When thinking about motherhood – the time spent preparing for baby, hours or days of hard labor to bring them earth-side and the life altering postpartum period, a time in your life so physically and emotionally demanding – I can’t help but think we have to be able to offer more.
- More support for mothers of all ages and backgrounds, no matter if this is her first or fifth baby.
- More resources made available to families to be able to make the best and most informed decisions when it comes to their birth and postpartum experience.
- More awareness of evidenced based practices.
- And overall more positivity and less trauma when it comes to birth.
So I decided to start monthly blog features introducing out of hospital providers, local birth workers and childbirth educators – from prenatal yoga teachers to childbirth education instructors and chiropractors specializing in pre- and postnatal women.
And what better way to start this series than with a practice that is so near and dear to my heart – Loudoun Homebirth & Healthcare. Hilary Biesecker, the owner and founder, was there to catch my second baby 15 months ago and showed me what pre- and postnatal care should really look like. Since then, she was joined by three amazing women, Heather, Andrea and Leslie, ready to dedicate themselves to the women of Northern Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia.
Follow along as we dive into the life of a home birth midwife through Q&A and images which were taken during recent home visits in Middleburg, VA and Hamilton, VA.
#1 Q: Can you share with people who is behind Loudoun Homebirth and Healthcare and what you guys offer?
A: LH&H is a group of 4 women – Hilary Biesecker, Certified Nurse-Midwife, owner and founder (I started in 2017 after working for BirthCare & Women’s Health in Alexandria, which I loved and got tremendous experience, but had little quality of life being so far from my own family and home all of the time…I decided to offer these services in my own community) Heather Swartz, CNM, joined me in May, 2019 and we work exclusively with Andrea Gioia Tune, RN and Leslie Brundage, RN, IBCLC, both of whom I (Hilary) personally met when I was a student at INOVA
Loudoun. We all share the love of physiological birth and serving women and families without the constraints and policies of a corporate entity. We have taken our expertise to a higher level of care and it is amazing!!
#2 Q: How long have you been working with women in Northern Virginia?
A: I have been a homebirth certified nurse-midwife for close to 6 years now, but I started attending births in 1999 and serving families in all capacities as a doula, a childbirth educator, a birth assistant to other CNMs, and as a nurse at Winchester Medical Center (L&D and NICU). We don’t just serve women in NOVA, we serve women in MD and WV, too.
#3 Q: How many clients do you usually take on each month?
A: 6 is a great number, but it varies by 1 or 2 depending on the 9 months prior, haha. We limit our number of births because one of the most precious things about our practice is the intimate relationships we establish and we aren’t going to compromise quality for quantity
#4 Q: Why did you choose to become a homebirth midwife?
A: Easy, I can be the best possible midwife in the home! I can truly support normal birth, in all of it’s variations, and provide individualized care – I witness the woman birthing as she needs to – not how I or anyone else
“thinks” she needs to.
#5 Q: What was your favorite part about being a homebirth midwife?
A: Wow! Tough question. So many things that I adore, but one of my favorites is working with a family throughout their pregnancy, having faith in them to do this without interventions, and to be able to witness when they bring it all to fruition and hold their baby earthside…that confidence and empowerment that they genuinely have is so beautiful! And I love watching siblings wake up, drowsy-eyed and bed-headed and come into a room to meet their baby, OR watching them join the birth process; love, love, love sibling involvement on any level
#6 Q: The question a lot of people asked me when I told them about the birth plan with our son – Is homebirth safe? And what makes someone a good candidate to have a homebirth?
A: It is safe. A healthy woman, that has had an uncomplicated pregnancy, will go on to have a healthy birth. Risks are increased when interventions are applied, and very few people are able to avoid some level of intervention in a hospital setting. Birth is not an illness that requires treatment, it is a normal process that requires support – in the form of rest, nourishment, hydration and patience. People are educating themselves and questioning societal norms – as a result, they are choosing homebirth because they’ve found that risks associated with homebirth are preferable and actually “less risky” than risks associated with a hospital birth. I would also add that as Certified Nurse-Midwives and nurses, we are very well skilled in management that requires medical expertise, we have medications for hemorrhage and IV fluids that we can utilize if needed, and our training can often prevent transfers because we know how to manage at home.
#7 Q: What would you say to someone who is on the fence about homebirth?
A: Call me! Better yet, come to our Homebirth Evidence Information Center on March 15th, 11-2 at The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyard. They will hear all the evidence available, as well as have any questions answered by the LH&H team.
#8 Q: What 3 words would you use to describe to someone your practice’s philosophy when it comes to motherhood and birth?
A: EMPOWERMENT (we foster in our families)
EXPERIENCE (not only in our training, but the fact that were all moms – been there done that)
TRIBE (we are here for our clients always, often years after their last birth)
#9 Q: What 3 words would your clients use to describe you?
A: haha, tough…definitely passionate about normal birth and all of it’s variations…patient, for sure….ummm, you tell me, Lisa – you are the perfect person to answer this question!
[Author’s note: The three things that stood out to me the most when I got to know Hilary throughout my pregnancy were compassionate (she rode the highest of highs and lowest of lows with us and made me feel like I am her only client), nurturing (her philosophy on birth and motherhood captured me right from the beginning) and knowledgeable(from the very first meeting I knew that no matter what happens in the next 7 months, I’ll be in great hands and will be making the the most informed decisions)]
#10 Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I was going to be an artist, living in a big city, very chic and sophisticated, lol
#11 Q: Can you share a fun fact about yourself?
A: I used to be a Registered Dental Hygienist before I went back to school to be a Certified Nurse-Midwife
#12 Q: Is there anything you would like to share with my readers?
A: Homebirth is for any and everyone, there is not a “type” of person that chooses this option – people from all walks of life are having their babies at home
#13 Q: What is the best way to get in touch with you?
A: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave some love for Hilary and Team in the comments below and feel free to ask any questions. I’ll be sure to have the team address them.
Also, please let me know what other businesses providers you would like to see featured. In the meantime I thank Hilary and team for welcoming this idea as well as Abby and Pam for allowing me into their homes during such a vulnerable time in their lives.
If you would like to be featured on the blog in the future, please reach out at email@example.com (subject: Monthly blog feature)