Welcome to Barefoot Midwifery - Wichita, Ks
Michelle Paakh, Certified Professional Midwife
There is a unique relationship between a midwife & birthing mother that brings with it intimacy & comfort
Why Barefoot Midwifery?
I 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. I 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
I am committed to providing you the best care within my knowledge. I 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. I 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, I would like for you to call anytime if there is a problem, concern or you need someone to talk to or to pray with you.
I am here for you from Prenatal to Postpartum
I am 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 me. I 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. I will be available to you at all times or will have a back-up midwife available should I need to be away for any reason. I 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. Appointments are usually on TUESDAYS, last about a half an hour and are medically thorough. I include all usual prenatal procedures plus more and will explain what I am checking for and allow plenty of time for your questions and concerns. You will be required to obtain certain lab work. I 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 Almost all births are done in the birthing suite in MY home – this allows for more thorough care and monitoring and also provides close access to excellent physician back-up, if needed. If the birth takes place in YOUR home, I 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, I will accompany the mother, continuing to provide labor support, consumer awareness and advice for the delivery.
Postpartum Care Following the birth, families are encouraged to stay in my birthing suite for 24 hours if home is distant to allow for continued care, help establish breastfeeding and to do neonatal lab work. If home is close and the birth takes place in YOUR home, I will return 24-36 hours after delivery and again on the 3rd day. I will see you in MY home 2 weeks after delivery and again at 6 weeks. I am available anytime you have questions or concerns.
I feel it is an honor to be present during this time of transformation and do not take my role lightly. I am therefore pleased and grateful for the privilege of working with you.
Pregnancy 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. I feel it is an honor to be present during this time of transformation and do not take my role lightly. I am therefore pleased and grateful for the privilege of working with you. I want to support you in having whatever birth experience you desire. We will all have to work together to provide you with that experience. I am 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, I believe that my experience can be very valuable to you and expect you to respect my suggestions. I see my role as primarily to educate and advise, while maintaining a watchful eye that all is proceeding optimally. I 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. I feel privileged to be a part of this miraculous transformation in so many lives and as I feel that God has called me to this work, I seek to rely on His guidance and wisdom at all times. I also pledge to do my very best for you, to be alert and attentive to all aspects of your well-being and to do my best to see that your child emerges into an atmosphere that is nurturing for the WHOLE FAMILY. I am grateful to you for the opportunity to serve in this way. Please call. I look forward to talking to you and helping you through your pregnancy. God bless you.
I enjoy traveling, nature, photography, reading, running marathons, bow hunting & fishing with my husband, spending time with my family & friends, serving in the developing world, 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 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 and 2 other area midwives. In 1997, I became a Certified Professional Midwife.
My husband of 33 yrs, Don Ruebke, 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 a retired environmental & wetland biologist, 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 house in NW Wichita, KS – we divide our time in both places.
Anna – lives in TX where she is an administrative office assistant. She has 2 wonderful children: Ryan & Emma.
Jenna – is a published author, freelance journalist/writer and has taught violin and piano. She married Vincent Quentin of Olivet, France in 2008. They lived in Bordeaux France for five years until they moved to the U.S. in June 2013. They have 4 lovely children – Luca, Maya, Alex and Matteo. Vincent is a now a firefighter & Jenna founded, owns & runs Adjust Your Media – a content creation & media consulting business.
Melissa – an accomplished cellist, served 2.5 years on the medical mission field with Mercy Ships in West Africa through 2012 as a dental assistant/team leader. She married Dylan Neubauer in 2015 & they have 3 beautiful children Tess, Jackson & Brooke. Dylan is a firefighter & Melissa is the Children’s Ministry director at their church, Grace Crossing.
Faith – plays the classical guitar beautifully, is a horse trainer & gifted artist. She has spent many years working with at-risk youth & is currently working as a dental receptionist & doing graphic design on the side.
Hope – a prima ballerina & flutist. 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. She married Jared Kornfeld in 2017 & they have a sweet daughter, Tinley. Jared is a Marine Reservist & firefighter (yes, apparently it runs in the family!) & Hope owns Moments with Hope Photography.
Jonathan – an Eagle Scout, TKD Black Belt & rock climbing enthusiast who is now serving in the US Air Force.
Charity – a talented pianist who is now attending Cleveland Chiropractic College in KC.
Grace – is a talented dancer, actress, singer/songwriter who is always doing something new & exciting.
Jamie (who waits for us in Heaven)
Michael & Meghan, twins – my Grand Finale! Michael is a Boy Scout, loves target practice with his Ruger 10/22 or hatchet & enjoys being outside fishing & hunting. Meghan – is a ballerina & 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. I have home-educated our children & have graduated 8 of them to date. The twins are attending Northfield School of the Liberal Arts, a private Christian school in Wichita for high school.
I now have the joy of adding Bruce’s 2 daughters to the family!
Laura – is a talented singer & has worked with chorals in 2 states. She has a Psychology degree & has worked with a youth addiction program, served 2.5 years with Peace Corps in the Philippines & is currently living in CA with her husband, Hunter May, an amazing tech guru.
Melissa – is hard to describe & to keep up with! She was a Div. 1 swimmer, Miss MN runner-up, model, actress starring in several films, scritpwriter, fitness/wellness coach, owns her own business “The Authentic You” & lives in Hollywood with her husband, Graham Charlton, also an amazing D1 swimmer, community organic garden enthusiast & cardiac software sales rep. who is finishing his Master’s degree in hospital administration.
Our family attends a non-denominational Christian church, Grace Community & is active with various mission organizations. The Lord has opened our hearts to the lost around the world & we enjoy periodically hosting foreign university students from Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Pakistan, China & India through International Student Inc (ISI) & having foreign high school students from Germany, Kyrgystan & Denmark join our family through ASSE.
Helping families not only with their births but on the road to health, education, joyful parenting & a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is where my heart lies.
I enjoy nature, photography, traveling, reading, running marathons, bow hunting & fishing with my husband, playing board games & doing puzzles, spending time with family & friends, serving in the developing world, 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
- 2018 – Medical mission to Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
- Currently certified in CPR and Neonatal Rescusitation
Contact Barefoot Midwifery
Barefoot Midwifery Services
Michelle Paakh, Certified Professional Midwife
Cell: (316) 304-3056
8122 W. Westlakes St.
Wichita, Ks 67205