From "Your Birthing Family" ~
In This Issue
About Postpartum Care
Historical European Postpartum Traditions
Our Charis Family
Key Lime Pie
Charis Around the World
Tidbits From Ebony
Childbirth in Kenya
To enjoy past newsletters, visit the archives:
Mark Your Calendars
Childbirth Preparation Classes
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Presented by: Birth InSight
Christi Jones (CCE, CD) and Aimee Roberts (CCE, CD)
Seven Week Series
May 1-June 5, Thursdays 7:00-9:00
July 10-August 14, Thursdays 7:00-9:00
September 4-October 9, Thursdays 7:00-9:00
October 16-November 20, Thursdays 7:00-9:00
(cost $250 per couple)
May 16 & 17 (6:30-9:30) and (9:00-3:30)
August 1 & 2 (6:30-9:30) and (9:00-3:30)
November 7 & 8 (6:30-9:30) and (9:00-3:30)
(cost $250 per couple)
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or call 757-270-0437
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We at Charis are extremely grateful for our wonderful members. This past
year, your dues have made it financially possible for us to creatively
correspond with people in areas of the world where internet is spotty at best.
Having all forms of communication available for us is essential if we are going
to successfully train birth professionals in the far reaches of the earth.
As our community of members grows, there will be more funds available for even
more world-impacting outreach. Thank you!
Membership is due every December 31 for the coming calendar year. So, if
you became a member on or before December 31, 2013, your dues should be mailed
by the middle of December, 2014, to be sure it is received in time. If you
become a member sometime in 2014, then your membership renewal is not due until
December 31, 2015.
You can send your
membership form and $30 dues to:
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Our Director's Heart
A friend of mine is
struggling today with whether or not to go out of town to visit her ill
father. Another friend just returned home from another state, and left
her husband there, with his mother, while he receives cancer treatment.
I did not make the 2 ½ hour drive to attend the funeral of a close family
friend last week.
Why would anyone not go to see an ailing parent? Why would anyone part
from her husband while he fights cancer? Why would anyone choose not
to attend the funeral of a close loved one?
The answer: Birth Work.
It is a calling and ministry like no other. It requires a deep level
of commitment and understanding from the midwife’s or doula’s entire family.
She sacrifices much for the families she serves. I have left home to
attend a birth on Christmas, did not attend my husband’s birthday dinner,
and was absent on many other occasions when we had a family event planned.
I restrict my movement, never walk away from my cell phone, and always have
a bag packed. This has been my life for decades.
Over the years, I have learned a few things (well, way more than a few, but
here are just several) that help me and my family deal with the challenges
of birth work.
*Let everything done be motivated by love. If my motivation is
anything other than love, then I am doing it for the wrong reasons. My
family must also love the people I serve so that when I leave to help a
laboring mother, they are excited and proud of the work I do.
*Identify reliable back up. Sometimes, unexpected things come
up and I will need to call on another midwife to cover for me. My
friend who is struggling with whether or not to go see her father will
likely go within a day or two, as soon as her back-up midwife is available.
She is praying her father will hold on until she can get there.
*Allow for time off. It is amazing the amount of stress it
relieves when I can turn off my phone! I like to take at least one
long vacation a year, preferably two (one with my entire family and one with
just my husband). It’s important to plan more than 9 months in advance
so that your clients will not be surprised by your vacation plans after they
have already entered care.
*Be honest with clients. They deserve to know my level of
commitment. They need to know my back-up arrangements. They want
to know what to expect so that there are no surprises. They appreciate
knowing the kinds of situations that may lead to my calling for back-up
help. Last Christmas, for instance, I planned to be in Virginia Beach
to spend Christmas with my family and another local home birth midwife
agreed to cover for me while I was away. I let potential clients know,
the very first time I talked with them on the phone, the dates I would be
out of town and gave them the option of choosing another midwife, or taking
their chances that they would deliver before I left or after I returned or
with another midwife while I was away. Thankfully, those sweet,
accommodating babies all arrived while I was in town.
*Be realistic in determining your level of commitment and be true to the
commitments you make. Unless something catastrophic takes place, I
will be there for my clients’ deliveries. They know they can count on
me. It gives them peace, which is essential for a healthy pregnancy
and birth. I strive, however, to commit to no more than I can give.
That is why I only accept 4 due dates in a calendar month and I limit my
service area to within an hour and a half from my home. That is why I only
schedule appointments on Monday afternoons/evenings and Thursday
mornings/afternoons. That is why, at the very first prenatal visit, I
ask my clients not to send me text messages and I let them know to limit
after-hours phone calls to emergency situations (and I define emergency).
My husband is supportive of this and it is a good example to my children of
integrity. It is honorable to be true to one’s word.
This is what is on my heart today, as I have the privilege of helping two of
my children plan their weddings. I will not miss their weddings.
My clients completely understand and are prepared to birth with another
midwife if their labor happens during the time I am “off”. They know I
love them and they are happy for me. Of course, we are all hoping the babies
choose birthdays when I’m available.
If you have any tips to share with birth workers, feel free to submit them
email@example.com for publication in a future newsletter.
Kristin Schuchmann, CPM, LM
Executive Director, Charis Childbirth, Inc.
P.S. Please pray for my midwife friend and her husband, an
exceptionally wonderful OB who is battling cancer. I can only imagine
how hard it is for them to be apart right now. She owns a birth center
and must be home to keep it running. The moms and babies are counting on
her. Also pray for the doc’s patients who are without their care
provider. They are, understandably, very sad that their favorite OB is
not with them right now. Many of them have had a previous C-section
and are devastated that they will not have the option of VBAC now that he is
not there. The birth community here is scrambling to be sure everyone’s
needs are met without him, and we are all praying for his complete healing
so he can continue to provide such great care to the moms and babies in our
area for many, many years to come. Thank you!
For our directors and
administration: Wisdom, guidance, energy, and provision
from God as Charis enters this season of growth
For the Charis Childbirth Educator, Doula, and
Midwifery students: sharp minds to learn, opportunities for lots of
For the Charis CE’s, doulas, and midwives: rest, peace,
protection, wisdom, discernment
For the Charis missionaries and
humanitarian workers: protection, peace, divine guidance, financial
The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only
and is not intended to take the place of medical care and advice
from your health care provider.
'Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them
from the ends of the earth,
Among them the blind and the lame,
The woman with child and The one who labors with child, together,
great throng shall return there...And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the LORD.'
Jeremiah 31:8, 14
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