"Michelle's style is warm, motherly (but not in an overbearing-mom sort of way), with LOTS of good advice and tips and suggestions for a wonderful, natural homebirth."
"We are honored to have had Michelle at the births of all three of our children. Michelle has been an amazing and gifted presence guiding us through two home births and a hospital birth. Her incredible knowledge and ability as a midwife helped us feel safe, supported and capable. She empowered us to make our own choices regarding our births and our children. During our high risk pregnancy with a child with heart defects her support and knowledge helped us transition through an incredibly difficult time. She went above and beyond the call of a midwife in visiting and supporting us after our child had heart surgery and an extended NICU stay. We will be forever grateful for the love and expertise Michelle provided as we welcomed our children into the world."
"We're so glad Michelle was at our birth. She had this way of offering the right word of encouragement at the right time–and just transmitting "ok-ness." I've also learned since then that Michelle really knows her stuff when it comes to babies too."
Here’s everything you need to know in a nutshell: Can you trust Michelle with your life? The answer is yes. When selecting a midwife that truly is the question – because a life is in Michelle’s hands: your baby’s. Trust? Check.
What about training? Michelle guiding us through the pregnancy and the birth of our daughter was no different – in fact better – than having the best-trained OB-GYN doc. This isn’t speculation either. My partner and I continued our prenatal visits with our 20+year veteran woman OB-GYN doctor at Kaiser (who is wonderful too). Just compare the amount of time (and therefore amount of information) in a typical meeting with our doctor (twenty minutes) with our meetings with Michelle (60-90 minutes.) Michelle answered every one of our questions and took all the time necessary to support us along the way. Not that our doctor hurried us out the door – she didn’t. And there is no comparison when it comes to postnatal care. Michelle spent countless hours with us during those vulnerable first few weeks. Michelle even waited in line with us to obtain our birth certificate at the public health office. No one can equal the level of care that Michelle gives. Period.
OK, she’s got mad skillz, but what about bedside manner? It goes without saying the pregnancy, labor and birthing of a child creates stress – especially if it’s your first. When you’re tired, mentally fatigued, and stressed, you want your health care professional to be alert, calm, and cool under pressure. Michelle is all of those traits and more. In a word, Michelle is the consummate professional.
Finally, my optimal endorsement: if I had to do it again (and we hope to!), would we choose Michelle to be our midwife? Absolutely. All that – and we’ve become friends to boot.
Michelle was present at the births of our 3 children: Our two beautiful daughters and our son who sadly did not live beyond his 22 weeks in utero. Through these joyful and tragic experiences, we have come to understand life and ourselves more deeply, fully, and gratefully. When I look back at these peak moments, a shining memory of Michelle always emerges--fully present, truly "With Woman," embraced with all the knowledge of the countless midwives before her. Encouraging me to push further, massaging my belly after birth, feeling the movements of our unborn son in the last moments of his life, and, most importantly, all of us laughing together at the spectacle and craziness of it all. Michelle is blessed to be living her calling in life, and we are blessed to have crossed paths with her.
"It was a privilege to have Michelle participate in my pregnancy, birth and postpartum care as the apprentice to our midwife Maria. It is rare to find someone as passionate about their calling as Michelle is. I will never forget Michelle's calming and reassuring presence during a very difficult labor and the supportive care she provided after my daughter's birth. It was phenomenal and a testimony to her knowledge and competence. She helped us with everything from breastfeeding to baby wearing. Try getting that kind of care from a doctor!"
"We were honored to have Michelle as our midwife apprenticing under Maria Iorillo for the birth of our daughter. We were grateful for Michelle's expertise in prenatal. birth and postpartum care. She provided a calm and gentle presence at our home birth and lovingly caught our baby in the water. As I struggled with low milk supply, Michelle was always available to listen and support us with compassion and knowledge during this challenging time. We will be forever grateful for her support as midwife, doula and friend."
Pregnancy and birth is such a transformative experience. Like going through a doorway where you don't quite know what will be on the other side. I was so blessed to have Michelle by my side through this journey. She let me lead, but it was her support that made me feel I knew the way.
Her advice, encouragement, emotional support (and bag-of-tricks too!) offered throughout the pregnancy helped me manage my pregnancy with as few medical interventions as possible. Her knowledge and experience helped my husband and I successfully communicate with medical professionals so I could have the natural birth I wanted to have in the hospital. Michelle's presence made me feel that even if things didn't turn out the way I hoped everything would be ok. As it turns out, I had a great big baby naturally and had an amazing experience overall.
Michelle Welborn, CPM, LM