Welcome Yggdrasil!

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We are pleased to join Stephanie and Andrew in welcoming their third child, a little boy named Yggdrasil into the world. He was born in a hurry on 9/14/18 at 1:23 am in a lovely water birth in the lake room. He weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces and his birth was attended by midwives Kate, Kayla and student midwife Mollie. Congratulations!

Welcome Rosemarie!


Cessnie and Clifton are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter Rosemarie! She had a peaceful waterbirth surrounded by family. Rosemarie weighed 5lb 10oz and was born at 9:29AM, attended by midwives Dana and Manga and student midwife Mollie. 
Congratulations and welcome to Rosemarie! 

Welcome Ezra!

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We are pleased to join Leah and Isaac in welcoming their baby boy Ezra. He was born on June 25, 2018 and weighed 8lb 13oz! Attended by midwives Caroline and Kate and student midwife Mollie in the Fireweed birth room. 

Welcome Violet!


We are so happy to celebrate the Birth of Violet to her proud parents Yelena and Timon. Little miss Violet decided to come in quite a hurry when it was time for her to come into this world. Her Mom, in what felt like mild labor decided to drive herself to the birth center and got a little lost. Labor progressed rapidly and she was met en route by emergency services and was born just after the ambulance arrived. She came into this world on June 2nd 2018 at 3:14 pm in an ambulance attended by 11 firemen and paramedics. Mother and baby are happy and healthy! Congratulations family and what an amazing birth story!

A link to the article in the paper: http://www.newsminer.com/news/kris_capps/ready-or-not-mom/article_5fb4d45c-7529-11e8-91fb-1b3c257af77f.html


Welcome Hero!

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We are so happy to join Tricia and Adam in celebrating the birth of their daughter Hero on March 30th 2018 at 4:19 am. This is their 4th baby with AFH&BC. Their birth was attended by midwives Erin and Caroline and birth assistant Tristan. Congratulations!

photo credit: Sarah Lewis

Welcome Boden!


AFH&BC would love to join Gina, Tyler and big sister Keely in the joyful welcome of their son Boden to the world. Boden was born on May 23rd at 5:46 am in the Fireweed room. He weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces. His birth was attended by midwives Kate and Dana and student midwife Mollie. Congratulations!

Welcome Atlas!


Ashley and Grey are so happy to welcome their first child into the world! Atlas was born on May 23rd at 10:02 pm. He weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces. His birth was attended by midwives Caroline and Manga and student midwife Mollie. These lovely photos were taken by his loving grandmother Deena of AlaskanFrostPhotography.com. Congratulations!


Welcome Jeremiah!


John and Teri welcomed their son Jeremiah in a peaceful homebirth attended by Caroline and Manga on May 1st 2018. Jeremiah weighed 8lb 13oz and is the 4th boy in the family! 
Teri is pictured here with her oldest and youngest sons. 

Welcome Aaron Lucas!

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Congratulations to Shannon and Keith and the birth of their son Aaron Lucas! This was their first child born at 3:53 pm on May the 4th 2018. He weighed 8 pounds 8 ounces. His birth was attended by Midwife Dana, birth assistant Nickol and Student midwife Mollie. We are so very happy for you!

Welcome Ronan!


Kara and Cyrus are overjoyed to welcome their first child Ronan into the world. Mom labored many hours at the Birth Center and transferred to FMH where their darling baby boy was born at 6:12 pm on April 25th 2018. He weighed 8 pounds 7 ounces. His birth was attended by Midwives Dianna and Kate. Congratulations!

Welcome Otto!


Jessica, Dayton and big brother Schuyler are very happy to welcome Otto to the world. When it was time to be born this sweet little boy came in a hurry. He was born at home into his Father's hands on April 20th 2018 at 1:20 am. Midwives Julie, Kate and Hannah arrived a few seconds after the birth to attend to mom and new baby. He weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces. Congratulations!

The Hallmarks of Midwifery part 6 - The Connections of Midwifery

The Connections of Midwifery


American College of Nurse Midwives

Hallmarks of Midwifery-The art and science of midwifery are characterized by the following hallmarks


G. Promotion of continuity of care

P. Collaboration with other members of the interprofessional

health care team


Teamwork.  Collaboration.  Both hot topics in modern media, and the favorite subject of business consultants.  Both ideas that get so much attention in our society.  We all know we should want them, we all know they should be utilized in whatever we do.  We also know they can be hard to achieve. We know that people make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year teaching others how to collaborate and work together in teams.  Why do we care so much about these words, and put so much effort into achieving them?


No one functions at their optimum level when they are working alone.  For decades, and really centuries, midwives have been alone in their field, struggling with their burdens, trying to carry the weight of their calling.  This has been brought about by circumstance, by system design, by interprofessional sabotage, and often by midwives themselves, who set themselves apart from an established system and then had to struggle to find a way to function within it, or at least on the periphery.  Finally, remarkably, the tides are changing.  The number of midwife attended births is increasing in most areas of the United States.  Certified Nurse Midwives and/or Certified Professional Midwives can be found in most states, and in all settings, from home birth practices, to large tertiary care centers.  We are acknowledged by the public, able to bill insurances, and recognized as colleagues within hospital systems.  Still there is much work to be done.


And here we are, left with clear choices, and huge tasks before us.  Do we do this alone?  Or do we do this together?  These are big questions that plague midwives across the country, and across the world.  Midwives come from so many different paths, is it even possible to allow these paths to cross?  Is it possible to learn from each other and take on characteristics of the other, while still preserving what is central to each different model?


I don’t pretend to have the answers to this for midwifery as a whole.  I do know the simple answer for what is right and good for OUR midwives, for OUR mothers and babies, for OUR birth center.  And I can tell you, we have found our sweet spot.  We have found that place of collaboration that leaves us feeling nothing but supported and uplifted.  We have found that nurse midwives and professional midwives working together provide the best of both models for our clients.  That we have so much to learn from one another, and so much to give to the world of midwifery.


In addition, over the 30 years our practice has been in Fairbanks, we have developed and grown relationships with midwives and physicians within our hospital system that leave us no doubt about the quality of care our clients will receive if they risk out of our care and need a hospital birth.  We ask all of our clients to establish a hospital provider, and we have close relationships with most of the practices in town, whose midwives and physicians will happily see our client for one prenatal visit, and then accept her into their care if she transfers to the hospital.  If problems arise before birth that may risk her out of our care, we are in close collaboration with the hospital provider, and we develop a plan of care together with them and the client for follow up and transfer if needed.  This gives us, and our clients, an enormous amount of reassurance.


I am always so grateful to be able to tell a client, “I’m so sorry we have to transfer you.  But you have seen this provider, and I know she/he will provide you with excellent care as close to the birth center model as possible.”  I am so relieved when we call the accepting provider and let them know we are headed in, and we talk about a basic plan of care before we even arrive.  The collaboration doesn’t end here.  We have close relationships with the hospital as well, and when our clients transfer, their choices are treated with respect and care, and as many of them as can be honored are.  This is not just about comfort and emotional support.  This close working relationship leaves our mothers and babies safer. 


Numerous studies have shown out of hospital birth is safest when done within a system that has processes in place for transfer.  Both out of hospital and in hospital midwives will tell  you, they feel safer and more supported when they know these systems are in place.  The close working relationships benefit every party involved, and leave midwives and clients feeling connected and part of a system of quality care on a continuum. Less bad outcomes occur, for both mother and baby, with collaborative care that provides continuity.  Not fractured care, but a smooth system of transfer from one place of care to another, with full communication between providers.  Every mother, and every midwife, should get to feel this safe and supported from all sides.


As the week closes, I would like to send out a thank you to the network of midwives, physicians, and nurses I work with, that has grown me and held me up.  Both near and far, in hospital and out, we have shown that when you work together, great, great things can be accomplished.  May we continue to show the world the power of midwives, united in mission and solidarity, is an unstoppable force that will accomplish the good we have set out to achieve.




In faith, love, and gratitude



“Core competencies for basic midwifery practice.” American College of Nurse Midwives. Dec. 2012. http://www.midwife.org/ACNM/files/ACNMLibraryData/UPLOADFILENAME/000000000050/Core%20Comptencies%20Dec%202012.pdf

Accessed 4/29/2018


“Smooth Transitions: Enhancing the Safety of Planned Out of Hospital Birth Transfers.”  Washington State Perinatal Collaborative.  March 2015.  http://www.washingtonmidwives.org/documents/Smooth-Transitions-Hospital-Transport-QI-Project.pdf. Accessed May 4, 2018

The Hallmarks of Midwifery part 5 - The Science of Midwifery

The Science of Midwifery


American College of Nurse Midwives

Hallmarks of Midwifery- The art and science of midwifery are characterized by the following hallmarks


C.  Incorporation of scientific evidence into clinical practice

M.  Incorporation of evidence-based complementary and alternative therapies in education and practice


Midwifery is an age old calling.  Midwives are mentioned in the Bible, and in nearly every ancient text from every culture on earth.  Midwives serve a basic, fundamental need of humans-to guide and support new life into this world.  The knowledge we hold as a profession is often revered as sacred, and passed down from one generation to another.  Over the centuries much of this old knowing has been lost or forgotten, but there are still guardians of this knowledge, and many can be found who still know the importance of these fundamental pieces of the puzzle in the care of the care of women and babies. 


There are still many midwives who know how to utilize alternative therapies, and who understand the importance of complementary care.  There are still those who understand how to skillfully and safely employ herbals to improve the health of a mother and baby.  Midwives abound who understand the key role nourishing foods, supplements, and a healthy diet play in pregnancy. 


Similarly, you can find multitudes of midwives who pride themselves on evidence based care.  The entire focus of much of our education is on discerning the most up to date, thorough, quality evidence, and employing it in practice.  Midwifery journals are full of the most recent studies and findings of professional organizations. 


Often, you do not find these two seemingly opposing qualities in the same midwives, nor even in the same practice or practice setting.  Occasionally, though, this beautiful union will occur, and this is where the true glory of midwifery is seen. 


Consider midwives attending a birth in the hospital, surrounded by monitors and equipment, and screens, and all the best technology has to offer.  Imagine them understanding the importance of low lights, undisturbed birth, and mobility on the health and well-being of the mother and baby.  Imagine them discussing fermented foods, probiotics, and vitamin D with the parents during prenatal, and the importance of a nourishing diet.  Imagine them understanding the latest evidence on physiologic cord clamping, and the importance of uninterrupted skin/skin, while able to quickly intervene with medications and procedures when called to.  This is always a glorious thing to see, and leaves you no doubt that the mother and baby are being well served.


Equally impressive is an out of hospital midwife whose primary focus is physiologic birth and holistic care, who is up to date on the current guidelines for management of gestational diabetes.  A home birth midwife who carries all the medications for management of postpartum hemorrhage and has a clear knowledge of how to use them appropriately, and also carries a rebozo, homeopathic medications for stalled labor, and a birth stool.  A birth center midwife who can detail the correct steps in resuscitation of the newborn, and then deftly explain the importance of physiologic cord clamping and immediate skin/skin with an undisturbed third stage.


My incredible mentor, Dana Brown, is fond of saying “We should never have a sacred cow we are not willing to let go.”  In my years with her I have seen her live this out repeatedly. I’ve seen she and the other midwives have a belief that seemed central to our practice.  Then we would become aware of solid evidence that disputed this belief.  She would be the first to bring us the new evidence, and demand that we evaluate it and review our practice.  She would also be the first to remind us that evidence is not everything.  That evidence without experience, and without consideration of the mother and her reality, means nothing.  Many times, we have modified our ‘sacred cows’.  Occasionally, we have discarded them altogether. 


This, to me, is the essence of balancing evidence based care with complementary therapies.  We must be willing to look at what we know, what we ‘believe’, and consider evidence to the contrary.  We must be willing to look at what all the evidence says, know what the solid conclusions are, are then look at the mother and listen to her when she tells us, “Yes, that may be true for others, but it is not true for me.”  We must be able to balance these two sides of our profession, no matter our setting. 


As Dana always reminds us, “We must be humble, and teachable.”  We must learn from the books, AND from the mothers.  From the newest evidence, and from the oldest truths.  We must give them all consideration.  If we can do this, we will serve our women and babies well. We will continue to ensure that our profession meets the highest standards of tradition and progress, blended together beautifully to make such a beautiful product-a Midwife.


In faith, love, and gratitude,



“Core competencies for basic midwifery practice.” American College of Nurse Midwives. Dec. 2012. http://www.midwife.org/ACNM/files/ACNMLibraryData/UPLOADFILENAME/000000000050/Core%20Comptencies%20Dec%202012.pdf

Accessed 4/29/2018

Welcome Aurora!


Caroline and Gialuca are overjoyed to welcome their first child Aurora into the world. She was born at home just after midnight on March 28th 2018. She weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces. Her birth was attended by midwives Kate Parks and Dana Brown. Congratulations!