Welcome to the Barefoot Midwifery website
Michelle Paakh - Certified Professional Midwife - Newton, KS
There is a unique relationship between a midwife & birthing mother that brings with it intimacy & comfort
Why Barefoot Midwifery?The concept of barefoot midwifery has several facets. Barefoot often reflects the idea of comfortable, casual & relaxed. This is the type of care we seek to offer. There is a unique relationship between a midwife & birthing mother that brings with it intimacy & comfort so the idea of being barefoot fits – besides the fact that we almost always work barefooted. In many countries, removing one’s shoes when entering a home is a sign of respect – another important concept in the relationship between a midwife & birthing family. So whether we are stepping into a suburban home in the USA or a cardboard box in a landfill of a developing country, we seek to show our respect for that home & those who abide there – Barefoot Midwifery.
Special ServicesWe specialize in water births, VBACs, natural methods of facilitating/easing labor & birth, placental encapsulation, and offer a birthing room in my home for those needing or desiring an alternate place to give birth. We offer counseling on: nutrition, natural supplements, fertility, breastfeeding and alternative healthcare.
Each pregnancy is special. Whether this is your first pregnancy or your tenth, this baby deserves a healthy beginning. You are not sick, you are 'just' pregnant. This can be a new start for both of you.
A commitment to following these eight simple suggestions will help you to get a 'NEW START'
We are committed to your care
We are committed to providing you the best care within our knowledge. We believe you have chosen a home birth and midwifery care because you want to do all that you possibly can to have a healthy baby & good birth experience. A commitment to following these eight simple suggestions (just eight!) will help you to get a new start, which is an acronym for: NEW START
Nutritious food – should be eaten at regular intervals in a relaxed atmosphere. Lots of fruit and vegetables, a variety of whole grains and good sources of protein.
Exercise – on a REGULAR basis at whatever you enjoy most, as long as it is not harmful to you or the baby. Brisk walking outside, from 1 to 3 miles a day, is an excellent form of exercise for expectant mothers. A combination of aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up PLUS stretching/toning exercise especially for parts of the body involved in labor and birth are key. We carry an excellent DVD product to purchase.
Water – inside and out! Drink 2 quarts of pure water (four 16 oz. glasses) between meals. Drinking water with your meal dilutes the enzymes necessary for digestion and slows the process. This can be one cause for indigestion/heartburn. Warm baths or showers daily, to cleanse the skin (which is an elimination organ) help rid the body of unwanted poisons and waste products. Use a body brush, loofah or nylon bath scrubbie to help invigorate the skin & remove toxins.
Sunshine – on the skin as often as possible to increase the formation of Vitamin D. It has been shown that morning sunshine especially between the hours of 10:00 am and 12:00 pm regulates the hormones and strengthens the reproductive organs.
Temperance – is eliminating all harmful foods, liquids, and debilitating habits including caffeine, lots of sugary sweet foods, and very late night meals. A moderate use of all good things.
Air – breathe fresh air daily, day and night. Do not work in a smoke-filled room or around smokers. Even if you can’t exercise outside due to weather conditions, go outside daily, breathe deeply and oxygenate all of your organs.
Rest – obtain adequate rest physically and mentally. Take a nap during the day if necessary; an afternoon siesta will rejuvenate the whole system, even if it’s only for 20-30 min. Rest the mind from stressful situations. Try to go to bed at regular hours.
Trust – finally (but really first), trust the Lord Jesus Christ that the outcome will be just right. None of the above suggestions are as valuable to you without peace and trust in His divine power. Don’t allow the busy-ness of life to crowd out your meditation, prayer, and devotional needs. Except for food, which you have to buy anyway, our plan for you is free, natural and easy. Just do your best and God will take care of everything else. Of course, we would like for you to call us anytime if there is a problem, concern or you need someone to talk to or to pray with you.
We are here for you from Prenatal to Postpartum
We are here for you
We will spend a lot of time together during prenatal and postpartum visits, establishing a trusting relationship. We will become partners in a shared responsibility. You will accept the responsibility to do the best you can in terms of nutrition, exercise, elimination of stress (see A NEW START), taking necessary supplements and discussing anything out of the ordinary with us. We will accept the responsibility to guide you and offer suggestions when needed, to be attentive and alert to subtle signs of impending complications and to answer your questions honestly and directly. We will be available to you at all times or will have a back-up midwife available should we need to be away for any reason. We provide personalized, high quality care with the goal of a natural birth with minimal intervention. An interview, at no charge, will help you make an informed decision on whether Barefoot Midwifery Services is the right fit for your family.
Prenatal Care Care during pregnancy is provided once per month until the 28th week, then every 2 weeks until the 36th week, and then once a week until delivery. About a month before the estimated date of delivery, a prenatal visit will usually take place at your home (unless the distance is too great), if we have never been there before. Appointments are always TUESDAYS (I home educate & mornings are study time – thank you for understanding), last about a half an hour and are medically thorough. We include all usual prenatal procedures and some extra. We will explain what we are checking for and allow plenty of time for your questions and concerns. You will be required to obtain certain lab work. We provide counseling on nutrition, exercise, breastfeeding and alternative health care for the whole family. Educational resources are available on this website and in our lending library – childbirth class segments, DVDs, books, etc.
Birth Care We will stay with the mother during her labor and birth, monitor for signs of abnormalities, remain for about two hours after delivery and do a thorough newborn exam. If transport to a hospital becomes necessary, we will accompany the mother, continuing to provide labor support, consumer awareness and advice for the delivery.
Postpartum Care We will return to your home 24-36 hours after delivery and again on the 3rd day when we will do the neonatal screening lab work. We will see you in MY home 2 weeks after delivery and again at 6 weeks. We are available anytime you have questions or concerns.
We feel it is an honor to be present during this time of transformation and do not take our role lightly. We are therefore pleased and grateful for the privilege of working with you.
Our PhilosophyPregnancy is a wonderful and exciting time of great transformation in a woman’s life. It is a time when you are changing and maturing, not only your body, but also your heart and mind. It is a time to reassess how you are choosing to live your life and to make any necessary changes so that your baby can enter the best possible environment. We feel it is an honor to be present during this time of transformation and do not take our role lightly. We are therefore pleased and grateful for the privilege of working with you. We want to support you in having whatever birth experience you desire. We will all have to work together to provide you with that experience. We are very open to your giving birth in whatever position you wish and the degree of the father’s involvement as well as the setting and other people at the birth, are yours to determine. On the other hand, we believe that our experience can be very valuable to you and expect you to respect our suggestions. We see our role as primarily to educate and advise, while maintaining a watchful eye that all is proceeding optimally. We believe birth is a sacred event. I became a midwife because of my love for babies and my desire to see them born in an environment that honors them. I also became a midwife because of my love for mothers and my desire to see them give birth in a manner that affirms their dignity and power. We feel privileged to be a part of this miraculous transformation in so many lives and as we feel that God has called us to this work, we seek to rely on His guidance and wisdom at all times. We also pledge to do our very best for you, to be alert and attentive to all aspects of your well-being and to do our best to see that your child emerges into an atmosphere that is nurturing for the WHOLE FAMILY. We are grateful to you for the opportunity to serve in this way. Please call. We look forward to talking to you and helping you through your pregnancy. God bless you.
I enjoy reading, distance running, serving with my family, traveling, meeting new friends that the Lord brings my way and hanging out with families waiting for babies to come.
About Michelle Paakh, Certified Professional Midwife
I was born in 1965 & raised in S. Central KS. Though not raised in a Christian home, I had a beloved, older sister who faithfully prayed for me. The Lord Jesus worked salvation in my heart when I was a child & I have been His ever since. My relationship with Christ is an essential part of who I am & of my midwifery. I finished high school a year early & spent my senior year as an exchange student in Finland. There I was first introduced to alternative medicine, midwifery & home birth which are the norm in Europe. After experiencing midwifery care and home birth with my first two children, I desired to assist other women to achieve healthy pregnancies & give birth with wisdom & dignity. I became a Certified Childbirth Educator in 1986 through Informed Homebirth where I also trained as a doula & midwife’s assistant. I began attending births in 1987, apprenticing with Signe Rogers, former MANA Board member. In 1997 I became a Certified Professional Midwife. In 2003, our family purchased my former grade school (Suncrest) & completed its renovation into a home – complete with a gymnasium where your well-behaved children are welcome to play during appointments.
My husband of 33 yrs, Don, has gone to be with our Savior. While hiking a remote trail in CO during a family vacation in Aug. 2016, he suffered a massive heart attack & died in my arms at the young age of only 52. He is missed more than words can tell. He was a good, good man, worked as an Executive & Manufacturing Chief Engineer at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita & earned his MBA through Newman University. The Lord was faithful through grief & adjustment
The following year, the Lord brought healing & joy to my heart and life in the form of a wonderful man from MN. Bruce Paakh & I were married on April 1, 2017, just 45 days after we messaged one another for the first time online. He is an environmental & wetland scientist, an amazing hunter & fisherman & a gift from the Lord to not only me but our entire family. So, we now have a beautiful log home (designed & built by Bruce) on 200+ acres & 2 private lakes in MN as well as our schoolhouse in KS – we divide our time in both places.
Anna (33) – was married in June 2006 to Richard Brown, has 2 children: Ryan (6) & Emma (4) & is an office manager.
Jenna (31) – is a published author and previously taught violin and piano. She now works as a freelance journalist for 2 area newspapers. She was married in 2008 to Vincent Quentin of Olivet, France. They lived in Bordeaux France for five years until they moved to the U.S. in June 2013 with their children – Luca (7), Maya (5), and Alex (1).
Melissa (27) – plays cello & is a dental assistant. She served 2.5 years on the medical mission field with Mercy Ships in West Africa through 2012 as a dental assistant/team leader. She is now back in the USA in school for oral surgery and plans to return to the mission field in West Africa. She married Dylan Neubauer in 2015. They have a daughter, Tess (21 mos).
Faith (25) – plays the classical guitar, is our horse trainer & resident gifted artist. She is working at Rocky Cove Youth Ranch in Spokane, WA which connects rescued horses with foster & homeless children.
Hope (23) – our prima ballerina & flautist. She lived & worked in Haiti with Maranatha Children’s Ministries teaching preschool & dance to the orphans in their care & 80+ local children for 2 yrs & is now back home working on regaining good health, while continuing to assist MCM long distance with various programs.
Jonathan (21) – our Eagle Scout, TKD Black Belt, is now in the US Air Force, training to be an airborne cryptolinguist & working toward officer training school.
Charity (19) – Mom’s amazing #1 helper, our talented pianist & serves as a nanny for 2 doctors in Wichita while working on establishing her own internet business.
Grace (16) – yet another ballerina, a high school freshman, our vocalist & actress, pianist & future author.
Jamie (who waits for us in Heaven)
Michael & Meghan, 12-yr. old twins – who truly are TWICE the fun! Michael is ALL boy – Boy Scout, plays baseball, loves target practice with his Ruger 10/22 or bow & arrow, is always inventing something & loves to be outside fishing & hunting and loved to help his dad with any work; Meghan – is our littlest ballerina & Mommy’s sassy “Pinkie.” She can usually be found hiding with her nose in a book or creating beautiful watercolor art.
ALL were born at home with the assistance of midwives. We have always home-educated our children & have graduated 7 of them to date.
Our family is active in our local church, Grace Community Church & with various mission organizations. The Lord has opened our hearts to the lost around the world & we enjoy periodically hosting foreign university students through International Student Inc (ISI) & foreign high school students through ASSE. This year, we have welcomed a Danish student, Freja, into our home & family.
Helping families not only with their births but on the road to health, home education, joyful parenting & a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is where our hearts lie.
I enjoy reading, distance running/marathons, playing board games, serving with my family, traveling, meeting new friends that the Lord brings my way and hanging out with families waiting for babies to come.
The following is a brief summary of my training and experience:
- 1979-1983 Private Health and Respiratory Care Provider
- 1986-1987 Certified Childbirth Educator, Doula & Home birth Assistant Informed Homebirth/Informed Birth & Parenting – Texas
- 1987-1989 Apprenticeship with Signe Rogers, Vio Schmidt & Brenda Welsh
- 1989 – Direct-Entry Midwife
- 1997 – Certified Professional Midwife
- 2000 – began work on degree as Naturopathic Doctor – College of Natural Health – Tulsa, OK
- 2011 – Cross-Cultural Maternal/Child Health Care & Disaster Preparedness Intensive – Philippines
- 2013/2016 – mission work in Haiti
- 2016 – Medical mission to Syrian Refugees in Turkey
- Currently certified in CPR and Neonatal Rescusitation
Contact Barefoot Midwifery
Contact Barefoot Midwifery
Barefoot Midwifery Services
Michelle Paakh, Certified Professional Midwife
Home: (316) 282-1044 Cell: (316) 304-3056
4819 S. Hillside, Newton, KS 67114