Would you take the place of my partner?
This is probably the most common question I get, and no, definitely not. In my birth support care, I work with someone’s partner to support them in labor. Your partner knows you and provides you with unparalleled love and emotional support. I know birth. What I bring is the accumulated wisdom of my knowledge of pregnancy, labor, and birth; of the different models of care and the options available to you in pregnancy; of years of teaching childbirth education; of my training in doula support, midwifery care, herbalism, and aromatherapy; of techniques for supporting very fast or very long labors, or a posterior baby, or a breech baby; of supporting people through cesarean and vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), and so on.
There are all sorts of families and couples with all sorts of expectations about how involved a partner will be, and all are okay. Practically speaking, I model physical support techniques for partners, offer a chance for them to rest, sleep, or go get a bite to eat, answer their questions, and most of all, I reinforce the normalcy of a situation. It can be very overwhelming to witness birth, and if you’ve never seen it before, then being able to ask questions in real time, or even to just look at someone’s calm smile, can significantly reduce anxiety about what’s happening.
Partners sometimes can have a hard time allowing a birthing parent to labor, wanting to step in, “do something,” and take away their “suffering” by suggesting (or even insisting on) medical interventions. I can help keep you grounded by reinforcing normalcy, by referring to your birth preferences, and by fully exploring all of the risks and benefits of the options available to you.
Will you judge me if I choose an epidural (or something you think I don’t approve of)?
No. I am here to make sure that you feel fully supported in your decision making. What that means to me is that you understand the full range of options available to you for any given choice, the risks and benefits of those options, that you are able to make empowered informed choices free from duress, and that, at the end of the day, you feel confident that it was the right choice. What is right is the right choice for you.
"...[W]e particularly appreciated how Krystina worked with us for weeks with the assumption of a natural childbirth, spending time teaching us techniques, etc., but when the situation changed and it became clear that my wife and/or child might be at any risk because of circumstances beyond our control, Krystina was 100% supportive of our switching to more standard medical methods. That flexibility meant a lot to us and helped us keep from judging ourselves and our change of plans negatively." - Greg E.
Should I hire labor support if I'm birthing at home?
Most of the people who hire me for labor support are birthing in a hospital or birth center, but families birthing at home also benefit from support. In short, a doula/monitrice plays a different role than a midwife. Midwives tend to arrive when folks are further into active labor, and their energies are best spent being attentive to the mother/parent and baby’s well-being.
Having a dedicated support person means having immediate, on-call care as early in your labor as you need. For those desiring guided relaxation or massage, that’s something that is just as valuable at home as it is in the hospital. I help to keep the space calm, to reinforce the normalcy of birth, to support the midwives in their roles, and to provide support for partners and older children. I have extensive experience attending home births and working congenially and collaboratively with midwives, and would be happy to meet your team at a prenatal appointment prior to your birth.
Can you help me with natural remedies in pregnancy and birth?
Yes absolutely! I am always delighted to share herbal, homeopathic, dietary, and other remedies and treatments for common pregnancy and labor challenges and which I rely on frequently in my midwifery practice. The remedies I use are safe and effective for pregnancy, and typically don’t have the side effects associated with medical treatments. Common complaints include: nausea, anemia, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, achiness, a breech baby, HSV, and others.