I am a mother of three children, born in 1995, 2009 and 2014. (The two younger ones are with me in the picture below.)
My first child, a son, was born by caesarean section and as he was transferred to the children's hospital, we were physically separated from each other for a while. It was a difficult time for both of us, which made me want to become the person I wished had been there to support me and my child already during pregnancy, so that our path might have been a different one and we might have avoided many unnecessary interventions.
So I finally became a midwife in 2004 and since then I have helped many families to experience the processes of pregnancy, birth, baby and parenthood as enriching, beautiful experiences.
My two younger children, two daughters, were born when I was already a homebirth midwife myself. I had homebirths with them, which I experienced as largely self-determined and positive.
As a midwife, I specialised in providing continuous care to women and families, sometimes even from before conception, throughout the whole pregnancy, birth - homebirth if desired, often also water birth -, the postpartum and breastfeeding period and beyond. For years I have also supported women and couples who wish to give birth unattended. If they so wish, I help them to prepare for this.
Continuous support means more security, a deeper, more sustainable and cooperative relationship between all those involved and contributes to a higher level of satisfaction for those being supported with their experience of pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.
In recent years I have found it increasingly difficult to work as a registered midwife within the existing system. My impression is that the self-determination of pregnant and birthing women is increasingly restricted and that we midwives are expected to play the role of handmaidens in this process. This became particularly clear to me at a conference on homebirths organised by the largest midwives' association in Germany, where speakers repeatedly stated that women's self-determination must not lead to a lowering of obstetrical standards. I find that unacceptable. Self-determination must take precedence over standards. The rights of women and babies and people in general must not be restricted and respect for them must not be compromised.
I am aware that (expectant) mothers, (expectant) fathers, babies (in the womb and already born) as well as those professionally working and learning in the obstetric field find themselves in a system that often sets wrong priorities and can be less than humane and in which one can even experience verbal, emotional and physical violence.
Student midwives, by the way, are also often treated without dignity and it is my concern to support them and their welfare and education, which I have done in different places in the world and in different ways.
As a midwife, I have always advocated and tried to do my bit to ensure that the dignity of (expectant) parents and also of all those learning and working is respected and that we all as human beings treat each other kindly, respectfully and lovingly, as equals.
I also pay attention to scientific evidence. This means that I inform myself about which procedures are useful, useless or harmful according to studies and then explain them to the (expectant) parents. However, evidence is not everything. The many individual details and circumstances of each person must also be taken into account, as each person is an individual and not a statistic.
Intuition, both my own and that of the people I counsel and care for, also play an important role in my work. Intuition often informs us about observations, information and conclusions that remained hidden from our conscious mind, but which we nevertheless grasped and processed unconsciously. In my opinion, evidence and intuition do not contradict, but complement each other.
Decisions, and I think this is very important, should then be made by each person in a self-determined and self-responsible way, in freedom and dignity.
The fact that, in my opinion, it is currently not really possible for me as a registered midwife working within the existing health care system in Germany to fully support this self-determination of people for themselves and their children, is one of the reasons why I have recently decided to stop working as a midwife in this system for the time being.
However, I continue to make my extensive knowledge and experience available. I do that on this website and as a birthkeeper for pregnant women and families. A birthkeeper is a wise woman coach and counsellor working outside the official healthcare system with pregnant and birthing women and families. I will be happy to advise you and to support you. The decisions that you make are always your own responsibility.
At this point in my life, a new chapter is beginning. I am travelling to find the right place and the sisters and brothers to realise a long-held vision that I feel is eventually about to materialize: A village where people can live, learn, heal and die in a joyful, loving and beloved way. It should be a place that is good for all of us and especially for our children. A place where women and families can also come to give birth and stay for a while before and afterwards, being cared for. A place full of freedom and love.
I continue to be available, with joy and passion, to support you via the phone or online on your special journey through pregnancy, birth and afterwards. See my offers to you here.