maeve Sundstrom, lm cpm
When I learned about midwifery as a young woman, I felt like I had stumbled upon a secret hidden in plain sight. Midwifery had clearly been there all along, carrying on the ancient traditions of women caring for women, community members sharing knowledge and supporting each other, and the powerful initiation of birth being held and acknowledged. Yet, like many of us, I was so steeped in our modern cultural beliefs and stories about pregnancy and birth that I had disconnected from the idea that there was another way.
Discovering the gentler, wiser, more embodied and empowered values and practices of midwifery was one of the great awakenings of my life. It validated what I instinctively knew to be true about childbearing: that becoming pregnant, carrying a baby, giving birth, and transitioning into parenthood are rich, pivotal life experiences, deserving of care and attention to all their many facets; that giving birth is about so much more than clinical measurements and medical data; that receiving healthcare can be a satisfying, connected process; and that I wanted my own maternity care to reflect an awareness of these things. I suddenly saw, or remembered really, that I could take my body and my healthcare back into my own hands. And I saw the glimmer of possibility that I could guide others to do the same. The dream of becoming a midwife was born.
A few years later, I birthed my daughter at home, surrounded by the loving support of midwives and family members. Soon afterward, I began volunteering at my midwife’s office, attending births as a doula, and working to become a midwife myself.
I am now a California Licensed Midwife in good standing. I am also a Certified Professional Midwife through the North American Registry of Midwives. I graduated from National College of Midwifery in 2017 with a degree in Midwifery. My clinical midwifery training spanned more than seven years and included apprenticeship with three Bay Area midwives as well as various supplemental classes and trainings. I have attended hundreds of births in the home, hospital, and birth center settings. I am also an Advanced Birthing From Within mentor, seeking Certification in 2018.
Pregnancy and birth are normal life processes as well as rites of passage. All people are deserving of respect, dignity and agency in their healthcare. My focus is on wellness, preventative care, and a holistic approach, which recognizes that pregnancy and birth are social, emotional, psychological, and even spiritual as well as physiological processes. I follow the Midwifery Model of Care (click here for more on the MMOC) and am committed to caring for the whole person, minimizing intervention, placing parents in control of their care as much as possible, and supporting physiologic birth as I understand it. I also recognize that there are a broad range of situations and experiences which can arise during pregnancy, birth, or postpartum that require a higher level of medical care. It is my belief that accessing medical care in those situations is not only appropriate but welcome, in the interest of assuring the ongoing health and safety of my clients and their families. My goal is to support families through whatever it takes for them to birth their baby. I love watching parents, as well as babies, be born, grow, and spread their wings!
As my eyes and heart continue to open wider to the real crisis in maternity care affecting communities of color, indigenous communities and LGBTQUIA communities, I am refocusing and deepening my commitment to accurate, appropriate, inclusive life cycle healthcare for all people. I am coming to midwifery now with a renewed focus on using my skills, privilege and access to support the process of relocating power and solutions within the communities they are intended to serve. I warmly welcome and celebrate all people wishing to receive my care.