As a birth doula, I have the opportunity to work in a variety of birth locations, and meet many different care providers in Baltimore and the surrounding communities. Many of the midwives I have worked alongside have inspired me in my doula work, through their dedication, knowledge, and compassionate, respectful care. I realize that the average person looking for a care provider for pregnancy and birth doesn’t always have the same opportunity to meet the many wonderful midwives we have in the Baltimore area, so it is a joy for me to be able to introduce some of them through this series of blog posts.
For my second post in this series, I would like to welcome Marie Neat Meakin, a Certified Nurse Midwife. Marie attends births at Bay Area Midwifery Center, a birth center located on the campus of Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, MD, as well as in the hospital at AAMC. Marie has a well-deserved reputation as a midwife who truly listens and cares, and has impressed me on more than one occasion with her willingness to go above and beyond for the women in her care.
Meet the Midwife: Marie Neat Meakin, CNM
How long have you been a midwife, and what type of training do you have?
I graduated from the University of New Mexico in May 2013 with my Masters Degree in Nursing and a concentration in Midwifery. Prior to that I received my Bachelors from the University of Maryland in 1989. I spent over twenty years as a nurse working in Maternal Child Health before I went to Midwifery school. I worked as a nurse in pediatric oncology/bone marrow transplant, PICU nurse, and Labor and Delivery. I also was a Labor and Delivery unit educator, interim nurse manager, birth assistant, and a child birth educator.
In what settings have you attended births, and where do you currently attend births?
I have attended births at homes, birth centers, hospitals and a couple of back yards.
What is your general philosophy of labor and birth?
My general philosophy is that the vast majority of women can have normal healthy pregnancies and birth with minimal or no intervention. But to do that in today’s culture women need to prepare and find the care providers (doulas, midwives, physicians) that they connect with and trust. Women call the shots. Its their body and their baby.
Do you have children? If you have given birth, have your own birth(s) influenced the care you give to other women?
I have two children – one born in a hospital and one at home. Both with midwives, both very different experiences. I pull from both experiences often, when caring for my clients.
What is one thing you’d like your clients to know before they give birth?
They need to know that I am ridiculously transparent, what you see is what you get. And I always make sure that we both have the same information.
Birth is always transformative, and that can be positive or negative. It is not enough to say we facilitate good births. It is also our job as midwives to decrease trauma. Trauma comes from fear and loss of control. I work to decrease fear and allow the pregnancy and birth to unfold as it should. And if there is an emergency, have a relationship with the client so that they trust what I am doing is necessary.
Thanks so much, Marie! For more information about Marie or the other midwives at Bay Area Midwifery, check out their facebook page, www.facebook.com/Bay-Area-Midwifery-Center-331282037743, or www.myaamg.org/bay-area-midwifery