women regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic, religion, or national origin.