Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nasal Congestion and Nursing

I frequently receive calls from new mommies (and daddies!) concerned their babies are having difficulty nursing because of nasal congestion. If the congestion is loose enough, you can use a nasal (bulb) syringe to remove it.

If the mucus is too thick to remove easily, use saline water to first loosen it. To do so:

1. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt into one cup of warm water
2. Drop the saline mixture into baby's nostrils.

Your baby may not like it, but it will do the trick!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ICAN and you can, too!

Have you been a victim of insurance discrimination?

If you have been a victim of insurance discrimination based on a previous cesarean, ICAN (The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean {VBAC}) needs your help!
Discriminatory practices include:
  • demands for sterilization,
  • restriction on when you can have another pregnancy covered,
  • higher premiums
  • excessively high deductibles for maternity care
  • and restriction on the total amount of benefits they will pay.
Share your story and make a difference! Get Active!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Proper Nutrition During Pregnancy

I cannot express with enough emphasis the importance of proper nutrition. Please check out this link for more information on the Brewer diet for pregnancy to prevent any chance of developing Metabolic Toxemia of Late Pregnancy (MTLP) at

This is a condition that is very serious for both the mother and the baby.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Please, please, please drink "enough" water. Your body when pregnant is like an aquarium trying to filter the water and keep it clean. Your liver and kidneys are working extra hard when pregnant to filter and eliminate the toxins and impurities that build up in your system. Additionally, you are filtering, cleansing and replacing the amniotic fluid as dead skin cells and other impurities accumulate.

An absolute minimum of two liters a day of pure water is necessary for a healthy pregnancy. I recommend my clients get a 2 liter water bottle and fill it in the moring, empty it by noon, refill it and empty it again by nighttime. This is much easier than trying to keep track of 8-10 8 oz glasses per day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Healthy Immune System = Healthy Body

My family, which includes four young children, has no insurance. It is cost prohibitive. We are healthy (thank God!) and choose not to immunize, vaccinate, or do "well-baby" or "well-child" check-ups.

When we get sick, we tuck into bed with bee propolis, Emergen-C and Airborne, and wait for it to pass. I welcome a healthy fever as I believe it is the body's way of "burning off" the illness.

This is a well thought-out regimen. I am very well acquainted with infectious disease and immune response due to previous experience as an "expert" in infectious disease transmission. I also sincerely believe our health care system is flawed and welcome an attempt to "fix it".

Monday, November 2, 2009

H1N1 (Swine Flu) Vaccine

Many of my expectant moms are asking about the vaccine for H1N1. While I caution that it is a very personal decision and not one I should make for them, I do share my concerns.

Firstly, I have heard numerous anecdotes of physcians and politicians who are not advising or administering it to their own family members due to concerns about its safety. Apparently they are concerned there has not been sufficient testing.

Secondly, I am angry at the pharmaceutical companies and the media for capitalizing on Americans' fear.

Lastly, I choose not to immunize or vaccinate my own children as I believe the best defense is a healthy immune system. My family routinely uses bee propolis, Emergen-C, and Airborne to fight colds.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Prenatal Vitamins

Please consider taking a prenatal vitamin purchased at the health food store or from a chiropractor or acupuncturist. There are many choices available in discount stores and I understand not wanting to pay more than you have to. However, they are not all created equal.

The main issue with prenatals is that many of them do not absorb well. It is definitely worth paying the extra to get a supplement that your body can actually use, as opposed to something your body may not assimilate well, giving you a false sense of security.

On another note, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Benefit of Chiropractic Before Childbirth

I stop short of requiring my clients to see a chiropractor as they approach term. I firmly believe a mal-adjusted pelvis can prevent a baby from engaging properly and perhaps lead to an unnecessarily long labor or even c-section. When the pelvis is properly aligned, the baby can drop in and line up.

If you need a recommendation for a good, local chiropractor, let me know and I'd be happy to offer you one. Have a blessed day!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I am passionate about breastfeeding and I realize there may be situations where a formula is needed. Goat's milk most closely resembles human breast milk and there is an excellent recipe at that will help ensure you are giving your baby an age appropriate mixture. I do not advocate soy based formula as there is some controversy about it being too estrogen heavy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Avoid Antihistimines While Breastfeeding

With cold and flu season upon us, I am concerned about breastfeeding moms reaching for antihistamines as they dry up everything...including milk. Avoid them at all cost while breastfeeding.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sage & Parsley Dry Up Breast Milk

Thanksgiving is approaching and I am sending out a warning: avoid sage while breastfeeding, as it may dry up your milk supply. Another herb to avoid is parsley as it, too, can dry up the milk.

Hope you're enjoying a beautiful autumn!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPPs)

PuPPPs is a very itchy skin rash that usually presents in late pregnancy, but it can present in the postpartum period. I have heard of a natural remedy reported to be very effective within 3-5 days. Take the following:
  • Dandelion root tincture taken 3 times a day
    • Dandelion root has too many beneficial properties to list here. The main ones that relate to this condition are its liver detoxifying properties, its anti-inflammatory properties, and its cooling properties.
  • SamE taken 2 times a day
    • SAMe facilitates the manufacture of DNA and brain neurotransmitters and supports healthy mood and liver functions.
  • A capsule of flax seed oil taken 1 time a day 
    • Flax seed has many healing properties, including a high essential fatty acid content and anti-cancer agents.
  • Acidophilus taken on an empty stomach 2 times a day
    • Probiotics are one of the most important substances for promoting healing to be found. They are anti-inflammatory, promote gut health, and help treat imbalances caused by candida overgrowth, parasites, mold toxicity, fungal infections and more.
The alternative is steroids prescribed by a doctor and would require pumping and dumping with formula supplementation. DO NOT take benedryl or any other antihistamine postpartum if you are breastfeeding, as it will dry up your milk.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Letter from the Chettos

Our experience with Paula, there is not enough words to express how WONDERFUL our experience was with her and her AWESOME team Laura Stalker and Sara Vietti.

We met Paula thru one of my best friends, she had a 10 1/2 lbs gorgeous baby at home.

She prepared me giving me tender and personal care one on one. Paula made me feel very secure that I could trust myself and my body without the use of drugs. Sharing awesome videos and literature and experiences from other moms having their babies at home.

We welcome baby Margarita Maria Feb.10, 2009.

Many THANKS to PAULA AND TO HER AWESOME TEAM. We Love you guys and we’ll see you again for our next future baby.
Alejandro, Marcela & Margarita Maria Chetto J

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Slideshow of a Birth

I had the priviledge of attending many beautiful births this summer and we've made a new slideshow of one of them. Check it out on YouTube here. Feel free to share this link with your friends. Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) and HBAC (Home Birth After Cesarean) are two acronyms I'm seeing/hearing with increasing frequency.  I'm also, unfortunately, hearing a new one - TOLAC (Trial Of Labor After Cesarean).

Increasingly, many hospitals are no longer offering women VBACs due to the American College of Obstetrics' recent recommendation that hospitals not offer VBACs without an anesthesiologist and surgeon on staff. Financially this inhibits many rural hospitals from serving women in this way even when they want to, as it opens them up to additional liability if they do. For this reason, I am getting lots of calls from women who are not willing to sign up for a repeat Ceasarean section and feel a HBAC is their only viable alternative.

Hospitals who do still offer VBACs no longer call them VBACs; instead they call them TOLACs which, in my mind, sets women up for failure as it doesn't positively reflect that they will succeed. This makes me angry. While I am always more than happy to offer homebirth as an alternative, not all women are suitable candidates, and this will leave them out in the cold.

What are your thoughts on this?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Letter About a Birth Experience

"My husband and I were very lucky to find Paula. After meeting her just once, I knew that I wanted to be under her care. She is very personable, honest and nurturing.

During my pregnancy I enjoyed very personal one-on-one care with her. I needed someone who I trusted and understood my wishes, expectations and respected them at an extremely vulnerable time. I am very happy to say that Paula met my hopes, needs and expectations.

When I went into labor, Paula offered just the right amount of encouragement (it was important to me not to have a lot of coached pushing). When I started feeling the urge to push, I simply let Paula know, and did what my body told me to do. She helped keep me grounded when it was really hard, and she motivated me, but she was very sensitive to respecting my wishes — there was no yelling or counting or pressure of any kind.

Every time I think about the experience I had giving birth to Isabel I feel ecstatic. It was amazing, beautiful, and more powerful than I could ever have dreamed. I did it myself, but a big part of what made it so wonderful was that I chose the right person to watch over me, support me, and make sure the baby and I were safe. Paula gave me excellent care, was attentive and intuitive, and helped us welcome our new baby in the safety and comfort of our own home. I am deeply grateful that she was there for us during this journey.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Stretch Marks

Howdy! Those of you who have been or are pregnant know that stretch marks can be a much undesired side effect.

Stretch Marks occur when the skin is stretched beyond its elasticity. The upper layer stretches and the lower layer of skin tends to tear, causing small rips in the tissue. This results in some red marks that feel different from the regular texture of your skin. These will fade to white after your pregnancy, but this can take time. While some women feel uncomfortable with the appearance of stretch marks, it might help them to know that, in some cultures, stretch marks are seen as an outward sign of the noble and brave status of motherhood.

Preventing Stretch Marks

Although it is believed that stretch marks are a genetic predisposition, there are things you can do to try and prevent them.

It’s important to only use organic skin products while pregnant. Most chemicals are not proven safe for your unborn baby and its best to just avoid them. Going organic will give you peace of mind and you’ll be able to treat your skin without fear of affecting the child inside.

What to Look for in Stretch Mark Prevention Treatments

Certain organic products work better than others against stretch marks. Basically, you want to moisturize your skin and enhance the elasticity. A good prevention cream will also provide some healing power to help any existing tears in the skin heal faster, without getting worse. This is particularly helpful if you are starting treatment later in the pregnancy.

Organic stretch mark creams usually use one or more of the following ingredients:

Shea Butter: By far the most common ingredient used in stretch mark prevention since is one of the best natural moisturizers on the market. It also has healing properties to help with any existing stretch marks.

Coconut Oil: Avery good moisturizing oil that also enhances elasticity and hastens healing of existing problems.

Olive Oil: Another good moisturizer that helps boost elasticity and soften skin, making it more supple and resistant to tearing.

Any organic skin product designed to treat and prevent stretch marks should include one of the above ingredients for maximum benefit. Often they will have other natural ingredients, as well, to promote healing and enhance the moisturizing effect.

Let me know if you have any questions about this. And of course, let us know what remedies you've tried and used with success! xoxo

Monday, September 14, 2009

How to Deal with a Vaginal Yeast Infection

Hi there! I hope you're all enjoying this week so far. I know I am!

Many of you have probably had a vaginal yeast infection at one time or another during your life. It's not uncommon to have a certain amount of yeast in your vagina, as well as in your intestinal tract. Yeast only becomes a problem when it grows so fast that it overwhelms other competing microorganisms.

As you probably know, it's fairly common to get one while you're pregnant because your higher level of estrogen causes your vagina to produce more glycogen, making it even easier for yeast to grow there. Some researchers think estrogen may also have a direct effect on yeast, causing it to grow faster and stick more easily to the walls of the vagina.

Symptoms from yeast infections tend to hang around until you treat the infection, although sometimes they come and go of their own volition. Symptoms may include:
  • Itchiness, irritation, soreness, burning, and redness in your vagina and labia (and sometimes swelling)
  • An odorless vaginal discharge that's often white, creamy, or cottage-cheesy
  • Discomfort or pain during sex
  • Burning when you urinate (when the urine hits your already irritated genitals)

These are the treatments for vaginal yeast infections that we have found to be most effective.

Early treatment is ideal
If a woman can pay attention to the first tickling of the yeast infection, she can use one of the following treatments to resolve the infection:

Take a clove of fresh garlic and peel off the natural white paper shell that covers it, leaving the clove intact. Be careful not to nick the clove at all. At bedtime wrap the clove in a piece of gauze, lubricate with olive oil and insert into the vagina. In the morning, remove the garlic clove and throw it in the toilet. The garlic often causes the vagina to have a watery discharge. One night's treatment may be enough to kill the infection, or it might have to be repeated the next night. Continue one or two days until all itchiness is gone.

Sitz Bath
Use a sitz bath with apple cider vinegar added 2-3 x day. You can also use a peri-bottle with a table spoon of vinegar added to gently douche.

Get a good quality pro-biotic and take both orally and insert capsule into vagina 2 x day

Gentian Violet
If all else fails you can try gentian violet, which is a tincture that will stain everything purple, so be careful! Coat a tampon with gentian violet and insert overnight. You may also paint the outside of your vagina with gentian violet, but again, be prepared for a mess! Only use this method one time per week!

Make sure you change your diet to eliminate all refined sugar, white flour products and juice. Cut back on fruit as well.

Over the Counter
Products such as Monistat and Vagistat are very effective at treating Yeast Infections. You can purchase them in 1, 3 or 7 day treatments. They range in price from $15 to $20 per package.

Hope this helps. And let us know what's worked for you!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Letter from the Suhrs

When I first met Paula, I was 7 1/2 months pregnant with my first baby after having recently moved to California from the East Coast. Up to that point, I had been receiving care from Dr.s and "med"-wives in typical OB/GYN practices. I was growing increasingly uneasy about having a hospital birth, especially after I began researching the facts and safety of birthing at home. After "finding" Paula after doing a Google search for area midwives, I was immediately impressed with her professional website and scheduled an appointment. At our first meeting, I was touched by her genuine love for mommies and babies and I immediately felt comfortable with her. It didn't take long for a bond to develop and I finally felt peace about making a decision to birth at home. When my daughter's birthday came, my husband and I felt completely at ease with Paula's skill and gentle way. We had a wonderful water birth and couldn't imagine being anywhere other than home.

There was no question that when we got pregnant with #2, that Paula would help welcome our baby into the world. I appreciate the on-going relationship that we continue to have with Paula - she is a wonderful resource and friend. Thank you, Paula!

We love you!

Brad, Sharon, Monica, and Myka Suhr

Sunday, September 6, 2009

How To Survive Morning Sickness

Give thanks! Nausea in early pregnancy means your hormone levels are high enough to support a healthy pregnancy.

During pregnancy your dramatically increasing hormones cause a corresponding increase in stomach acid. This is why it is important to eat frequently and also why eating saltine crackers, which absorb the acid, is helpful. Eat many small meals, ideally eating every two to three hours, even during the night. It doesn't have to be a lot. Just a couple of bites will help neutralize that acid. It can be a cracker or two with nut butter, a small handful of trail mix, a chunk of cheese, or a couple of bites of yogurt (it is also important to make sure you eat some form of protein each time you eat to minimize the chance of developing preeclampsia).

Additionally, some women experience relief when sipping peppermint tea, chewing a piece of peppermint gum, or sucking on a peppermint candy. If peppermint doesn't work, try ginger.

Also, it is important to drink an adequate amount of water. I recommend using a one liter bottle, filling it in the morning when you get up, drinking it by lunch time, refilling it, and finishing it again by bedtime. You can take little sips throughout the day, just make sure you have emptied your bottle twice by bedtime. This will ensure you have consumed the minimal amount of water necessary to sustain a healthy

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

From a couple I just delivered...


Thank you for helping us with another birth. It was very special to us to have you present again. Thank you for all of your loving care and flexibility. We really appreciate you and all you do.


The Bartoks

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A story to share...

I interviewed with a couple who were entertaining having a homebirth. They had seen The Business of Being Born, a documentary on homebirth produced by Ricki Lake, and were curious to meet a midwife. They were excited but worried about the money, even though I assured them I would never turn anyone away because of money.

A couple of days after the interview, the husband calls me and asks me to keep our conversation a secret. He wants to surprise his wife with the gift of a homebirth. Money is a big issue for them, but he and I agreed to terms that are acceptable to both of us. We scheduled an appointment for the next day at their house.

Remember, this is to be a surprise! When I arrived and his wife discovered his gift, she cried tears of happiness. You see, she was just about to call me to let me know she could not have a homebirth; then I arrived and informed her of her husband's gift! I must say, this gift is the biggest, most sincere act of love for a man to give his wife that I have ever witnessed. It was pure joy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Q&A Forum!

Hi everyone. Just wanted to let you know that we have a new Q&A Forum available. This is a great way for you to ask me or any of the other midwives/doulas a question about anything related to midwifery, pregnancy, birth, etc. Check it out at:

The Midwives' Q&A Forum

Hope to see you there soon!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Letter from a recent birth...

Dear Paula,

Wow, we always felt like you were the answer to our prayers. Truly, we now know that you were after our birth. Thank you so much for your support and love.

Thank you for giving us the birth that we wished for by focusing on our family, my peace of mind, and even our spirituality. Thank you!

Much love,
The Vedollas

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Heart of Midwifery

I love the name The Heart of Midwifery. It is so much my heart. I love my work and the mommies and their families that I am blessed to know and serve. We truly become family in sharing this oh so sacred and intimate of life's events. I used to pray that God would make me His complete servant, and He has answered my prayers in a way so complete that I could not have imagined it at the time. Thank you to all of you who have chosen to honor me and trust me with guiding you on this special journey.

What is the “heart” of midwifery? It is the true commitment to service; to serving women in the time of their birth in a deep, deep way. It is putting fear and doubt aside and giving the mother time; tuning in to process her fears and doubts and to help her ready herself for the next stage of her life’s journey. It is honoring that it is her journey. It is putting myself aside to be in service to her. To love her. To fall in love with her.

Midwifery is a strong calling. It is strong both in how it pulls you in and it is strong in how it walks you. You are challenged in everything you thought you were and everything you thought you would be. It is perhaps the most difficult and the most rewarding job there is. It requires deep sacrifice and deeper giving. You stretch beyond anything you thought you were capable of. In addition, you get to witness the most divine miracle of all...BIRTH!

How blessed I am to be chosen and honored to do the work I do, to have the support of my husband and my daughters, to meet and develop relationships with the incredible women I get to work with, to witness new life and the miracle it represents, to be able to love and be loved so completely by all the lives I touch, to be His face and His hands and to witness His face and His hands so frequently.

Today I await the return of my husband and daughters from a 2 1/2 week road trip to Colorado where they went to attend a friend's wedding. I stayed behind to care for my mommies and their families. One of my partners is in the Philippines at a birth center and the other is attending the birth of her grandson. I do not feel like I am being left out...I feel I am being blessed. I am getting lots of one-on-one with my youngest daughter who stayed behind, I am supporting my partners, and I am getting some much-needed down time. In addition, the house is getting cleaned!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Our Relationship Does Not Stop After Your Birth

I am so pleased with how my wonderful daughters are developing! It is so hard to believe so much time has passed since their births. I can remember like it was today; each one is so imprinted in my consciousness. This is why I am so passionate about trying to protect the birth experience of the women I serve. You only get one chance, and there is conceivably nothing worse than regretting a birth experience. I cannot promise the outcome, but I can promise to give my heart completely to the women and their families that I serve. To do everything within my power to make them proud of their journey.

The service I provide does not stop at the birth; for how could I love so much and give so much of myself then just walk away after? We share the most intimate of experiences; you invite me to share in the most sacred of journeys. We become very deeply bonded. I am now a member of your family. Of course I want you to call me in the middle of the night when you can't sleep because your baby is too congested or miserable to nurse. Of course I want you to call me when you are lying awake wondering if you should go to the emergency room. I am honored to continue to be a resource.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Benefits of Homebirth

Through my months of searching, I compiled this list of many of the benefits of a homebirth. I hope it proves useful to you.

A Comfortable Environment is a Safe Environment

In the comfort of your home, you are relaxed and at ease. The midwives attending you have spent much time getting to know all about you and what will support you through the birth process. You are intimately cared for and, in this setting, many of the interventions used in the hospital are not needed; simply because the stable, comfort of your home creates an environment where you feel safe and uninhibited and this allows the flow of labor to progress naturally.

Reduced risk of Cesarean Section
You have a one in four chance of having a c-section in the hospital, compared to 1-5% at home. Cesarean section carries a greater risk of death than do vaginal deliveries.

No episiotomies
Hospital episiotomy rate is about 70-80% in North America. Episiotomies are almost always unnecessary and take longer to heal than do tears, as they penetrate through many layers of tissue. They may cause you much discomfort after labor, making it more challenging to nurse your newborn.

No pitocin

Used to induce labor, this synthetic hormone can increase the pain of contractions, causing you to cry out in desperation for an epidural. When you're given pitocin, your body is unable to release the natural endorphins that help you cope with the sensations of labor. Without these natural pain relievers, bonding between you and your baby may not be optimal.

No epidurals
Epidurals come with many side affects. To start with, they rob you of the full birthing experience. You are less able to push and help the baby along, and when the baby does come, you are in a drugged state and not able to make that full connection with your newborn. Also, epidurals may leave you with headaches or prolonged numbness. They make your newborn sluggish and drowsy, making it more difficult to nurse. Without this pain killer, you'll find strength you never knew you had and be triumphant in this rite of passage.

Position Choices
In a hospital, you are generally asked to birth in a position that is most convenient for the doctor (usually on your back). At home, you are free to walk around and chose the positions that are most comfortable for you and most effective at getting your baby out.

A safe environment for your immune-suppressed newborn
The chance of your baby contracting an illness at home are far less than in a hospital.

The umbilical cord is cut only when it stops pulsing
Premature severance of the umbilical cord cuts the flow of oxygenated blood to the baby before the baby has established the lungs as the source of oxygen.

Baby is allowed to nurse immediately
Rather than having your baby taken from you moments after you deliver for routine examination and bathing, which are unnecessary procedures at this time, your newborn is immediately placed on your warm chest, next to your heart, where s(he) belongs! Bonding and breastfeeding begin naturally and without interruption.

You are the center of attention
Your midwife will not be watching the fetal monitor screen while you are laboring, she will be tending to you and doing all she can to make you comfortable and help you progress in labor.

You have the option of giving birth in water
Submersing yourself in warm water is an amazing way to ease the pain of contractions. It also gives you a greater sense of privacy and allows you to move with the contractions, helping your baby in his/her descent.

You create the mood
You can create a setting of low lights, calm peaceful music and choose who is in the room with you. You are in a familiar place with the people you love – just the way you want it.

A Mother's Journey through Pregnancy

As a client and now close friend of Paula Schnebelt, I'd like to take you on a journey with me through my experiences during pregnancy. I'll share with you many of my discoveries along the way, what it was like having Paula Schnebelt as my midwife, and the moment every first-time (and even second and third time) mom fears: the delivery. Before I get ahead of myself though, I'll start with the beginning:

My decision to birth at home

If you're like most women, homebirth wasn't your first thought when you discovered you were pregnant. For me, it was different. As a child, I was occasionally asked which hospital I was born in. When I responded that I and two of my siblings had been born at home, I would hear things like: "Wow, you have a brave mother!" Or, "I'm glad you're O.K.!" When I asked my mom why she had risked our safety to birth us at home, she'd tell me of the cold and impersonal experience she'd had with the birth of her first two children, then contrasted it with the more natural and warm setting of her three home births. She had been so grateful to have a midwife walk her through her pregnancies and care for her during her labor and recovery. She would have had it no other way.

When I became pregnant, there was no question in my mind: I would birth at home with a midwife. I knew in my heart that it was the right decision for me. What I didn't know, however, was how I would justify my decision to the multitude of well-meaning friends and acquaintances who would certainly challenge my resolve. I thus began my pursuit of knowledge - I would discover why homebirth is the safest, most comfortable, least painful method of delivery available today.

Experiences with Paula Schnebelt, LM, CPM

When choosing a midwife, you'll want to know more than just a person's qualifications. You need to know if you'll get along with them - if they'll let you have the kind of birthing experience you've always wanted - if you'll feel comfortable and at ease in their presence. Listen to what experienced moms have to say about Paula's midwifery practice.

"Paula Schnebelt is a blessing to our family and our community"

Thank you so much for all your hard work, support, and guidance throughout our pregnancy and labor and delivery. You are an amazing woman with wonderful gifts. You are a blessing to our family and our community. I know we will stay in touch as Leah grows (and we could possibly work together again...?). If there is any way we can help you, please let us know.

--Kristen, Tom and Leah

"Thank God We Found You, Paula Schnebelt"

Thank God we found you, Paula. We have a beautiful healthy baby girl. God bless you in all you do.

--Alejandro, Marcela and Margarita

"No Routine Procedures"

"My husband and I recently had a very successful home birth, with Paula Schnebelt attending as our primary midwife. Our labor and delivery went extremely smoothly, which I attribute partly to the relaxed feeling of being in a very familiar and safe environment, and also partly to being completely confident in the ability and wisdom of Paula Schnebelt to handle any complications that might have arisen.

One particular thing that I really appreciated about Paula Schnebelt during my pregnancy and after the birth of my baby, was that she gave us choices in everything that happened! There were no 'routine procedures', such as eye ointment, shots, etc., yet they were all options that she gave us, along with the pros and cons of each one. She even asked us about little things, like after the baby was born whether we wanted to weigh her right then or wait a while.

Paula Schnebelt made us feel in control of what happened with us and our baby. I also thought it was pretty neat that she didn't look to check the sex of our baby before handing her to us, so that we were allowed to discover that for ourselves!"

--Chrislyn Clayville

"Paula Schnebelt Was Always There For Me"

"As many months as have passed since the birth of our son – not a day has gone by that I don’t reflect on the wonderful experience of having given birth to him at home. I am forever grateful to Paula Schnebelt for having chosen a profession that gave me and my family so many gifts.

From the very beginning at my prenatal visits, she always took the time to thoroughly and lovingly answer each and every one of my list of questions – no matter how small, I was always made to feel that each question was important. I quickly realized the clear difference between her care and that of a typical ob office. The difference was night and day.

It didn’t take long for me to feel as though I hired not just a professional to attend at our birth, but truly a special friend. Paula Schnebelt would regularly encourage me to never hesitate to call her for any reason, and there were many times I did, and I was always so grateful for her listening ear or knowledgeable advice. These conversations and prenatal visits proved to be of more value than I knew at the time, as often in the typical conversations with other mothers on labor/delivery, I realized that I was prepared by my midwife in ways that others hadn’t been (i.e. preventing a posterior positioning, etc.) However practical and empowering those conversations were, they have now continued on into the many questions that come with being a new mother. And again Paula Schnebelt is ever willing to be there.

The actual home water birth experience was simply wonderful. To have given birth to my child in the peacefulness and safety of our own home, surrounded by the warmth and love of a special few, is something I will cherish forever. The soft lit room, the soothing music, and the natural element of the water to contain me and my baby was just the way I wanted it. It is all something too difficult for me to actually put into words.

Having a homebirth is in itself wonderful, but having midwives by your side that are just as confident to assist you to birth your baby in or out of water, women that share their own journey of laboring and mothering, and professionals that feel more like family, made our homebirth experience that much more amazing."

--Lisette Ross on the birth of her son Caden

"Paula Schnebelt was my rock"

Paula Schnebelt has such a warm and caring heart. During my entire pregnancy, I knew that I could call her for any questions or concerns I had and she would make herself available for me. When I was a week overdue, she was the steady rock I needed, reassuring me that my body knew what it was doing, and that the baby would indeed make it's entrance in due time. She didn't make me feel bad when I called her with multiple false labor alerts. When I finally went into labor, I was able to completely relax and focus on my contractions - I knew Paula had everything under control. I felt completely confident that no matter what came up, she was more than qualified to handle it.

--Joy Haley on the birth of her son Seth

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Upcoming improvements

We're adding some new features to the website to make it more informative and interactive for you.

We've already added some research on midwifery, homebirth, waterbirth and hospital birth. Check it out at midwifery research. What we have up is just the beginning!

Additionally, we're going to add a user form to so that you can post questions for me that you think will benefit others. Coming soon, so stay tuned!

Until we speak next, have a wonderful, blessed day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Benefits of Homebirth

Below is an article I recently wrote on homebirth. Feel free to comment on your personal experience with homebirth!

The Benefits of Homebirth

There is so much controversy surrounding homebirth; many people in our country are simply appalled at the suggestion that homebirth still exists. At the same time, there are those who would not consider birthing any other way. There are several studies that indicate no difference in outcome for a healthy mother and baby experiencing a healthy pregnancy. However, homebirth is still very much the exception in the U.S.

I have no doubt that many more would consider homebirth if they understood more about modern birth practices. There is a new video available through most video rental stores called "The Business of Being Born.” It is a documentary by Ricki Lake and Abbie Epstein that depicts the history of modern birth practices and showcases the depth and power of homebirth, contrasting it with hospital birth. There is no doubt that a natural birth enhances mother/baby bonding and eases breastfeeding.

If women knew what they were giving up, I am certain they would overwhelmingly choose to birth their babies naturally. The difficulty with birthing naturally in the hospital is the unfamiliar surroundings, the unfamiliar staff, and the immediate "option" of pain relief. While birth is an intense process and it is difficult to not want relief, women who successfully birth naturally indisputably experience a "high" that is indescribable. Additionally, there is something about making it through, reaching deep into ourselves for an inner strength we did not know we had. It is a rite of passage that most women in America no longer get to experience. It is something that we can carry forward into those long nights awake with a sick baby, the difficulties of raising a teenager, all the challenges that life throws at us; we know where to reach inside for that place of strength we might not otherwise know how to access.

One thing is certain: mothers who birth naturally in the intimacy and familiar comfort of their homes generally experience greater bonding with their babies, greater success with breastfeeding, and closer-knit families. Perhaps this is all a reflection of who they are; perhaps it is because there was not a disruption of the natural hormones and pheromones present at a birth with no interventions.

Pregnancy Complaints - Resolved!

I recently wrote this article and am publishing it in various places on the web. Enjoy!

Solutions to Common Pregnancy Complaints

There are many changes that take place in a woman's body when she becomes pregnant and as the baby grows within her. There are also many resources that detail the "complaints of pregnancy.” Virtually every pregnancy book lists these complaints and offers solutions for them. I will concentrate on those most often presented in my practice, and the solutions most of my clients find helpful.

Nausea: The increased hormones in pregnancy cause over-production of stomach acids. I recommend eating every two to three hours, even through the night. Keeping something in the stomach seems to minimize the effect of these acids. Also, either drinking mint or ginger tea or sucking on mint or ginger candy or chewing mint or ginger gum often provides a calming effect on the stomach.

Leg Cramps: Try eating a baked potato with sour cream or have a banana with a glass of milk at bedtime. Or take a potassium supplement and consider also a supplement of calcium citrate with vitamin D and magnesium (this will have the added benefit of helping you sleep better when taken within an hour of bedtime).

Indigestion or Heartburn: Eat small meals (eat something every couple of hours rather than concentrating on three meals a day), and limit spicy and greasy foods. Try slowly chewing a pinch of raw oatmeal when experiencing discomfort. Antacids are an option but I suggest limiting their use.

Headaches: Headaches are another side effect of the increased hormones of pregnancy. Ensure consumption of at least 75 to 100 grams of protein a day, a minimum of two liters of water each day, and some form of regular exercise. Many women find relief with essential oils. My favorite is a drop or two of peppermint oil on the temples. If the headaches persist, an over-the-counter pain reliever is an option, but I encourage limiting their use. Occasionally one of my moms benefits from a progesterone cream.

There are many discomforts that can be experienced in a normal, healthy pregnancy. Most of them can be dealt with relatively easily. The good news is that they do not last forever!

For more information about pregnancy complaints, please visit my websites:, and