Louisiana Constituents for Safe Childbirth

Meet the Midwives of the Acadiana BirthHouse

Certified Professional Midwives of the Acadiana Birth Center

07

Jul 2016

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We, Louisiana Constituents for Safe Childbirth (LCSC), are excited about another birth option in our Acadiana chapter! Have you heard? Acadiana now has a birth center! This will be the first birth center in Louisiana owned and operated by Certified Professional Midwives (CPM)!

According to 2012 statistics, only 0.41% of women have an out-of-hospital birth in Louisiana. A large reason for this may be that there are not many out-of-hospital options. In this area, if women wanted to have an out-of-hospital birth their options were a home birth or traveling to Baton Rouge to the birth center. Now women have a much closer option!

The Acadiana BirthHouse is conveniently nestled between Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) and Women and Children’s Hospital at 803 S. Morgan Ave, Broussard, LA. This will allow clients to choose their hospital if they need to transfer.

Clinic for Acadiana BirthHouse

Acadiana BirthHouse clinic.

This month LCSC showed our excitement and support by organizing a fundraiser for the Acadiana BirthHouse’s open house on June 18th. The support was overwhelming! Many local businesses sponsored, participated, and donated to our event. Because of the community’s support, we raised $1120 to help with their remodeling and start-up costs. We also counted 224 people from our sign-in sheet, not to mention our vendors and others that did not sign in! This shows how excited Acadiana is for this opportunity!

Louisiana Constituents for Safe Childbirth Board Members

LCSC Board Members (left to right: Maryellen Yates, Meghan MacInnis, Stephanie Trosclair) at the Acadiana BirthHouse Open House.

So, who are these awesome midwives that are providing more birth options for the community? They are Michel Martien, CPM, LM and Kira Smith, CPM, LM. Below are a few questions they answered for us, so that you can get to know them a little better:

Sign for Acadiana BirthHouse

Co-owners Michel Martien, CPM, LM and Kira Smith, CPM, LM of the Acadiana BirthHouse.

 

Why did you become a midwife?

Michel: “I’m not really sure that I necessarily made the decision to be a midwife. The seed was planted by a substitute teacher who was a midwife when I was a high school student. It had always been in the back of my mind until grocery shopping only a week after graduating college. I ran into that same substitute teacher and her birth center was able to accept students right away. In my heart I know that I was born to do this.”

Kira: “Even as a very young child, I always knew I wanted to work with pregnant moms. In my teenage years, I delivered my dog’s puppies and had to resuscitate one. I had no idea what I was doing, but after a few puffs mouth-to-snout, that lifeless puppy perked up and that moment changed my life. Shortly after that experience, on my 16th birthday, I saw a midwife deliver a baby on Discover Health channel in a birth center…. during a hurricane….with no electricity. I immediately thought “Wow. I want to do that”. Well, this was after I realized “Woah, there are still midwives?!”

Midwife Michel Martien checking baby's heart beat.

Midwife Michel Martien using a doppler to check the baby’s heart beat.

What is your favorite part of midwifery?

Kira: “It is really special to be able to witness a family work hard together for their baby and then to provide the space for them to fully experience the bliss that comes with a gentle, intense birth. Watching mothers explore their newborn babies for the first time in the first quiet moments after the birth has got to be my favorite part though.”

Michel: “My favorite part of midwifery is weeks after the birth when women process their birth and realize that they ROCKED IT!”

Midwife Kira Smith listening to baby.

Midwife Kira Smith assessing newborn after birth.

Why did you open the birth center?

Michel: “My reason for opening the birth center is: Women need options and part of midwifery is supporting and creating those options.”

Kira: “I strongly feel that women deserve access to midwives, if they want one. At the same time however, I also recognize that home birth is not the right choice for everyone. We had hoped that Acadiana BirthHouse would be a great middle-ground for families who desire the midwifery model of care but may not have chosen it had home birth been their only option.”

One of the Acadiana BirthHouse Birthing Suites

One of the Acadiana BirthHouse birthing suites.

What do clients need to do if they are interested in an Acadiana BirthHouse birth?

Kira: “Call or email us! We will have monthly orientations for families interested in delivering at the birth center, but contacting us directly first is the best step.”

Michel: “Interested clients can email and call us. We would be happy to forward information to get the process started.”

Midwife Replacing Stork

You can call, text, or leave a voicemail at 337-453-4346 or email them at acadianabirthhouse@gmail.com

Yay for more birthing options in Louisiana!

 

Louisiana Constituents for Safe Childbirth‘s mission is to provide research, education, resources, and support of birth options in Louisiana for healthy moms and healthy babies. If you would like to get involved, contact us today!

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