Supporting the Birthing Family

As you know, I get pretty close to and invested in the families who I care for. Boundary issues? Whatever. I am a mama bear. No need to skirt around that. And sometimes it is tough to hear about how often society misses the mark in supporting a birthing family. So let me help.

Gentle reminder #1: Families near their guess dates need lots of space to breath and anticipate the hard work to come. Couples are focused on preparing their hearts and homes, being absent from work, etc. They may be somewhat anxious about whether the labor and birth will turn out OK. Getting 20 texts daily starting at 40 weeks makes people anxious. Anxiety increases stress hormones in our body that can prevent labor onset or at least slow it way down. I surely would not want the bad karma of thinking that I harassed someone to 43 weeks. You?

Gentle reminder #2: It saddens me when a mom shares in the first week postpartum, that someone in their family or friendship circle is upset that they were not notified when labor started, or that the baby was born. Sigh. Birthing families have to negotiate so much territory after their births. It bears repeating that women can have overwhelming hormonal shifts to contend with after birth, as well as physical healing, sleep deprivation, and often milk making and sore nipples. If you have hard feelings about not being invited to the party, take a brisk walk outside, journal, have a private cry, and quickly get over yourself. Quickly. Brush yourself off and get ready to be helpful and loving when the family calls on you to come. It is not their job to take care of you right now. They need your grace, patience, healthy boundaries, and maturity.

Gentle reminder #3: Many families exhaust themselves accommodating eager and well-meaning loved ones in the first few days, when they should be resting, drinking plenty of water, healing, and tending to the mounds of laundry. Exhaustion delays healing, may increase the risk of postpartum depression and anxiety, and can decrease breastfeeding success. It most definitely brings new mothers to tears and really stresses out partners, who are trying to mediate between protecting the sanctity and sanity of their home life and addressing the social pressures of folks wanting to pour in the door.

Take home message: Please, please honor the last weeks, labor, birth, and the postpartum period as times when families need to determine the degree to which they want their tribe close. Give them space. Be ready with love.

Full disclosure: Apologies to my sister-in-law who had to deal with my unwoke self when my first nephew was born in 1998. I was clueless.

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Families Thrive Midwives

I loved the ease and convenience of using Thrive’s telehealth option. My daughter and I had developed a nasty case of thrush and with three kids and a busy schedule, I had no time to travel to an appointment to get it taken care of. Not to mention, it was a Saturday! In about 10 minutes, Kari had asked me the necessary questions, diagnosed the problem and had a prescription sent to my local pharmacy. It could not possibly have been easier. Thrive definitely has a patient for life!

−Catherine

As a doula practicing for 20 years, I can attest that the physical, emotional, informational and midwifery care that Kari provides is truly phenomenal. She cares so deeply about the families that she serves, which is evident in the countless births I have attended with her. From the moment you meet Kari, her knowledge about and trust in normal birth is infectious. On top of all of that she has an amazing sense of humor! As a doula, it is a joy to watch her hold space for all of the fortunate families that have entrusted her with their care.

−Jessie, doula

When I think about who I trust to deliver my baby, my mind automatically says, Kari. In 2015 I delivered my first son in a local hospital, and the tender care and attention I received from Kari during labor, delivery and post postpartum, I knew I wouldn’t be able to find in anyone else. The amount of respect you have between the boundaries of culture and medicine manifests itself in your practice, as I witnessed it during my first delivery. You place your patients wants and needs before yours. You are there any time of the day or night via phone, email or text message. During the hard times of struggle and when my life caused me stress, I turned to you to help me get back on track to improve or maintain my health. When I was going through my miscarriage, I trusted in your expertise and wisdom. Even though I was far away from home when it occurred, you made me feel comforted as I knew you were just one call away. When I think of you Kari, it brings tears to my eyes to have known such a wonderful person and knowing my family trust you whole heartily. What I can say about you is endless. Thank you for all you do.

−Mai

I have known and practiced with Kari for a long time, and trust her implicitly to provide top-notch care for her patients. She stays current in evolving research regarding women’s health and demonstrates a growing knowledge base regarding use of supplements and herbal therapies. Kari is also really innovative in providing care in low resource settings, such as international health.

−Robyn, MD

Kari’s care is exceptional! Not only does she provide stellar whole woman care, she listens and truly forms a bond with each of her clients. Never feel like a number or meet an impersonal provider again. Kari takes the time to get to know you and your family’s health needs and provides you with the tools and knowledge to make well-informed and practical health choices. Thank you, Kari, for being my advocate!

−Suzanne

Kari provides a one-of-a-kind blend of compassion, attention to detail and well researched medical knowledge. She believes strongly that pregnancy and birth is a natural process for most women, recommending both natural remedies and evidence-based Western medicine when it was indicated.

−Melisa

I am so impressed by how Kari keeps up with current research. You can rest assured that the care you get at Thrive will be rooted in the latest evidence and tailored to your needs. Kari is a strong communicator and will be your advocate. I will gladly refer families seeking home birth, gynecological care, and intrauterine insemination to Thrive Midwives.

−Emily, nurse-midwife

Kari is extremely knowledgeable, her clinical judgment and decision making are spot on, she is easy to talk to, and has a comforting and peaceful presence.

−Christy

Kari offers the perfect balance of medical knowledge and personal care, while also trusting a woman’s body and addressing overall wellbeing. She believes that women’s bodies know what they’re doing. She helps you believe that, too.

−Maggie