Welcome to Ancient Roots Midwifery. My name is Tara Daystar, and I am a Certified Professional Midwife serving families in Floyd, VA and surrounding counties. I feel fortunate to be practicing during a period known as the “Midwifery Renaissance”. Individuals, birth professionals and major media are re-discovering the role midwives play in providing safe, family-centered, affordable care. Parents, in all birth environments, are learning to engage for better care for themselves and their babies.
Home-birth has a long history in Floyd and indeed, the entire world.. Orlene Puckett, known as the Mountain Midwife, is perhaps the most famous local midwife. In the 1800′s, she helped birth 1,000 babies in the Floyd, Patrick and Carroll County areas and is well remembered for it. In ancient times, midwives appear to be the single source of skilled maternity care. Papyrus from ancient Egypt and the Bible both mention midwives with honor and emphasize their integral role in serving their communities.
In modern times, midwives are known for their struggles to pass midwifery legislation, improve infant and family welfare through holistic care, breastfeeding and postpartum mentorship, and protect mothers’ rights to informed choice and evidence based care, regardless of place of birth. The work of consumer advocates, midwives and supportive obstetricians has been essential in protecting a woman’s right to birth choice. Midwifery is now experiencing a rebirth in America, with increases in homebirth by 20%. United States Home Births Increase 20% from 2004-2008r
One factor encouraging the growth of midwifery and home births, has been the influx of scientific studies revealing planned, attended homebirth to be as safe, if not safer than hospital birth for low risk women. Previous studies had counted unplanned, accidental out-of-hospital births as ‘homebirths’ even though they were not midwife attended and may even have been pregnancies too risky to qualify for a home birth. As support for midwives has increased among consumers, doctors, governments, educators and human rights groups, new studies are being initiated to improve women’s access to and choice in midwifery and homebirth care. Along with other midwives, I envision a future of cooperation between all medical professionals so that we may give optimal, client centered care. In accord with this vision, I draw upon the services and wisdom of local herbalists, acupuncturists, chiropractors as well as allopathic medicine practitioners and other midwives to ensure that each client has optimal care and choice in her pregnancy.
Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America
My own home birth
My own history of childbirth begins with my mother, who decided to have four homebirths in the 80′s, disregarding current VA law to make it happen. She believed that homebirth would be the most gentle, humane and safest way to welcome her children into the world. I grew up hearing my own beautiful birth story with all its glorious details, including my parents’ chant of “I Love You” just before I was born. Later in life, I have had the opportunity to meet mothers with very different birth stories to share, whether that be trauma they still experienced from twilight sleep in the 50′s to recent experiences in the hospital or at a homebirth. What I learned from listening to women, is that pregnancy, birth and the postpartum is a vulnerable and powerful time that deserves our full respect and reverence. Midwifery came naturally as a way to support women in their choices and desire to protect their babies and themselves. I see gentle, natural birth as an empowering experience that can have significant impact on our society and those we love. Women actualizing their creative power and strength are creating space in a world for men, women and children to also experience and nourish their own healing growth. I believe our future will be blessed by the works of women in their power and wisdom and children, born into this world surrounded by an atmosphere of love and trust.