The midwife movement is slowly gaining momentum around the United States and Brandy Brey believes that this is a step in the right direction. Brey is the founder of Wholesome Birth Services in Salem, Wisconsin and services Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Walworth. She is the only midwife in Kenosha County, Wisconsin with a professional certification in midwifery.
Brey pointed out that midwives are predominant in nations which boast the lowest rates in infant mortality. “We trust birth. We trust women’s wisdom,” she said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have noted that home deliveries and birthing centers traditionally have fewer problem deliveries including low birth weight and preterm deliveries. This is mainly due to the fact that midwives only take on clients with healthy, low risk pregnancies. Their training allows them to handle normal pregnancies and births and be able to detect possible problems. If issues arise, the midwife will then transfer the patient to the care of an obstetrician.
Brey, whose first child was born in a hospital, knew she wanted to experience a home delivery when it came time to have her second child. That is when she decided that she would pursue a career as a midwife. Now with 180 births under her belt, she is the lead midwife at Wholesome Birth Services. She is licensed by the Department of Safety and Professional Services in Wisconsin and has a national certification from the North American Registry of Midwives. “That’s for our protection and the families’ protection,” she said.
Brey stressed the fact that epidurals and other pain management used in hospitals are not available through midwives and birthing centers. The average cost for a midwife is $4,000 and includes the birth as well as prenatal and postpartum care. Each birth is attended by two licensed midwives to ensure maximum safety for both the mother and baby during a delivery.