Stepping Outside of L&D: Lullaby Tribe Offers Another Option for Hill Country Moms-to-Be
How exactly does a long-time English teacher decide to completely change her career direction and become a midwife? By answering one simple question.
“I have four children and all but the first were born at home, so midwifery has always been an interest of mine,” says Sandy Hayes, licensed midwife and owner of Boerne-based midwifery service, Lullaby Tribe. “When I was transitioning away from teaching, someone asked me if I could do anything else, what would it be? Midwifery was the first thing out of my mouth...and the journey began.”
Since then, Sandy’s welcomed six grandchildren into the world—three of whom were also born at home.
“I believe that home birth is a safe and viable option for most women. There are benefits to home birth: you’re free to move around, change positions, shower, and eat and drink freely during labor. You can even experience a water birth if you choose. You get to enjoy the comfort and familiarity of your own home and can include whoever you’d like in your birth experience. Because of all this, more and more women are opting to birth at home, as it’s a great option for those with a healthy, low-risk pregnancy.”
So, how does it work? Well, prenatal appointments with Sandy look a whole lot like the standard prenatal visits so many of us are accustomed to, only you don’t necessarily have to fight traffic or hire a babysitter to get there.
“I serve clients in Kerrville, Bandera, Pipe Creek, Boerne, San Antonio, and the surrounding areas. You can come to my office, or for a travel fee, I can come to you. I’ve even traveled as far as Del Rio, Laredo, and Seguin to care for my clients! And prenatal visits are all-encompassing: I perform basic lab work, vitals and weight checks for mom, position and fetal heart tone checks for baby, and we discuss mom’s diet and exercise as well as her physical, mental, and emotional well-being. I'm also a certified yoga instructor offering private instruction to moms with a focus on the common discomforts of pregnancy. That’s not something you’re likely to find at the doctor’s office, right?”
Sandy’s journey with her clients doesn’t end right away when baby is born, of course. Postpartum visits are just as much a part of the process with a midwife as they are with any physician.
“Postpartum, I have the same discussions with mom as our prenatal visits; checking up on her physical, mental, and emotional well-being. We also discuss breastfeeding and diet, infant care, and check vitals for both mom and baby.”
And even though women have been giving birth at home since the beginning of time and midwifery is nothing at all new, misconceptions abound—the most common being that birthing at home isn’t safe, or even that it’s outright dangerous. To that, Sandy says,
“Studies indicate that home birth is a safe, viable option for low-risk, healthy women. Can emergency situations sometimes arise? Of course. Just as they can, and do, in a hospital setting. The reality is that there is an inherent risk to birth no matter where it takes place. There is no ‘minimizing risk’; the risk just changes. Having a healthcare provider who’s trained and equipped to handle that emergency situation is what’s key—and a licensed midwife can most certainly be that person.”
When I asked Sandy what her favorite part of being a midwife actually is, I expected her to say it was getting to cuddle all those adorable newborn babies (right?). But, she says there’s a whole lot more to it than just that.
“I love learning about my clients, making connections, and building relationships. I love getting to know them, hearing their stories, offering information and encouragement when they need it, and guiding them along a journey that ultimately makes them feel empowered. It's such an honor to be a part of something so truly amazing.”
Outside of midwifery, Sandy enjoys traveling and spending time with her family, reading, yoga, hiking, and staying active by challenging herself physically.
“I truly believe we can all do hard things if we just believe in ourselves…and earnestly try."
Sandy’s complete home-birth package is considerably less of an investment than you might think and consultations are always free. Have further questions? Of course you do! You can find Lullaby Tribe on the web, Facebook, and Instagram or you can “call the midwife” at 830-431-4163 and ask away!
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Note: This post was written in partnership with Lullaby Tribe. All photos are courtesy of Lullaby Tribe.