More women choosing natural birth with midwife - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

More women choosing natural birth with midwife

One of the sweetest moments of Kristal Flentge's life was the moment her daughter was born. One of the sweetest moments of Kristal Flentge's life was the moment her daughter was born.
Miriam's first breaths were taken right here in the family's living room surrounded by loved ones just as Flentge had planned. Miriam's first breaths were taken right here in the family's living room surrounded by loved ones just as Flentge had planned.
Flentge chose to have a natural birth with the guidance of Joann Falcon, a Certified Professional Midwife. Flentge chose to have a natural birth with the guidance of Joann Falcon, a Certified Professional Midwife.
Leslie Hazelwood will be one of Falcon's next deliveries this summer. Leslie Hazelwood will be one of Falcon's next deliveries this summer.
Falcon has delivered more than 750 babies over two decades; including twins, multiple generations, Mennonites and Amish. Falcon has delivered more than 750 babies over two decades; including twins, multiple generations, Mennonites and Amish.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Imagine giving birth in your living room surrounded by your family and friends; no doctors, no drugs, no accident. In fact, more women in Southeast Missouri are turning to Missouri midwives to have that experience.

One of the sweetest moments of Kristal Flentge's life was the moment her daughter was born.

"Birth is so amazing," she said. "It's beautiful. She was brought into the world in this beautiful, awesome, gentle way."

Miriam's first breaths were taken right here in the family's living room surrounded by loved ones just as Flentge had planned.

"I am so thrilled with the way her birth went," Flentge said. "It just got us started on this enormously positive foot."

Flentge chose to have a natural birth with the guidance of Joann Falcon, a Certified Professional Midwife. She is part of a national trend, U.S. home births increased by 29 percent from 2004 to 2009.

She said she chose Falcon after a lot of research. She sought a different kind of experience after giving birth to her son in a hospital, and feeling it was more stressful than it had to be.

Falcon has delivered more than 750 babies over two decades; including twins, multiple generations, Mennonites and Amish.

"A part of the safety is having healthy mothers," Falcon said. "I'm helping them to think how can I be healthier, how can I help them have this good outcome?"

Falcon said she often has to explain that midwives do far more than just stand by during delivery. Moms see her regularly just as they would a doctor. She uses medical tools to monitor vital signs and development, and educates moms on maintaining their health and managing pain with a drug-free pregnancy and delivery.

"It's great to be a part of families and see them grow," Falcon said.

For Falcon and for moms, a big difference comes in personal attention.

"We are there for the length of the birth and we are there afterwards," she said.

Leslie Hazelwood will be one of Falcon's next deliveries this summer.

"She talks to me, she asks me how I'm feeling," Hazelwood said. "We laugh and talk about personal stuff. It's just a very normal personal connection. It's not like before on a cold, hard bench. I'm on her couch."

Like Flentge, she gave birth to her first child in a hospital. She said this time, she feels more in control of her health and her babies.

"I go to her home and she does all the tests that my obstetrician did the first time," Hazelwood said.

There's also the cost, quite a bit lower than a hospital. For Falcon, it was around $2,000.

"I don't have to worry about doctor co-pays," she said.

Hazelwood said her husband also feels like he's able to be a bigger part of it all.

"He's excited about everything," she said. "He is excited because we can control everything and the music that plays and the atmosphere."

Now, Hazelwood said they are having a great time planning a party for the delivery of their baby girl at their home. A celebration, she's looking forward to, to introduce her to the world.

"It is special and we want her to know she was born at home and she could do it herself too one day if she wanted," Hazelwood said. "There's just something about giving birth and doing that work yourself."

Some midwives do deliver in hospitals. Experts who've studied both professions feel midwives are more qualified for women with low-risk pregnancies and no pre-existing conditions.

Moms recommend every woman do a lot of research before choosing what's right for them.

States differ in guidelines and laws for practicing midwives and home births.

For more information, you can check out these links below:

Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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