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Wellness Doula

What Does A Midwife Do? with Shanna Hinrichs

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By Sofia Health Staff on February, 29 2024
Exploring the Midwife's Role

Meet Shanna Hinrichs, a dedicated advocate for women's health and childbirth with over 20 years of experience as a doula, lactation consultant, and currently a midwife. Shanna believes in informed choice, actively contributes to cesarean awareness and advocates for VBAC. Shanna is passionate about finding the best solutions for each family's unique journey towards parenthood. Explore her unique approach to wellness in our exclusive interview with Sofia Health.

What Is A Midwife?

A midwife literally means “with woman.” That is exactly what midwifery is all about. We listen, we support, and we care. In more technical terms, a midwife is a registered healthcare professional who provides care during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. The way that midwives approach birth is quite different than the traditional model of care.


What made you want to become a midwife?

I have known I was called to help women bring their babies earthside since I was a young child. I didn't know what that would look like, but  I was fortunate to witness the intimate and precious home birth of a dear friend. That experience revealed my path as a birth worker and ignited my desire to serve women and their families in their most powerful and vulnerable moments.

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What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?

Midwives blend medical expertise with compassionate care. From prenatal to postpartum, they ensure the safety and well-being of both mother and baby.

Doulas are like your birth bestie, offering continuous support, encouragement, and comfort to the mother. Doulas empower women to navigate the challenges of labor, providing a comforting presence. While they don’t provide medical care, their emotional support plays a pivotal role in fostering a positive birthing experience.


How does midwifery contribute to improving the overall health of both the mother and baby?

Midwifery plays a crucial role in improving the overall health of both the mother and baby by providing personalized, holistic care throughout the pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum periods. Midwives focus on supporting natural processes and empowering women in their birthing experiences. This approach often leads to positive outcomes, including reduced intervention rates, improved maternal mental health, and better breastfeeding success.


How would you describe your philosophy as a midwife, and what approach do you take in supporting women and their families during the childbirth process?

The prenatal care I offer is focused on the uniqueness of each person I serve. I believe that educated, informed consent is the best way for families to become empowered and make the best decisions for their pregnancy. My philosophy of midwifery care is rooted in knowing that your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum are normal life events.

How do you assess if you're the best fit for a client, and what factors do you consider in deciding if you're the right midwife for a particular family?

As a midwife, assessing the fit with a client involves considering various factors such as the client's preferences, values, and birth plan. It also includes the client evaluating my expertise, experience, and approach to care to ensure alignment with the client's needs.


Can you share your approach to postpartum care and the support you provide to mothers and families in the weeks following childbirth?

I see families often in the postpartum because I believe we do not honor the time after a woman has a baby. I see my clients at 2, 4, and 7 days in their home. Then at 3 and 6 weeks in the office. But more often if needed to reduce the risk of PPMD.

What do you wish more moms knew going into labor? What suggestions/tips do you have for new moms? (Care instructions, surviving the first week, months, etc?)

I wish more women knew they had choices. That they have a voice. I also wish more women knew how important the postpartum period is in their recovery.


What are your most helpful tips for women's health?

Listen to your body. Health is not a one-size-fits-all model, and what’s right for one person might not be the best choice for you. But we could all drink more water.


More from Sofia Health

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Disclaimer: The Sofia Unfiltered Podcast by Sofia Health is for general informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing, or other professional healthcare services, including the giving of medical advice. No doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast or materials linked from this podcast is at the user’s own risk. The content of this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have. For any health concerns, users should seek the assistance of their healthcare professionals.

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