by Jen Byrne

My Grand Rapids Midwife is Amazing

I am always bragging about how amazing my midwife is.

This summer I gave birth to our third daughter and have been reflecting on my opportunity to birth with a midwife.

My experience? Perfect. I have really valued the experience of birthing with a midwife. There are a lot of great health care providers in Grand Rapids: me, I just loved having a midwife as my care provider!

Some midwives do solely home births while others do solely hospital births. Our midwife performs hospital births. A midwife in the hospital was the best of both worlds for us. Our midwife is a certified nurse practitioner who works in a traditional OBGYN office. Our insurance covers her just as it would a traditional doctor.

What to Look for in a Grand Rapids Midwife

Bringing new life into the world is amazing and hard. Pregnancy and birthing don’t always go as one envisions it. That is why it is so important to find a health care provider that you are comfortable with and trust in their abilities and vision of birth. This makes all the difference.

Our midwife provided very personalized care for the duration of the pregnancy and the birth. She is a woman with such a nurturing spirit, which was so calming for me during the birth. It is so important to find someone that will take the time to answer your questions and address concerns and fears: someone that will help you see the beauty in bringing new life into the world. For us this was our midwife Brenda Daniels!

A Midwife Offers a Different Kind of Care

Many things really stand out to me about the care we received from our midwife.

I was full of questions during my first pregnancy–I had lists of questions at all my appointments! I never once felt rushed or that my midwife was impatient with my lists. She sat and answered ALL of my questions and concerns. This was so valuable to me, especially as a first time mom.

This last pregnancy was long and hard. I was terribly sick for most of the pregnancy.  Brenda had great suggestions for trying to reduce my sickness, but more importantly, she was encouraging when all I really wanted to do was cry because I was so sick. I needed that someone to remind me that it wouldn’t last forever!

To top off my very sick pregnancy, I went nearly two weeks past my due date. Fortunately my midwife wasn’t set on the baby being delivered by a certain date like many doctors are. My body just wasn’t going into labor and that was okay with my midwife.

After I passed my due date, I underwent stress tests and an ultrasound to make sure the baby was fine. I didn’t want to induce so we waited. It was so nice to not be pressured to be induced as long as baby and I were healthy and well.  This was another thing I valued immensely about our midwife: patience.

Another benefit that I really appreciated about our midwife is that she personally delivers all of her patients. When I went into labor each time there was no question as to who would walk through those doors to deliver my baby or who we would be talking to on the phone when we paged her.

My first labor was long and my midwife Brenda was in and out throughout the day. She wasn’t waiting to just “catch the baby” as I hear some moms say about their provider.

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She was respectful of our birth plan and had even helped me put it together earlier in the pregnancy. Even with that long first birth I never felt rushed or stressed about timing. There weren’t a million people in and out of the room: it was just my husband and I, the nurse on duty, and our midwife. That itself creates a much more relaxed state for a birthing mama. She also offered different suggestions for laboring to see what worked best for me.

When it came time to push, my midwife prevailed again.

She helped me get into different positions that were more effective for delivery. She was in tune with how I was doing and if we needed to change positions, and with each of my children that was different.  She was very involved in the pushing process. She again had inspiring words and was cheering me on as I pushed….and every woman that’s ever given birth needs a cheerleader or two at that moment!

She was also great with my husband.  She guided him on how to help me during the laboring and birthing process. He got to deliver our babies and announce the gender (we didn’t find out what we were having for the first two).

My husband and I both have so much respect for our midwife.

We are so grateful for her care and the way she helped bring our girls into the world, making a beautiful birthing experience for us.

Where to Find Your Grand Rapids Midwife

To my knowledge there are only three hospital birthing midwives (CNM) practicing in Grand Rapids. There are several home birth midwives.

  • Brenda Daniels, CNM, Area Wide OBGYN, 80 68th St Se # 301, Grand Rapids; 616-532-1410
  • Mary Ann George, CNM, Spectrum Health, 4444 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Ste 104, Grand Rapids; 616-391-3302
  • Julie Mohan, CNM, Spectrum Health, 4444 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Ste 104, Grand Rapids; 616-391-3302

Have you used a great midwife in West Michigan? Tell us about her in the comments!