Workshop Presenter: Madeline Murray, CPM
What is your Name, title and role in the birth community?
Madeline Murray, CPM. Midwife, midwifery educator and consultant.
Why did you get into the field of birth?
I was born at home and as I got older and my friends started having babies, I realized that birth wasn’t at all what I imagined it to be. I had imagined it was transformative, beautiful and empowering. Really hard, yes, but ultimately something to look forward to! But what I found it to be was something painful and scary, something that was often out of your control and something that was done to you. I felt like the women around me giving birth were being robbed of the possibility of a really beautiful and positive experience, and I wanted to do something about that.
Currently, what topic in birth are you most fascinated by?
I recently had my first child and listened to my own advice and took my postpartum rest time very seriously. I spent 2 weeks basically reclined in bed skin to skin with my newborn son. It was such an amazing experience. Possibly the best two weeks of my life. I am loving the resurgence of honoring The Fourth Trimester or those first forty days. I really hope that it is not just a fad and that it becomes the norm in our culture.
Currently, what issue in birth are you most concerned with?
I am concerned with the overwhelming incidence of burnout in the birthworker community. My expertise is the midwifery community of course, but I know the problem is rampant with doula’s as well, and even photographers! Midwives and doulas have the possibility of having such a huge impact on the maternal mortality crisis in this country but my concern is that the lifestyle required today to do this work is so unsustainable that they won’t be able to show up to have the impact they could. I am here to change that and make midwifery more attainable and more sustainable to make more midwives to serve more women and families.
Why is having peace in birth so important?
I am one of those people who believes that if all people were born into a room full of love hormones rather than a room full fear hormones that the world would actually be a better place.
What books or resources has inspired you lately?
I’m recommending The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson to all pregnant women these days in hopes of getting more postpartum women to honor that time. Also, as i’m working on reducing burnout, I’ve been doing a lot of research around boundaries, so Boundaries by John Townsend is one as well as Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. I’ve also pulled a lot from Trauma Stewardship by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky.
What sparked your interest to speak at the BirthWorks Conference this year?
I love so much of what BirthWorks teaches. I love how it continues to place trust in womens’ instinctive abilities to give birth, I love how it is wholistic, taking into account body, mind and spirit, and I really love how they promote childbirth education EARLY in pregnancy, giving women time to gain that trust in their instincts and intuition. So when the opportunity presented itself I was excited to be a part of it. Great speakers like Michel Odent, Brad Bootstaylor and Nils Bergman helped too!
What can attendees expect to hear about while attending your session(s)?
My session will focus on reducing burnout in the field of birth work. I will discuss the negative effects caused by the stress of the on-call lifestyle and practical ways to reduce those effects.
If you were given the power to change only one aspect of birth in American culture today… what would it be?
I would get it out of the hospital!
what is a funny or inspiring quote you’ve heard from one of your clients?
I recently had a client text me after she had spent two weeks in bed with her baby postpartum, “This has been the best two weeks of my life.” – I want that for every woman.
finish this phrase: birth is…