midwifery

In The Spotlight: Lauren Slak, Orange County Midwife

Orange County has the luxury of having a wide variety of birthing options. Based on your health & criteria you can have a hospital birth with an OB or a Midwife, a homebirth with an OB or a Midwife or a birth center birth with a Midwife. As Doulas, we don't take these options for granted and our team has the distinct privilege to be able to learn and support families at any number of these birthing locations with any number of care providers.

Call us biased, but one of our favorites in this group of esteemed care providers is Lauren Slak, owner of Wholistic Women's Healthcare and Licensed Midwife. Lauren sees her homebirth midwifery clients at our office in Costa Mesa, so we have the honor to collaborate with her and learn from her quite often. She provides compassionate midwifery care, pre-conception counseling, and nurturing support to families throughout Orange, San Diego, & Riverside counties. Her calm yet confident presence is so refreshing and her knowledge and passion for birth is inspiring. 

Lessons on Compassion from "Call the Midwife"

There's nothing like a good Netflix binge to help calm the mind and reset the body for the week ahead. I've had a particularly rough week emotionally, so when Sunday rolled around with it's rainy OC weather and nothing on my to-do list, I figured what better time to catch up on "Call the Midwife!"

For those that are unfamiliar, "Call the Midwife" is a PBS show all about midwifery care in the 1950s and 60s. It is a beautiful show that portrays the dramatic ups and downs of midwifery, birth, life, and death in the impoverished East End of London. Each episode is guaranteed to tug at the heart strings. 

In episode two of the fifth season, there is an interesting commentary on breastfeeding vs. formula feeding with a beautiful lesson on listening to an individual mothers needs and desires.

Without going into too much detail (because really, if you aren't watching this show yet, you should!!) one of the midwives is extremely vocal of her disapproval of formula feeding. Keep in mind that formula was a new phenomenon in the 1960s and that some people could barely afford to put food on the table. Sister Evangelina, the notoriously vocal midwife touts the benefits of breast milk as being the perfect food for baby and bonus, it's free! 

As a Birth & Postpartum Doula, I of course, know her views to be valid and correct from a logical standpoint, but I cringed at the words she used and the attitude she portrayed, essentially poo-pooing anyone who dared challenge her expertise and views. 

Fast forward to a mom struggling to breastfeed and this same midwife (while encouraging her to keep trying), dismisses her fears and the pain breastfeeding was causing her. It took bleeding nipples and a full emotional breakdown for the midwife to finally admit that she was wrong and that formula was NOT, in fact, evil.