Dr. Penny Lane CNM, IBCLC is the owner and primary clinician at Believe Midwifery Services, LLC. Each clinic day, Dr Lane is assisted by her clinical team which may consist of a midwife nurse assistant and/or our clinic coordinator. Often times a boutique assistant is also available to clients or a nursing student.
Our goal is to have a midwife nurse and two trained assistants at each birth, which is the highest standard in the profession. Our commitment is safety, and it takes a team to effectively manage an obstetrical or neonatal emergency. It also takes a team to support moms who endure longer labors, so we can also offer a rested and alert support. This does not mean we all hover over each laboring couple. We are experts at discerning the level of support needed by a mother, whether she prefers encouragement at a safe distance, or continued presence.
Kristin Haus, Clinic Coordinator
Kristin Haus is our clinic coordinator for both the Carmel and Lafayette sites. She actually joined our team as the manager for the Red Raspberry Boutique, but quickly realized her passion for Believe Midwifery and her desire to be more involved in the practice. It only took a few weeks to realize she was the perfect fit for coordinating the clinic.
Kristin attended the University of Indianapolis and graduated with a BA in English Literature. After graduation, Kristin spent ten years working in retail management, where she gained a plethora of experience in customer service. It wasn’t until Kristin began her journey to better health that she met Dr. Lane and discovered her passion for wellness and home birth.
Realizing her current job was negatively affecting her health, Kristin decided to leave her retail position and pursue other options. It was then that the brilliant idea of working with Dr. Lane came to mind. And the rest, of course, is history! Kristin could not be more excited to learn more about functional medicine and home birth, while also experiencing her own wellness journey.
In her free time, Kristin loves freelance photography, reading, blogging, crafting, and loves to travel. She is slightly obsessed with musicals (having seen more than 7 shows on Broadway!) and acapella music. She loves anything Jane Austen, Downton Abbey, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, and Call the Midwife (she’s been known to binge for a whole day on Netflix). She also likes to spend time dreaming up house projects for her handsome carpenter husband to build for her (as a result, her husband hates Pintrest)!
Her goals for 2016 include reading at least 26 books (she keeps a running list of all the books she’s ever read), taking a fabulous trip for her 30th birthday in the fall, and starting a family!
Skilled Midwife Nurse Assistant Team
Each of our midwife nurse assistants have taken an intensive Midwifery Assistant course, are certified in Neonatal Resuscitation through intubation and emergency medication administration, basic life support, and S.T.A.B.L.E. This is unique to our practice since most home birth providers, including the midwife, completes only a portion of the training; therefore, depending on the ambulance service to perform a complete resuscitation. Unfortunately, this ignores the fact that when emergency management is required, such as to establish an airway in a newborn, the first responder is not trained in these advanced skills and can not arrive in sufficient time to extend these life saving skills.
Each of the Believe Midwifery birth assistants are expected to attend a doula course, and obtain a minimum of twenty hours of breastfeeding education within the first year of hire. Several have additional training in disciplines such as nursing, emergency management, massage therapy, women’s health and/or lactation.
Admittedly, this role is tough. It requires commitment to being on call, wearing a phone on your hip 24/7, dropping plans at the last minute and jetting to a birth in all weather conditions and no matter one’s plans. It also requires a supportive spouse, children who are flexible, dependable childcare and transportation, but does not guarantee consistent pay since births may not happen during the shifts assistants have committed within the month. This position does turn over staff regularly, similar to nurses within the hospital, because the role is demanding. Dr. Lane also has a number of non-negotiables for this team member, which you depend upon as our client. We invite and keep only the most qualified and professional staff to be part of our birth team. Even when we find the perfect assistant who feels this role perfectly suits her lifestyle, they often leave us because they become pregnant, birth with our practice, and then want to stay home with their baby.
Having said that, our current birth team consists of the two midwife nurses, a direct entry midwife trained at Bastyr University, a student midwife nurse, a few Registered Nurses, student nurses, and passionate advocates for home birth and midwifery. Because we offer a fairly extensive midwife training program, and because the midwife nurses continually supervise assistant staff, and because there are so many important attributes to assisting the midwife beyond high level clinical skills, we do hire doulas and emergency services personnel in the assistant role. We have even hired mothers who were passionate and proved to be a good fit with the clinical team. While we do have a minimum criteria for clinical competency, hiring for this position is often more challenged by mindset, work ethic, and lifestyle challenges. Our practice has an expectation of excellence.
Believe Midwifery Services, LLC is unique in its industry, in that it employes its staff rather than contracts them independently. This means that as the employer, we can demand a specific standard and we work as a team, rather than a group of individual experts.
Our nurse-midwives work within an environment in which we also have a minimum of three midwife nurse assistants on call at any given time. They are expected to respond immediately when called to assist a momma, which is more secure than calling independently contracted assistants and requesting their support. Too often, midwife nurses are attending births solo, which is an unacceptable risk our practice is not willing to take.
Additionally, the literature is clear that outcomes are worse when the medical team has not trained together in emergency scenarios. While expertise is essential, communication is paramount. Our practice requires regular attendance in staff training sessions in which we review emergency scenarios and challenge ourselves to improve not only our skills, but our teamwork. Believe Midwifery offers a midwifery team which has demonstrated improved outcomes, specifically neonatal outcomes.