Isis’ team of skilled and compassionate practitioners offer their patients open communication and active participation, respect and a preventative, holistic approach. While Isis provides services for high risk clients, they still manage a c-section rate of about 10 percent.
Storey birthed her first baby naturally when she was 16 years old with the support of Margaret Strickhouser, CNM. Storey sought the services of Strickhouser after she “had the living daylights scared out of [her]” by an obstetrician.
He told her things like: “Teenagers aren’t supposed to be pregnant; Your pelvis isn’t big enough to birth a baby; You will need a c-section.”
Differently, Strickhouser empowered and inspired her teenaged client.
“She was so supportive; she didn’t judge me; she didn’t criticize me,” Storey says. “I want to help women like that woman helped me.”
When Storey became certified as a midwife in 2005, she had the opportunity to work with the same woman who helped deliver her first baby three decades prior.
Storey’s first birth experience has greatly impacted the way she practices today and Isis offers the perfect match for her approach.
Isis’ team celebrates informed decision making and offers patients evidence-based care with many options to personalize their experience: the CenteringPregnancy model, waiting to birth until 42 plus weeks, water birth, eating and drinking during labor, free movement and choice of birthing position and delayed cord clamping just to name a few.
“We try and strive to treat our patients as if they were a part of our family,”
Although Isis’ admitting hospital North Fulton is not Baby-Friendly certified, staff effectively support breastfeeding and celebrate a 95 percent breastfeeding initiation rate. For instance, care providers honor the magical hour after birth and babies aren’t bathed until breastfeeding is established.
Currently, there are no Baby-Friendly birthing facilities in Georgia.
“We really want to achieve that goal,” she says. “It really is what’s best for moms and babies.”
After discharge, Isis offers the services of three Certified Lactation Counselors who manage home visits. As of May 2013, their services are covered by insurance.
At Dr. Frederick’s request, the remaining staff at Isis will take Healthy Children’s The Lactation Counselor Training Course, including himself.
“With the health care issues we are having, he thinks we should be encouraging [breastfeeding] and supporting patients from the very beginning,” Storey says.
During Storey’s recent CLC training, she says she learned that an entirely hands off approach is best for allowing healthy babies to seek the breast and latch effectively.
“We do a lot of touching babies,” Storey says as a health care provider. “We disorganize them.”
Health care professionals often have a difficult time trusting mothers’ ability to regulate their babies’ body temperature, so babies’ journey to the breast in interfered with by hats and blankets and busy hands.
Since returning from her training, Storey says she leaves the baby alone and has asked her colleagues to do the same.
“They’ve been doing beautifully,” she says of the infants. “They just need to be with mom. It’s the perfect process.”
Similarly, Storey takes a hands off approach while her clients labor. She takes Michel Odent’s advice literally and knits infant hats so to give her clients privacy. The hats are lovely and appreciated gifts once the baby arrives.
“We are impatient by nature,” Storey says. “Knitting keeps me busy and the patients love it.”
Storey and her colleagues see their patients at two weeks and six weeks postpartum so if there are breastfeeding challenges present, intervention happens early on. Mothers are always encouraged to come in as early and as often as needed if they are struggling with breastfeeding.
Isis offers a breastfeeding support group each month as well as luncheons at a local restaurant for breastfeeding mothers.
“Moms learn better from other moms,” Storey says.
Storey is optimistic about the future of maternal child health in our nation.
“If we keep educating and encouraging moms, things will turn around.”