I couldn’t wait to talk to Beth Cannon, the midwife at Two Hearts Yoga. Having never been pregnant or given birth myself, I had a boatload of questions for her about her line of work, which has always seemed incredibly magical and mysterious to me. This was my chance to peek behind the curtain.
From Beth’s web site, birthingrhythm.com: “My first inspiration on the path of normal birth occurred in 1982, when I was 12 years old. My oldest sister Mary decided to have a home birth. Her choice to do so gave me the advantage of trusting birth from an early age. She exposed me to Ina May Gaskin and Spiritual Midwifery. What an incredible gift this was…Little did I know at that point of my life that I would be called to become a midwife!”
I met Beth once before at Two Hearts. She was carrying what looked like a mini picnic bag of sandwiches, on which was written “Human Organs For Transplant.” How could I not be intrigued? We spoke over the phone on a Friday afternoon.
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Chicago, and I’ve been in Los Angeles since 1991.
And do you have kids?
I have three! A 14 year old girl, an almost 11 year old boy and an almost eight year old girl.
Did you use a midwife when you had them?
I did, all three times. The first was a water birth at a birthing center, the second one was a water birth at home and the third one was a land birth.
What would you say was the major difference with the land birth?
The water births were a lot easier on my pelvis. I needed chiropractic care right away, in those early weeks after my land birth with my daughter. It’s funny, she was actually terrified of water until https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/achat-viagra-en-ligne-belgique/ she was like, three years old. So maybe there was something else going on?! Like she didn’t want to be born in the water?
Did you plan on it?
No, I had a tub there, but I went to my bedroom (which actually seemed really far away) where I had her… When they heard me doing what I describe as “lionessing,” those primal, gutterral, pushing sounds, my midwife descended upon my room with all of the supplies and everything.
How did you get into midwifery?
I got into it after my son’s birth, in 2004. Right after, I knew I was supposed to be a midwife. My oldest sister had a natural birth, and had her children at home, so I knew it was something I could do… but I didn’t know it was my path until I had my son.
What exactly does a midwife do?
We provide all the prenatal care, and we deliver the babies. But we don’t really deliver them, we actually “catch” them. And we do all the postpartum care. So we basically are the primary health care provider for low-risk pregnancies.
What’s the difference between a midwife and a doula?
A midwife is a medical professional. We’re licensed by the medical board that licenses doctors. A doula is a comfort measure.
How many children have you delivered?
Hmmm… Around 400?!
Wow!! Are the husbands usually there?
They’re usually participating. Most of them are very involved.
Do you find more women are using a midwife instead of a hospital?
I’ve been busy, but I think society has not put women in their power. They’re told their baby’s too big or a bunch of other bullshit, until they feel like they just can’t do it!
What are some methods you use to keep women comfortable as possible during childbirth?
That’s where the doula comes in, but basically there’s hydrotherapy, getting in the tub, massage, counterpressure on the back, getting in the shower… that’s what we use, because we’re at home, and we don’t use epidurals or narcotic medication.
What kind of complications are you experienced in remedying? …Things like breech births?
Well, that’s not really a complication, I would call that a variation of a normalcy. But yes, of course, we’re trained to manage hemorrhages, we do a suture when someone tears, and more.
What do you love about your job?
My job’s the best. It’s like being a guardian between worlds, like a gatekeeper. It can be really stressful at times, and it can be hard on my family, being on call all the time. It can be tricky. But when we’re there and we’re working and people are having this incredible experience, it’s the best job ever.
Thank you Beth! Visit www.birthingrhythm.com for more information.
Anne Clendening was born and raised in L.A. She is a yoga teacher, a writer and occasionally slings cocktails in a Hollywood bar. She is a columnist on elephant journal, and you can visit her web site for all things life, love, yoga and other good stuff at Anne Clendening Yoga. Peace, Love & Beatles ❤