Family Life

Jill & Jana Duggar on Midwifery

posted: 06/21/13
by: Michelle Duggar


Photo: DCL

In honor of Josh & Anna's new arrival, Jill and Jana are guest blogging for Michelle.

Jill on Delivering Babies

Hey, Jill here! These days, I'm staying busy, buried in the books and delivering babies, amidst the exciting Duggar life. For those of you who were wondering about how I started delivering babies, I'll tell you the story.

Back a few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend 12 weeks of childbirth classes with my 14-year-old friend, who was a single mom. Through these classes, I learned how to coach her during the birth of her child. Although I had attended two of my siblings' births, being able to work as an active part of my friend's birth made me interested in learning more. I became friends with a doula/labor coach who worked in the area, and started going to home and hospital births with her. Soon, I became her assistant, and through that, I came into contact with other local midwives. Over the course of the next several years, these midwives would call on me periodically for help at home births.

I had been considering attending nursing school for a while, but the timing of it all wasn't working out, and I spent a lot of time in prayer, trying to figure out where God was leading me. Eventually, through my work with the local midwives, the door opened for me to enter into a distance-learning midwifery training program in Texas. This program, after about 3 1/2 years of schooling, would give me the education I need to become a licensed, Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). My parents and I prayed and talked about this opportunity, and in May of 2012, I started midwifery school. Currently, my life consists of studying like crazy to keep up with my schooling through this distance-learning program, and at the same time, working as the senior apprentice under a local, nationally certified licensed midwife to deliver babies in an out-of-hospital setting.

Midwifery care allows for a mother to have more specific, personalized care, and to choose the options that are best for the particular needs of her pregnancy and family. After all, mother knows best, and midwifery care allows moms to make their own choices. Midwives provide routine prenatal care throughout pregnancy, with an emphasis on flexibility and individualization, as well as labor, delivery, and postpartum care. Through spending all that time together, a relationship is formed, and there is mutual trust and respect between midwife and mom.

Since I've started down this path to become a midwife, I've had the privilege of attending the births of over 60 babies! Each birth is incredibly unique and special, and I learn something new at every one of them. Not everything is peaches and cream, and some days are hard, but I have been blessed to work with a great group of ladies. (Jana included! But more on that later.) The main goal of our practice as home birth midwives is to make sure that both momma and baby are healthy. Sometimes that happens in the home, and sometimes it happens at the hospital, but wherever we are, we pray for the best possible outcome for the people we serve. There are many joys of being a student midwife; for example, seeing previous clients return for subsequent pregnancies, laboring with a young, single mom who was giving her baby up for adoption, helping my sister-in-law bring my niece and nephews into the world, or just simply holding a newborn baby! I really love what I am doing, and am thankful for all these amazing opportunities!

Jana writes: Hi everyone, it's Jana! I wanted to take a minute to let you all know what has been going on in my life recently. I've been spending a lot of time working under a local midwife, as a part of the same birth team that Jill is on. I am really enjoying learning about natural birth, and working as a midwife assistant and doula. Even though this may not be something that I do for the rest of my life, I feel so blessed to be able to learn and grow in this area, and I plan on using the skills that I've developed through these experiences to help my family and friends now and in the future.

Jill and I feel like the training we are receiving, although our paths are both a little bit different, will serve us in the future on the mission field. Each of us would like to use our skills as a way to share the hope of Jesus in foreign countries, but for right now, the country we've been called to serve in is our own. We enjoy loving on our moms, babies, and families, and feel privileged to care for them.

*Note: none of the above is meant to be intended as official medical advice; consult a doctor before choosing the course of care that's best for you.

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