My name is Samantha Mehaffey, I’m a wife and a mother of five. My husband was in the Navy for 8 years, and we had two of our children while he was still in service, the third, fourth, and fifth were born in our home with a midwife after his naval service ended. Luckily I was able to have him at my side for all of my labors, but being in the military made me realize how many women don’t get to have their husbands near them in childbirth, not just for military service but for multiple reasons.
Why am I a birth worker?
Many women don’t have labor support when they are in childbirth, and after having my first child I realized how greatly I needed support. Then I was asked (3 months after delivering my son) to attend my best friends labor for her first child. This experience opened my eyes to the need for skilled and trained birth support.
My friend had a doctor she had never met before, in a hospital where the staff disrespected her and treated her like a machine instead of the beautiful woman that she was. Her birth experience was by no means horrific, in fact it was beautiful, but I felt she could have been better supported by a trained doula. I have made it my goal to be that support to any woman who desires it.
I’m expanding my knowledge base now to become a Midwife, so that I can serve even more people at a much deeper level. I look forward to fulfilling the educational process and becoming a licensed midwife for Michigan mothers.
What would my ideal birth experience be?
In a completely ideal world I would be able to support a woman through a completely intervention free labor and delivery, possibly even in a home birth setting, she would deliver her baby and hold it skin to skin immediately and breastfeeding would begin naturally and work out successfully. In fact I see this happen often now that I’m working as a midwifery student/apprentice.
However birth can be beautiful regardless of location or details, what truly seems to mater the most is a respectful provider that allow a woman to choose her own care, and the aspects of care.
My breastfeeding stance
I might as well tell you I am VERY pro-breastfeeding and would love if all moms did it, or at least gave it a shot. However, as my own children clearly showed me, it doesn’t always work. My first son was born and latched like a champ with no one showing either of us anything, and I thought I was a breastfeeding world champion… then I had my second. She had great suction, and no tongue tie, but just could not wrap those little lips around anything tight enough to get milk, in fact even her bottles took her 45 mins to empty.
Sometimes no matter what you try it isn’t going to work, but the more support you have the better you will feel and the better your attempts will be if you don’t have a born breastfeeding champion. I am more than willing to help you get a good latch or find you someone who can more effectively help you than I can, I’m also willing to help you get the hang of that pesky pump and figure out why it hurts so much (if in fact it does, not all women experience this).
If breastfeeding is not on your agenda no worries, I will only tell you that I believe (and the World Health Organization agrees) that breastfeeding is the best nutrition your baby can get, and if you want to know more I’m glad to share, but if you don’t I’ll button my lips and not judge you one little bit. Breastfeeding like childbirth is a very personal decision between mom, dad, and baby… and no one can tell you what is best for your family.
Please feel free to take a look at the rest of my site and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!