Anne Margolis: Nurturing a woman’s instinctive knowledge of how to birth her children

Nov. 11, 2015

Should you have your baby at home, hospital, or birthing center of some sort? It’s a very important question to consider. If you’ve never found yourself pondering this question, perhaps one day you will. I was only a few weeks pregnant when I started to consider my options, I wish now I’d started thinking about it sooner.

I needed to find care practitioner for my pregnancy and I knew I wanted a midwife. On a referral from a friend, and eager to have my first appointment, I picked the first one I met, she was lovely, warm, compassionate, grandmotherly, and kind. When I told her I was also considering a birthing center and home birth, and she quickly preyed on the fears I had shared with her and guided me away from those options. Because she was a former home birth midwife, I trusted her opinion on the subject even more. Her experienced guidance was a relief for my worried pregnant brain in those early days.

Unfortunately, her advice should have been a red flag. Instead of being concerned about getting to know me and figuring out what was best for me, she lumped me into her practice and stamped me for hospital delivery before I even had enough time to double check the outdated and misguided statistics she’d given me about home birth. A sure sign of her devotion to protecting her relationship to the hospital, not to me. I wish I’d done some more soul searching about what was really important to me before I picked my midwife. I’m even more sure of that now after talking with Anne Margolis.

Anne Margolis is a Home Birth midwife with a fabulous practice in New York: Home Sweet Homebirth. Naturally, she feels that home births are a beautiful, healthy, and safe option for all moms. But one of the most important beliefs she holds to is that the mom in question has to feel safe with the place she chooses to have her baby. If she chooses a home birth because she’s pressured into it or feels guilty if she doesn’t, but doesn’t feel safe, she’ll wind up having trouble even in a home environment. The opposite is true as well--a hospital or birthing facility will not be the best place for that woman if she doesn’t feel comfortable and safe. Anne knows… she’s had some difficult experiences of her own to draw from…

To say that Anne’s experiences in giving birth to her children were traumatic is to understate the issue. She was an OB nurse practitioner when she had her first two children, so she felt she had a pretty good handle on what to expect and how things would go in the hospital. She had her first child long before she even knew home births were a viable option and during the experience many decisions were made for her without her even being consulted. A pitocin drip, episiotomy, C-section… all of it came barreling toward her, presented as unavoidable decisions. After being rushed into an operating room for an “emergency” C-section, Anne waited for an hour for the surgeon to arrive then decided on her own that she was going to birth her baby… and she did.

The fact is that in all of Anne’s in-hospital experiences, things could have been handled very, very differently. At the suggestion of a friend, Anne met with a midwife and discovered that there were other options, and that opened up the door to a brand new world of considerations for her. And luckily, Ann gave birth to two more children in much better circumstances. It was those experiences that were used to nudge her into the role of midwife and a thriving home birth practice.

Today, Anne has extensive training and clinical experience in women’s health and maternity care, in both in-hospital and out-of-hospital settings, including water birth. She is skilled at using an integrative approach—one that combines the best of modern medicine with natural, mind-body and other holistic modalities. Anne is a doula and a childbirth educator, and incorporates the art of labor support and teaching into her midwifery practice.  She is one of the most passionately dedicated homebirth practitioners I know. Her approach is sensitive, personal, and family centered. She believes that every healthy woman possesses an innate ability to give birth normally and naturally; her body knows what to do. As a result Anne is devoted to protecting undisturbed physiologic labor and birth, and the precious moments after birth when parents are meeting and connecting with their newborn babies for the first time.

If you’ve ever considered working with a doula or midwife, or the option of homebirth, you owe it to yourself to listen tot his episode of Paleo Baby. I think you’ll love Anne Margolis’ compassionate, passionate approach to pregnancy, prenatal care and preparation for childbirth, and how she views the birthing process itself.. You can hear our entire conversation on this episode of Paleo Baby.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Anne Margolis:

  • [0:01] Julie’s introduction of Anne Margolis: Home birth midwife.
  • [1:05] How Anne decided to become a midwife and specifically a home birth midwife.
  • [6:22] How Anne was recommended to a midwife and the impact it had.
  • [11:20] Starting a home birth practice with a friend.
  • [15:00] The difficulty of midwives being tied to hospitals and hospital care.
  • [16:50] Dispelling myths surrounding women’s health issues.
  • [18:40] The importance of interviewing many homebirth midwives.
  • [20:32] Things to ask about and think about when considering a homebirth midwife.
  • [22:40] Silly things that kept Julie from considering a home birth at first.
  • [24:52] The importance of the close connection you need to have with your midwife.
  • [25:54] What are things a woman can do to approach the idea of birth and what kind of birth they want to have?
  • [29:36] Birth plans… a good idea? What else can a woman do to prepare?
  • [34:46] Building up confidence during the 9 months before birth.
  • [37:40] Anne’s viewpoint on diet and nutrition during pregnancy.
  • [40:16] Issues surrounding testing during pregnancy and what should and can be done.
  • [41:49] How prenatal yoga impacts Anne’s clients during childbirth and beyond.
  • [49:00] Specific advice Anne would like to pass on to women.
  • [50:25] How you can connect with Anne.


Anne’s Home birth practice: My Home Sweet Home Birth

Instagram and Facebook: HomeSweetHomeBirth

The Business of Being Born - video

Orgasmic Birth - video

Birthing From Within - book  - Ask the midwife

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