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Midwifery a rewarding career for Plains woman

Julia Weaver, LM, CPA, founder of Gifts From Above Midwifery in Plains, has spent the last 11 years in Sanders County helping to bring over 100 babies into the world. Weaver operates as an independent midwife within her freestanding birth clinic.

Weaver explains that midwifery specializes in years of training, certification, and licensing, which includes hands-on care via palpating the uterus at appointments to ascertain fetal position, measurement of the uterus to assess growth, listening to fetal heart tones, blood work which is then sent to a laboratory, full care of the laboring mother including but not limited to appropriate medication for hemorrhage, certification in CPR & Neonatal Resuscitation for the non-breathing baby at birth, newborn pulse oximetry to assess for critical congenital heart disease and newborn screening. "The preciousnew babies are such a reward after the rigors of labor," Weaver said.

Should Weaver need it, Clark Fork Valley Hospital (CFVH) has been there to lend a helping hand.

"CFVH has been so kind in the provision of amazing backup whenever we feel a mother and baby are no longer in a safe, low-risk trend, outside of hospital," she said. "I do not have privileges at the hospital as an attending provider but the physicians and nurses have been champions when we transfer care and we all join efforts in helping the mother and parents make wise decisions in the rest of their care."

At a young age, Weaver took great interest in midwifery while listening to her mother's own birthing stories around the kitchen table. "I'm from Plentywood, so there were zero midwives anywhere near that area," she said. "I had never heard about the supportive and empowering care some of these mothers were so happy to share. My great-grandmother actually passed away right after childbirth when she hemorrhaged to death. Her doctor was drunk at the time and she passed in the house next door to mine."

Weaver explains stories like that of her great grandmother's are common in her line of work. "A lot of the time in life, you cannot control all things or outcomes," she said. "A seed from God was planted inside my heart to eventually get all the necessary college and training, and pass the North American Registry of Midwives exam. If it wasn't for the Lord being with me each step of the way, I wouldn't be here as a midwife."

Weaver says she has realized that mothering the mother is a rewarding experience. "In a relaxed atmosphere there is freedom to talk about any concerns," she said. "So often we address hidden stresses and talk it out. We need more midwives in so many locations to teach good health habits, diet, and supplements, and preventative care is paramount. To stay healthy and low-risk is vital."

Weaver explained that carrying the responsibility of a mother and baby is extremely heavy and part of good care would be to bring ultrasound into the picture. "Many doctors and midwives are doing just that with a 'non-medical' peek at the baby to double check the position of the baby," she said.

Weaver also says early signs of twins on board are important. "Some babies have twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome happening and getting to appropriate physician care quickly is vital," she said. "Ultrasound services would be available at a mother's request or if there are concerns. Midwifery is caring for the normal pregnancy that is kept from becoming high-risk. Screening out anything that is a risk to the safety of mother or baby is paramount. It has been such a blessing to have CFVH bring timely and extremely helpful care when the need to transfer care does arise."

Gifts From Above Midwifery Care is looking to bring an ultrasound to the clinic practice. "An opportunity to donate toward this device is appreciated," she said. "Screening out anything that could be a risk to the safety of mother or baby is paramount. We need a baby in an optimal position for good delivery outcomes and an ultrasound assists me in making competent decisions."

To donate toward the purchase of an ultrasound machine for Gifts From Above Midwifery, visit


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