Rural Missouri - December 2017 - 8
THE CALL OF THE
Midwives offer support, encouragement and experience to their patients
by Savanna Kaiser | firstname.lastname@example.org
he persistent sound of a phone ringing jolts her awake. It's dark out, the
alarm clock reads 2 a.m. and her husband continues to snore. This isn't
the ﬁrst time she's been pulled from her sleep, nor will it be the last. It's
all part of her job description.
She answers the phone to talk with a nervous, young father-to-be on the line
who is busy timing his wife's contractions and asking a thousand questions all
at once. It appears sleep - and her weekend plans - will have to wait. There's
a baby on the way. It's time for this midwife to get to work.
Through the centuries, welcoming a new life into the world has often involved
calling the midwife. In fact, this practice was commonplace long before phones
were invented. Hard-working women from all walks of life were recognized on a
ﬁrst-name basis across the miles they traversed by horseback or on foot.
Even after hospital births became the norm, some expectant parents still
desired a more traditional delivery. In 2008, midwifery became legal throughout Missouri and the historical, unique role of a midwife returned, offering
parents more choices to meet their speciﬁc needs.
Brenda Abercrombie has served women and families for more than 20 years,
educating and supporting them through pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. "I believe in women and what they're created to do," says the Sac Osage
Electric Cooperative member.
After serving in the Air Force for four years as a nurse working labor and
delivery, she moved on to become an RN and later a family practitioner and
nurse midwife. She opened her own clinic - The Woman's Way - next to her
home in Stockton.
"Midwives are about relationships with women, the one-on-one care," says
Brenda. Whether it's at home, in a birth clinic or inside hospital walls, midwives offer support, encouragement and experience for their patients. They
focus heavily on educating their couples beforehand and establishing trust.
Such natural births often allow parents to feel more involved before, during
and after their baby's delivery. They have more control over the labor and who's
allowed to share in the experience.
Tiffany Menke of Branson had her ﬁrst four children in the hospital, but her
last two children were born at home, under Brenda's care. "I liked the pace of a
home birth, where I could labor how I wished, whether that was in the bath or
in my own bed," she says. "It's so calm and quiet. I slept between contractions."
Whenever this mom had a question or needed help, the midwife was there.
RURAL MISSOURI | DECEMBER 2017
"She's never far away. She'll be there for hours, if need be," says Tiffany.
"And I was so impressed afterward with the way they take care of you and the
baby, the way they clean up the house and even stick around to make sure you
Birth clinics are another popular choice among parents today. For some, they
might live too far away from their midwives for a home birth. For others, they
prefer to be closer to a hospital in case of complications. These birthing clinics
offer the comfort and privacy of home along with the modern technology and
equipment you might ﬁnd in a hospital.
Top: While listening to the baby's heartbeat, midwife Violet Stephens explains to an expectant
mother how her baby is positioned in the womb. Above: At their eight-week follow-up visit,
Tiffany Menke, left, discusses her baby girl's progress with midwife Jessica Curl.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - December 2017
Rural Missouri - December 2017 - Intro
Rural Missouri - December 2017 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - December 2017 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - December 2017 - Contents
Rural Missouri - December 2017 - 4
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Rural Missouri - December 2017 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - December 2017 - Cover4