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Founder of Natural Attachment: Michele James-Parham

Professional: Natural Childbirth Activist/Education, Attachment Parenting Consultant/EducationNatural Family Boutique Affiliate, Birth Doula/Advocate, Traditional Lay Midwife.

Education: Pursuing a degree in Naturopathic Medicine (ND), College level instruction in alcohol and substance abuse counseling, religious education, educational reform, professional photography, maternal and infant health and herbology, as well as many more disciplines. Michele completed her Traditional Midwifery Apprenticeship with Nelli Garcia, TM, a Mexican 'granny' Midwife. You can request more information about Michele and midwifery and she'd be happy to share with you all about her journey.

Personal: Michele is a Stay-at-Home-Mum of one, Elijah Uriel, and plans to add more beautiful children to her family in the future. She is happily married to William, a poet, musician, media producer, computer-god and avid reader.

WHAT IS A TRADITIONAL LAY MIDWIFE?

Traditional Midwifery is a particular school of thought of midwifery, which tries to minimize interventions, tests and medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth. Traditional Midwives are often thought of as Keepers of Birth and do not use obstetrical practices, as other midwives are taught to use.

A TM does do or encourage many of the following:

  • Use herbs, homeopathic remedies and good nutrition
  • Natural methods of turning breech babies
  • If needed or warranted, natural methods of induction
  • Exercises: yoga, swimming and walking
  • Alternative birthing positions and use of birthing props
  • Trust in Mother Nature and a Woman’s Intuition

A TM does not do or encourage the following:

  • Frequent, unnecessary or non requested vaginal exams
  • Use of pain medications, pitocin or other medications
  • Excessively restrictive diets like Atkin’s or South Beach
  • Confinement to a bed for labor or birth
  • Constant, if any fetal monitoring
  • Numerous blood and urine tests

A Traditional Midwife seeks to help her clients to achieve something that her client’s body does naturally. Most of the time this means doing nothing at all resembling clinical tasks, but lots of observing, educating, talking and wisdom sharing. Trust in nature and women; these are our first steps in care. It is my hope that when my children have children, there won't be a need for midwives, because every woman will realize, she is her own midwife.

Why choose a Traditional Lay Midwife (TM)?

This is a woman who has apprenticed with an experienced midwife or is self taught by assisting women during childbirth and may have attended additional workshops and classes to supplement her education or she may have attended a school. Her focus is on homebirth or birth center births. She may be affiliated with a physician, but she is not under the physician's directive. She chooses not to be certified to not be regulated by modern politics or obstetrical practices. A TM doesn't use preform obstetrical procedures or use its tools.

Because of a TM’s education and path into midwifery, she is best suited for assisting at homebirths. A TM is dedicated to helping a woman achieve a safe and natural pregnancy, which is free of interventions, invasive exams, multiple tests, time constraints and the personal agenda of the persons assisting at the birth. She wants you to be educated about your body, childbirth and breastfeeding. She wants you to take responsibility for your prenatal and postnatal care.

A TM is more than a ‘trained professional’ assisting you with your birth; she is a friend who believes in you, your body, your child and Mother Nature. If you are seeking a person you can trust, talk to and confide in and you are looking into choosing a TM, you are looking in the right place. A TM aims at empowering women so that they find the midwife inside of them and will choose to have a FreeBirth, even if this means not having their midwife attend their birth.

Midwife means "with woman." Traditionally, women have attended and assisted other women during labor and birth. As modern medicine emerged in the West, birth fell into the realm of the medical. Since women were barred from attending medical schools, men became the birth practitioners. Having never had a baby themselves, they were unable to approach women and childbirth with the inner knowledge and experience of a woman. Childbirth became viewed as pathological rather than natural; unnecessary, and often dangerous or unproven, medical techniques and interventions became commonplace.

During the 1960s and 1970s, along with the women's movement and renewed interest in homebirth, the midwifery movement rekindled. It has been growing steadily ever since. Midwives are becoming more and more involved with birthing families and have been instrumental in redefining birth as a natural event in women's lives.

Midwifery empowers women and their families with the experience of birth. Most midwives honor whatever constitutes a family for individuals, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual couples, single mothers, or any other group of people.



The material in this website is provided for information purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, medical diagnosis, medical advice, or medical treatment prescription. Consult your health care provider for more information. If you are in Pittsburgh and need a midwife, send email to PghMidwife (at) naturalattachment.com
All rights reserved. Copyright © James-Parham 2003 - 2006.