Rachel Reed, author of Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage says, “All women deserve woman-centered, respectful care that recognizes them as the expert regarding their body and baby.”
Indie Birth Midwife Valerie Wiesner is delivering precisely this kind of midwifery care. Since graduating from the Indie Birth Midwifery School, she has served as an unlicensed midwife for women in the Prescott, Arizona area.
Valerie, a mother to 15 children, says she uses all her hands-on experience and intuitive knowledge along with the information she learned in midwifery school to provide midwifery care in a different way. Not only is she able to use her hands to do the clinical skills such as feeling a pregnant woman’s belly to assess the baby’s position, but she is also bringing her heart and loving care to the women she serves. This care might look like enjoying a cup of tea with the woman while hearing her tell her birth story after the birth. Or maybe it includes placing a flower crown on the woman and conducting a ‘closing of the bones’ ceremony in the postpartum time.
She has deep spiritual beliefs that guide her in this work. “I’m humbled when I meet these families and know there is something bigger here. I know this is what I am supposed to be doing. This is deep, important, sacred work where we are honoring the women who bring life and the babies they birth.”
She has been serving as a midwife for five years now and is as busy as ever. “I’ve been blown away by the women coming to me. I have the best clients. They take such good care of themselves and come so committed, that they end up rocking their births. These women want someone to hold the space and know what is normal and what is not normal but to just let them do what they need to do to get the baby out. I remind myself that I don’t know more than the mom because she is the one experiencing this birth.”
One of the lucky women to experience midwifery care from Valerie was Chelsey Stuart. She has only positive things to say about Valerie and the care she received from her. “Valerie is the epitome of the earth, goddess midwife. She has so much wisdom and lived experience. She made me feel secure and confident and deeply connected to her and to my pregnancy,” Stuart said. “She never brought any fear or energy that wasn’t aligned with the best outcome.”
Stuart had interviewed other midwives but knew she had found something special once she met with Valerie. “We were totally aligned in our belief about birth and the postpartum care. She understood the sacredness of it all- that it is more than just having a healthy baby. It is a rite of passage. She was not more focused on who she had to report to but was truly there to support me and what I needed.”
Stuart had two previous births in California but said the care from Valerie was different and dreamy. “After all my births, this was the crown jewel of my experiences.”
She says Valerie helped her and her husband work through issues in pregnancy. She gave them options in their care. “The choices were ours to make.” This process connected her more deeply to her intuition. “We grew more than I expected in our own inner knowing. By the end I was so confident.” This confidence came in handy when the birth happened so fast Valerie missed it by a few minutes. “I didn’t feel fear or panic just a trust that it would be ok.”
Valerie also places great value on women’s care in the postpartum period. As a Sacred Postpartum provider, she loves to shower new mothers with food, ceremonies, herbs and much more. “The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world. When mamas are happy and well-cared for in the postpartum, it makes a difference in how they mother. They are strong and ready for the challenges instead of feeling like they are drowning during the newborn phase,” Valerie says. Chelsey can attest to this, “Valerie took such good care of me in the postpartum. She is amazing. I felt so well cared for and strong this time.”
And yet, Valerie almost didn’t pursue midwifery. “There were voices from others and from inside of me saying I could never do it or I was starting too late. And the type of midwifery care in my community didn’t look like the care I was providing.” But, fortunately for the 180 women who have received loving, respectful care from Valerie, she found Indie Birth Midwifery School and gained the confidence to call herself a midwife.
“With Indie Birth, I finally found an organization that was in line with what my years of intuitive birth work had shown me. They spoke my language. They valued my intuition and experience. My roots were open, and they were the vitamins feeding me. If they hadn’t existed, I would have given up hope.”
Valerie continues to sing Indie Birth’s praise and support them in the work they do today. She helps with Indie Birth Courses and workshops and plans to support the new Indie Birth Sanctuary currently being developed. “I believe Maryn, Margo and Indie Birth are being led in this world right now to change the paradigm of birth. I’m just one of many women who saw their light. They are blazing a trail showing that women can support each other in a sacred and knowledgeable way. They have blessed my life and brought my entire family to a richer place. I get to do what I love and serve my community. Each birth has a ripple effect and continues to affect the world positively.”
~Find Valerie at Sacred Birth Traditions: https://sacredbirthtraditions.com/
~Interested in learning how to support Indie Birth Association or the Birth Sanctuary visit: https://indiebirthsanctuary.org/
~Written by Bridget Ballenger, an Indie Birth Midwifery school graduate, current traditional midwife serving in Norman, Oklahoma, and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. www.bbbirth.com