Panama City - A small but growing number of women nationwide are choosing to birth their babies at home with the help of a midwife. A woman living in Panama City is offering the option here in Bay County. Vanessa Grimes is a Certified Professional Midwife who cares for women before, during, and after they give birth.
Meet little Kiran. Now 11 pounds 1 ounce, she came into the world not in a hospital room, but in a warm pool of water in her parents home. After delivering two children in a hospital setting, her parents wanted Kiran's arrival to be as natural as possible. "The experience was exactly what we hoped it would be," said mother Jessica Stilla. "In hospitals today birth is a very routine event, there are protocols and procedures in place that make it a very standard event. Midwifery care is a very personalized approach to maternity care," said midwife Vanessa.
Vanessa has been caring for Jessica throughout her pregnancy and helped deliver little Kiran. "Women need to become more informed as consumers and demand evidence-based care from their providers no matter where they give birth, if it is a medicalized or more natural approach, in the hospital or at home," said Vanessa.
In addition to the traditional midwife role, Grimes also offers a unique service: placenta encapsulation. "The use of the placenta for postpartum recovery is something that is as old as time. Most mammals ingest the placenta. They ingest the placenta because it has nutritional benefits, it has hormonal benefits. Initial research has shown that ingesting the placenta helps the lactation experience, it helps to lessen postpartum bleeding, and reduces the rates of postpartum depression by reducing the stress response," explained Vanessa. She dehydrates the placenta at a low temperature, in a sterile environment, then grinds it up and encapsulates it.
Jessica says she can feel the benefits. "I think the biggest difference is just my energy level. I feel like I have the energy to get up and get going." Her husband Matthew agrees, "Her mood swings that have accompanied the last two births, the mood swings (this time) are way less extreme. She is back to normal quicker." And better able to enjoy becoming a mom for the third time.
Placenta encapsulation is currently not regulated by the FDA. Talk to your doctor if you plan to have a hospital birth but are interested in placenta encapsulation as special arrangements would need to be made. .