Manhattan Midwives

Terrah Stroda

May 5th is National Midwives Day!

I’ve had the honor to work alongside and photograph some truly amazing midwives in action. I’d like to take a moment to highlight and celebrate what an asset they are to the birth community in the Manhattan area. Our Manhattan midwives are amazing!

midwife benefits

Rachel Andresen, Manhattan, KS Midwife

Midwives are medically-trained birth professionals who provide prenatal care and support for labor. Many midwives also offer well-women, postpartum and newborn care. A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) can generally do everything that an obstetrician can with the exception of surgeries. Midwives typically only handle low to moderate risk pregnancies. While some midwives primarily service home births, you can find excellent midwifery care at some of our local hospitals. Would you like a hospital birth with a midwife? Take a look at Geary Community Hospital in Junction City and Irwin Community Hospital in Fort Riley.

home birth midwife

Lilly Mason, Lawrence, KS midwife

Here are a few quick FAQs about midwives:

Q: What is the difference between a doctor and a midwife?

A: The main difference between the two is where and what kind of training they receive. Obstetricians specialize in pregnancy and birth and receive their training in medical school, while midwives complete a specialty midwifery training program. Generally speaking, the midwifery model of care treats pregnancy and birth as normal events, not medical ones. The focus is on maintaining a healthy pregnancy so as to prevent any need for medical intervention. Obstetrical, or medical management, tends more toward the use of interventions and procedures to guide and control labor and delivery. While an OB will usually check in on a mother during labor and then show up to deliver the baby, midwives are often with her throughout her labor and delivery. Prenatal appointments tend to be longer and more personalized with midwives.

Terrah strodah cnm

Terrah Stroda, Geary Community Hospital midwife

Q: Will I have access to the same tests and medications that a doctor would provide?

A: Midwives can order most lab work and diagnostics and may be able to order prescriptions. Any other necessary testing can be scheduled through a doctor. Keep in mind that a midwife will likely encourage you to seek regular care from a doctor if your pregnancy is high risk.

Fort Riley midwife

Raquel Johnson, Irwin Army Community Hospital midwife

Q: Are there different kinds of midwives?

A: While neither accreditation is currently required for home birth midwives in Kansas, you will typically find that midwives practicing at hospitals and birth centers are Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM). They usually have at least a bachelor’s degree and certification by the American College of Nurse Midwives. CNMs can provide the most comprehensive health care usually including gynecological exams, family planning, prenatal care, birth support, and newborn care. Home birth midwives are either Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) or a Lay Midwife. CPM’s meet the standards of the North American Registry of Midwives, Direct-Entry Midwives (DEM), and Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies (HMHB) who are independent individually trained through various sources. A Lay Midwife is an individual not certified or licensed, but has received informal training.

“Midwifery is a balancing act between art, science, and care.” –Marie Batley

manhattan ks home birth

Little Apple Doulas, KayLee Proctor with midwife, Lilly Mason.

Q: What are some of the advantages of using a midwife?

A: If you would like to experience childbirth as naturally as possible, you should consider birthing in a location where a midwife can oversee your pregnancy, labor and birth. According to the American College of Nurse Midwives, and per, hiring a midwife decreases infant mortality rates, the risk of needing a cesarean, the risk of preterm birth, and the likelihood of third and fourth degree perineal tears. There are dramatically lower rates of labor induction/augmentation and regional anesthesia with midwives. Mamas who work with a midwife typically experience a better start to breastfeeding and overall increased satisfaction with quality of care.

Bryant Sarensen

Kansas City area midwives, Bryant Sarensen and Lilly Mason attend a Manhattan home birth.

Q: What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?

A: While a midwife is medically trained, a doula is more of a coach or support person. Many doulas are trained and certified to provide professional care in your birth space through emotional and physical support. Doulas are not there to provide medical advice or care. A midwife takes the place of an OB for everything but surgical situations and typically spends a lot more time with mamas throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery than a doctor will. Whether you deliver at home, in a birth center, or a hospital, a doula can provide a variety of important services and individualized support alongside a midwife or doctor and, of course, your favorite birth photographer. 😉

Fran Beier

Fran Beier, Lawrence, KS midwife

Q: Can I still have a midwife if I don’t want a home birth?

A: In the Manhattan area, both Irwin Army Community Hospital in Fort Riley and Geary Community Hospital in Junction City have midwives on their staff.
I delivered my Little Leapling at the Topeka Birth & Women’s Center where I was taken care of by three incredible midwives during my labor. That birth centered has since become The Immanuel Birth Co.

kyanna kuntz

Kyanna Kuntz, midwife at Irwin Army Community Hospital

Q: Does having a midwife mean I can’t get an epidural?

A: That will depend on your place of birth. Epidurals are not options at home births and birthing centers, but if you are in a hospital, you will likely have the same interventions and pain management options provided by doctors. That said, midwives believe that the physiological process of birth works best without interference and tend to have a low intervention approach to birth. They typically use natural alternatives such as water, position changes and continuous labor support to help cope with pain rather than routine use of drugs and birth technology. While sometimes necessary, midwives regard epidurals, drugs, and other medical technology as tools rather than routine interventions.

Geary community hospital

Terrah Stroda, CNM delivers a perfect baby boy!

Q: Are there any home birth midwives here in Manhattan?

A: There are some excellent midwives who travel from other cities and we also now have a phenomenal midwife here in Manhattan! Rachel Andresen of Manhattan, KS, travels to Kansas City during a hospital transfer for one of her clients whose pregnancy became high risk.

manhattan ks midwife

Rachel Andresen assists with high risk birth at Stormont Vail in Topeka, KS

Okay, enough chatter. I want to show off some more of these ladies in action!
Enjoy this mix of hospital and home birth images including some of our local and nearby midwives. 

junction city midwife

Terrah Stroda, Junction City midwife, calms a mama attempting to relax through transition.

Lilly Mason

Lilly Mason weighs a big baby boy in Manhattan, KS.

Midwife Fran Beier

Fran Beier attends a Manhattan, KS home birth

midwife connections

Kyanna Kuntz congratulates her patient after a beautiful birth!

midwife hugs

Kyanna Kuntz gives hugs to Daddy, too!

national midwives day

Rachel Andresen performs a hip squeeze on her client during a contraction.

Raquel Johnson

Irwin Army Community Hospital midwife, Raquel Johnson, is impressed with this little one’s hair!

Lilly Mason placenta encapsulation

Lilly Mason prepares a placenta for encapsulation.

Kaylee proctor birth

Lilly Mason assists in delivery of baby boy born en caul.

Terrah Stroda

Terrah Stroda, midwife at Geary Community Hospital, admires a perfect baby boy!

Eileen Greenham, CNM
Eileen Greenham, CNM, from Immanuel Birth Co. attends a home waterbirth in Lawrence, KS.

Eileen Greenham, CNM, from Immanuel Birth Co. attends a home waterbirth in Lawrence, KS.

Happy National Midwives Day!

There are some great articles posted about midwives on the Kansas Midwives Alliance Facebook page.

You can find more information about these featured midwives by clicking on their names below!

Rachel Andresen, CPM, Manhattan, KS

Fran Beier, DEM, Lawrence, KS

Raquel Johnson, CNM, Fort Riley, KS

Kyanna Kuntz, CNM, Fort Riley, KS

Lilly Mason, CPM,  Lawrence, KS

Bryant Sarensen, CPM, Kansas City, KS

Terrah Stroda, CNM, Junction City, KS

Eileen Greenham, CNM, Topeka, KS

Kelly Greene, Topeka, KS

As you prepare for the birth of your baby, don’t forget to find the perfect photographer to document these priceless moments. When I opened Little Leapling Photography, my main genre was birth photography. I still have the most extensive experience and portfolio in the area along with doula training through ProDoula. I would love to discuss illustrating your birth story. The majority of my photo sessions more recently focus on maternity, newborns and families.

Take a look at my photography portfolio and let me know if you’d like to chat!

If you live within 2 hours or so of Manhattan, be sure to join the Flint Hills Fam Club! It’s a great local community of parents surviving this magical and insane journey.