Birth Professional Interview | Deidre DeGrado, CPM

I recently had the chance to catch up with Deidre DeGrado, CPM of Wichita Birth Assistance and got to ask her a few questions about her practice.

Deidre is a wife, mother, and Certified Professional Midwife. She has several children ranging in ages from 8 to 29. Deidre says, “Being a wife and mother is who I am: As a child I was enamored with babies and moms. Thankfully, the Lord gave me children whom I enjoy and love so much.”  Most of her children were born at home, one of them in a hospital and one at a birth care center. Deidre personally  loves water for birthing. She is happily married to a chiropractor who has been in practice in Wichita for 30 years.

You can see more about her care below, and she may be a great choice for your birth!  (I may or may not be a little biased as she delivered my son 😉 ).  One thing I can say about her for sure is when you hear your provider praying over your baby’s life while snuggling him/her you’ll never forget that.  Her heart behind what she does is worth a million bucks (and send checks to…..ha).

    • What’s the main difference between an OBGYN and a midwife?
      • There are many differences between midwives and OBs. To start midwives take low risk women versus high-risk OB patients. This means the woman is healthy and doesn’t have previous or current health problems. Midwives build relationships. They love to educate women about pregnancy and how to be healthy during pregnancy. Midwives only do vaginal births and generally they are natural births. They spend more time with their clients both during prenatals and during the births. Midwives do newborn care. Our group of midwives try to take a holistic approach to pregnancy and birth.
    • What made you choose midwifery?
      • Primarily it was planted in my heart at a young age to serve women and babies. The tragic death of my sister during labor propelled me to find out what makes birth safe. Ultimately it’s a calling that God put on my life and it is the most rewarding gift I could have ever asked for. In 1994, the Lord began opening the door for me to train as a midwife through traditional apprenticeship with Kathy Brace and Wendy (Lamp) Johnson.  I adhere to the Midwifery Model of Care as defined by MANA which affirms that pregnancy and birth are normal life events–spiritually speaking and it is the way God grows families and creates new life. I am just thankful that God has given me a precious ministry that causes me to trust Him, serve others (especially women and children), and see miracles often. 
    • What kind of education do you need to have to be a midwife?
      • There are many paths to midwifery. To be a CNM you become a nurse then get a graduate degree in Midwifery. To be a CPM you enroll in aschool or go through the Pep process through NARM. Both require an apprenticeship.
    • What education do YOU have?
      • I went through the PEP process making me a Certified Professional Midwife. I’m also certified in Adult CPR/AED-American Red Cross, Neonatal Resuscitation Certification, Birth Emergency Skills Training, and a childbirth educator How long have you been practicing? 15 years Where do you practice? Wichita , KS surrounding areas within a 60 mile radius.
    • Where do you deliver?
      • Home and labor support in hospitals.
    • How many babies have you delivered?
      • 650
    • Do you have an assistant with you?
      • I have a student right now but yes I always have an assistant for deliveries.
    • How do your fees differ from an OB?
      • Our cash price is significantly lower and our insurance price is approximately the same.
    • Do you accept insurance?
      • Yes
    • What do pre/post baby appointments look like?
      • Prenatals consist of weight, measuring, blood pressure reading, feeling baby’s position, talking diet/exercise, and going over any questions you may have. Baby appointments are a time to talk about normal newborn behaviors. Weight and growth evaluations and feeding patterns.
    • Do I have to have a natural birth to go with a midwife?
      • Nope doctors support women who desire a natural birth too. We aren’t able to give you an epidural though but can help you with some pain coping techniques.(Photo credit: 9 Sparrow Lane)
    • How does your delivery differ from an OB, how is it the same?To start with I actually know my clients . We support birth plans and the personal desires of our patients. We believe in informed consent. We provide kind emotional support during the labor and birth. We do the newborn care as well.
    • Do you suture if needed?
      • Yes except for 4th degree tears
  • Do you deliver VBACs?
    • I am open to doing VBACs depending on the situation.
  • What happens if I need to go to the hospital? Do you go with? Do you have a backing physician?
    • We have a hospital and doctors that will receive a client who needs to transfer. We always go with our clients to help make the transition smooth and get records to the hospital staff.
  • What is your transfer rate?
    • Approximately 10%
  • What happens if I need a C-section?
    • You will have a doctor take over your care.
  • Why would someone expecting want to choose a midwife?
    • Because they want a natural birth with a holistic personalized approach to pregnancy and birth.
  • Is midwifery ‘safe’?
    • There are lots of studies that support the safety of out of hospital birth with midwives.(Photo credit: 9 Sparrow Lane)
  • What do I tell my family and friends if they’re anxious or aren’t supportive?
    • Invite them to a prenatal appointment to meet your midwife and ask questions.
  • What is your contact info?
    • Www.wichitabirths.com
  • Do you have any good books or resources to check out?
    • Evidence Based Birth is a great website for getting research on pregnancy and birth related issues.
  • Do you have a favorite birth story or situation you’d like to share?
    • I have so many great stories it’s hard to choose one. I think the best thing I can share is how blessed I feel about the families I have gotten to know and serve over the years.   Always consider your options, do your research and find a provider that will support your desires!(Photo credit: 9 Sparrow Lane)I’m always an advocate of women doing their research and choosing a care provider that will support them and help them have the birth experience they’re desiring.  Thankful for this amazing lady!
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