In today’s episode, we talk with Margo Blackstone, an independent midwife and co-creator and co-director of the Indie Birth organization and midwifery school. Margo had a unique introduction into the birth industry, studying criminal justice and applied criminology and how midwives were legislated out of practice all over the world in the last 100 years. She shares how she became an independent midwife, and how her high blood pressure restricted her from the home birth option.
We discuss the nuances about the laws surrounding the practices of licensed and unlicensed midwives. We talk about the importance of not restricting choices for women, and the impact of being able to find the right midwife or provider for you. We talk about educating our children and what having conversations about birth with our kids might look like. We talk about teaching kids when to use anatomical terms, as well as teaching radical consent and body autonomy, especially for our daughters. We talk about putting your personal fears and concerns behind you and honoring the preferences of a woman, as well as when to know to honor your own boundaries as a care provider.
We talk about what you can say if you notice that your provider is putting their personal needs before your own needs and wishes with your body. We speak about how many women want the care that hospitals provide, but if we were all on board with radical consent, many problems could be prevented and needs would be protected. We talk more about the midwife-client relationship, emphasizing that there is a provider for everyone. We discuss the importance of interviewing midwives, and key questions you can ask to determine if you’ve found a good fit.
We invite you to visit https://indiebirth.org if you want to learn more, as well as http://www.indiebirthmidwiferyschool.org if you’re interested in becoming a midwife.
• 4:10 Preserving Autonomous Midwifery
• 15:18 The Impact of Having “The Right Midwife for You”
• 20:08 Teaching Kids About Birth
• 29:23 Honoring Women’s Choices About Their Bodies
• 42:39 There’s a Provider For Everyone
Current laws in most U.S. states require midwives to be licensed to practice while also making it difficult or impossible for licensed midwives to practice outside of a hospital or birth center. Minnesota and Utah are currently the only two states that allow midwives to practice without a license, which provides much more freedom for them to gain their desired certifications to provide mothers with the birth experiences they truly want.
Sarah and Margo aim a critical eye at the ways that legislation on independent midwifery harms the development of woman-centered midwifery practice. They also discuss the empowerment that autonomous midwifery can to the birth community at large, and brush on different ways of teaching consent to young children.
Margo is an independent midwife in Duluth, Minnesota where she has a small home birth midwifery practice. She also is one half of the Indie Birth Association, a birth organization that provides innovative education for pregnant and birthing women who want to expand what they know and believe, and also offers sacred and scientific education for the modern birth worker, including doulas and midwives through their various programs.