Midwife means “With Woman”
Midwife Motto: “Listen to Women”
Midwives are the “Guardians of Normal Birth”
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Transformational Holistic Pregnancy Coach
Vanita’s life has been dedicated to midwifing the holistic paradigm that blends ancient wisdom with modern science. As an expert who has worked with thousands of women in her 35 years of experience she provides pregnant women and families with professional coaching to provide up-to-date research based information, so they can make their own empowering choices that best suit their unique beliefs, situation, needs and desires. She knows the advantages and disadvantages of each type of health care provider, the different birth settings and the various philosophies and approaches to childbearing. Her warm presence inspires women to learn to trust themselves, their bodies and intuition on their unique transformational path to motherhood. Go to “Services” for more information.
What Is a Certified Nurse Midwife?
All Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are RNs who have additional education to practice midwifery. CNMs specialize in pregnancy, birth, newborn care, and wellness-oriented gynecology care. The training of CNMs is similar to that of Ob/Gyn Nurse Practitioners, but Ob/Gyn NPs do not attend births. CNMs are the most highly researched midwives and legally practice in all 50 states.
- Know that pregnancy & birth are normal life processes.
- Focus on nutrition, wellness & prevention
- Believe women deserve caring, respectful & nurturing support
- Monitor the physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual & social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
- Individualize care that includes prenatal/postpartum care, education, counseling
- Provide attentive hands-on facilitation during labor & birth
- Offer labor comfort techniques including epidurals with in-hospital births
- Use technological interventions when clearly beneficial
- Write prescriptions & repair lacerations as needed
- Manage common complications
- Practice in hospitals, birth centers, clinics & women’s homes.
- Consult, collaborate or refer women to obstetricians/medical specialists when needed.
Vanita was drawn to the Frontier School of Midwifery’s many instructors who specialized in out-of-hospital births. The Frontier Nursing Service, as the first Nurse-Midwife service in the U.S, is a public health success. Founded in 1925, Nurse-Midwives dramatically lowered the infant and maternal mortality rates in Appalachia while also improving the general health of the area’s families.
No roads existed to reach the remote mountain cabins and midwives galloped with their saddle bags to care for women in labor. Appalachian children weren’t told about storks, but that the midwives brought the baby in her saddlebags. This is cute, although Vanita prefers being more straightforward with children.
Vanita is rather unique since she has attended births in major medical centers, hospitals, an independent birth center, and in her former “In-Home Birth Center” (IHBC). Her IHBC in Northern California offered professional homebirth services modeled after nations with better birth statistics than the U.S.
- Called to be midwife at the age of 16 while reading about the U.S. Air Force’s CNMs.
- Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from William Patterson College in New Jersey in 1981. Cum Laude (with Honors).
- Frontier School of Midwifery, graduated with GPA of 3.87 in 1997.
- American College of Nurse-Midwives board certified.
- Hospital experience including high-risk in N.J., N.Y., Washington, Arizona, Nevada, and California.
- Professional & community lecturer, seminar leader and researcher.
- Avid student of alternative holistic healing practices, including naturopathy, herbal medicine, sound and spiritual healing.
- Certified yoga teacher and Reiki (hands-on-healing) practitioner.
- Loves kayaking, hiking, ecstatic dance, yoga, meditation, being in nature, being with family & friends.
Dr. Kerry Newlin, RN, NP, MS, DHSc is an editor for Awakening Birth Now. Before Kerry received her Master’s in International Health and her Doctorate in Health Sciences, she practiced as a hospital labor and delivery RN and an Ob/Gyn Nurse-Practitioner. She was a birth assistant with the IHBC and has had the great fortune of attending birthing women also in Nicaragua, Kenya, Ethiopia, Liberia, and East Timor. Kerry is married and currently is improving healthcare practices and teaching in Australia.
In-Home Birth Center (1997-2008)
Founded by Midwife Vanita, this avant-garde practice served area families for 11 years. She had two offices and enjoyed abundant media attention. Full prenatal care included a detailed home visit one month before a woman’s due date. Births were planned in the privacy and comfort of the woman’s home with obstetrician back-up available at all times by our local hospitals. State-of-the-art equipment including deluxe labor/birth tubs, Doppler fetal monitors, intravenous equipment, and other supplies were available at each birth and a birth assistant was present at each delivery. Occasionally, a client chose to give birth in the IHBC’s office where they could labor in the porcelain claw foot tub. The midwife and assistant remained an average of 4 hours after the birth caring for the new mother and baby. Every new duo also received a home visit at 1day/3 days after the birth and both returned to our offices at 2wks/6 wks. Breastfeeding support was a vital element of postpartum care and our clients experienced extremely high successful breastfeeding rates.
See “Media & Slideshows” for more about the IHBC and Vanita’s career.
More Career Highlights
Professional Nursing Lectures
- The Empowerment of Women
- Nursing care for cesarean prevention (4-hr course)
- The Golden Hour: honoring the importance of skin-to-skin contact
- The physiology of relaxation in labor
- Preterm labor management
- Benefits of labor and birth in warm water
- Preventing psychological & emotional birth trauma
- Nurse-Midwifery & planned out-of-hospital birth research
- Nurse-Midwifery legislation for independent practice
TV, Radio & Community Presentations
- Labor & birth in warm water
- Professional out-of-hospital birth
- Teen pregnancy & STD prevention
- Honoring the Mystery of Blood (Reframing attitudes regarding menstruation & the female body)
- Nurse-Midwifery Legislation for Independent Practice
- Our Shocking Cesarean Epidemic
- Microbiological preparation and inoculation of stock cultures, Jon Fox Laboratory, Nevada City, CA.
- Lay healing practices of the Newark ethnic communities, College of Medicine and Dentistry, Newark, NJ. Observation & participation as a research assistant studying popular local healers & their methods.
Other Experience & Education
- Lead seminars at & managed the International Rebirthing Center. Rebirthing was the forerunner of the field of perinatal* psychology. It is a therapeutic breath technique to facilitate healing for adults that includes healing their own psychological birth trauma. Many adults are suffering the psychological effects, including a rampant incidence of attachment disorders, from being subjected to unsound birth practices that disturbed healthy mother and baby bonding. Accompanied the founder of rebirthing, Leonard Orr, on his 1987 World Tour.
- Owned an international mail order bookstore that promoted rebirthing, gentle and water birth, and spirituality in the late 1980’s.
- Founding member of the original chapter of Birth and Early Parenting Educators (BEPE). Birth psychology leader David Chamberlain, PhD, author of The Mind of Your Newborn Baby, spearheaded BEPE with his wife, Donna Chamberlain that promoted the benefits of holistic birth for women and babies.
- Is certified in “Calm Birth Meditation” & “Hypnosis for Childbirth.”
- Studies and teaches non-violent communication, conscious relationships, interpersonal communication and conflict resolution systems with a variety of experts.
- Apprenticed with a variety of spiritual teachers, healers, and shamans and completed an herbal apprenticeship
- Is a mother and grandmother. Her daughter was born in a hospital with a CNM and her son was born at home with a physician/CNM team. Her grandsons were both born in a hospital with CNM care due to premature arrivals. Her older sister had a cesarean with her first birth and a vaginal home birth with her second. Her younger sister had her only child in a freestanding CNM owned birth center.
- Lives in northern California in a progressive area that boasts a greater than 10% successful home birth rate.