Sarafina Kennedy, CPM
While I was attending graduate school, I trained to be a doula and began practicing in the Boston area. The first birth I attended was in 2005. I was the doula for a third-time mother who had a quick and beautiful birth. I distinctly remember being awestruck at the things that were wonderful: how the mother looked, how powerful labor was and how amazing it was to see a baby emerging from a woman’s body. I also distinctly remember the things that we not so wonderful, including the placing of an IV at 8 cm, the TV blaring throughout the birth, the sterility of the room and the absence of the doctor. I knew there had to be a better way for women to give birth, one that would honor the process, acknowledge its power, and celebrate and support the women doing the work.
That initial hospital birth, as well as my experiences in the hospital since then, have given me the motivation and bravery I have needed to pursue homebirth midwifery. After attending my first homebirth in July of 2007, I knew my view of birth would be forever changed. I felt for the first time that I was seeing birth the way it was meant to be. I was called to the profession in the way that a priest is called to the church, and I knew I was willing to give my time, energy and life to women giving birth at home.
My philosophy of birth is that it is a safe, natural, beautiful and powerful process for women and families. In addition, I view midwifery as a very important aspect of reproductive choice for women: in the same way that women may chose to have to have their babies in the hospital, they should also have the option to birth at home, and have a full range of choices throughout the birth. I believe that a midwife, as a woman supporting other women and their families in childbirth, plays an empowering and important role in helping to create the birth a woman desires. A midwife is solidly allied with women; she listens to women and trusts birth. She is skilled and professional. She is also loving, nurturing and caring.
I firmly believe that women and families need to be supported in birth and that improving women's experiences of birth and pregnancy is vital to giving women empowerment, strength and worth through having control over their bodies, minds and physical situations. Therefore, what interests me most about supporting pregnant, birthing and postpartum women and their families is the opportunity to safeguard and enhance their entire experience throughout each of those three phases. I am interested in the opportunity to build relationships with women and learn about their lives and experiences in order to help give them the birth experience they want and deserve. I am also interested in the hands-on aspect of midwifery work, using different skills and visualizations to help women manage pain, and teaching skills postpartum to help them grow healthy families.