On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, The BIRTH Project Network held its first-ever online meet-up. This inaugural meet-up covered the topic of home births, and featured an experienced home-birth midwife as the subject matter expert.
The conversation covered the home-birth process from pregnancy, to labor and delivery, and through the postpartum period. You can watch and listen to the whole conversation above, or see time stamps for highlights listed below.
Kelly Olmstead, LM, CPM, is an Iowa native who has been in Santa Cruz, California, for 17 years. A mother of three, she has been active in the Santa Cruz birth community since shortly after the home birth of her third child, Henry, in 2002.
Her particular passion is ensuring that women understand they have options in birth—and the benefits and risks of various choices—so they can make the best choice for themselves and their babies.
After four years of midwifery school and apprenticeship, Kelly was licensed by the Medical Board of California in March 2010. By the close of 2017, she had attended more than 450 births. She’s also served on the board of directors for Birth Network of Santa Cruz County for several years.
Additionally, Kelly is the co-founder of a midwifery advocacy group called Birth Santa Cruz. Check out BirthSantaCruz.com on Facebook—it’s a great way to stay up to date about what’s going on with birth locally and nationally.
More recently, she joined forces with two other amazing midwives to create Pacific Community Midwives. They each have independent practices but collaborate and back one another up.
From 2011-2014, Kelly was Regional Co-Rep for the California Association of Midwives (CAM). She remains active on projects with their sister organization, the California Association of Licensed Midwives (CALM), including keeping midwives updated on continuing-education opportunities, meeting with state legislators on midwifery issues, and creating welcome packets for newly licensed midwives in the state.
19:07- Kelly discusses an effective written home-birth birth plan.
13:00- Amara shares her takeaways after experiencing a home birth turned hospital transfer.
24:00- Katy shares her home-birth takeaways.
28:15- Kelly suggests what to look for when trying to find the right midwife for you.
29:20- Katy shares the story of when she got in a car wreck at 8 months pregnant.
31:45- Katy shares her biggest insight after working with a midwife and experiencing a home birth.
34:00- Participant question about not wanting any ultrasounds, but suspecting she’s carrying twins.
38:00- Participant question about a safe distance from home to hospital when planning a home birth.
41:50- Participant question about responding to family who are hesitant about home births.
47:15- Kelly discusses the hospital vs. home-birth experience.
49:08- Kelly addresses how she remains confident as a midwife.
51:00- Kelly discusses how she handled an emergency with a patient who had Hellp syndrome
54:20- Participant question about assuring women that their births will work out the way they want them to.