Sue Baelen, licensed midwife
I was just 19 years old when I discovered that there was such a thing as midwifery and homebirth. I knew right then that's what I wanted to be when I grew up.
It took me many years and several adventures including moving to San Francisco and having my own homebirth before I felt 'grown up' enough to pursue my calling. I made a 10 year plan and said I was becoming a midwife from the inside out. 11 years later — thanks to many wonderful teachers, an apprenticeship, and graduation from the National Midwifery Institute — I achieved my goal.
I've been in practice since 2005 and take 2-3 primary clients a month.
I provide prenatal, birth, and postpartum care to my clients. Visits are in their home and young assistants are always welcome.
My prenatal visits are often a little more than an hour long and we discuss the progress of the pregnancy, standards of care, preparations for the birth, and regular life. Pregnancy is a time of big changes for body, mind and soul.
Postpartum care is just as important as prental but often doesn't get the attention it deserves in our modern world. I visit often in the first couple of weeks, providing clinical information, reassurance and advice where wanted.
Birth can be a transformational experience no matter where it occurs, and homebirth is often more a state of mind and intention than the exact location of a birth. But when a birth can unfold at home it can bring a grace, beauty and gentleness befitting the event's sacredness.
During labor I am there to help encourage, guide, and watch for progress. If there are variations we work to bring things back into balance and if that's not possible, we move the birth to the hospital, where there are more resources available.
Most births planned for home happen at home and after the baby and placenta are born I stay for 3-4 hours to make sure everyone is stable, fed, examined and ready to take a well-deserved nap.