Beth Barbeau is a Traditional Midwife, Childbirth Educator and Resonance Repatterning Practitioner. Beth provides complete homebirth services for those families who wish to birth their babies at home, including comprehensive prenatal, labor, birth, and postpartum care. Many women also seek Beth’s thoughtful and experienced support to supplement their medical care with prenatal or postpartum consultations. An experienced instructor in a wide range of related topics, Beth also teaches both private and group classes.
“Originally trained in the traditional apprenticeship model, I began attending women in birth in 1980 in the role of labor support. My professional life went on to include a B.S./premed degree from Antioch College, becoming a national sales trainer, and attending births with a wide range of professionals in addition to birth education through classes, conferences and direct mentoring. After moving back to my home state of Michigan and starting my own family, my love of teaching and birth continued as I developed classes and taught at the Center for the Childbearing Year in Ann Arbor for over six years.
“I saw parents spending enormous amounts of time preparing for the day of the birth, but ‘falling through the cracks’ and being desperate for support and guidance AFTER wards. (One very experienced midwife I worked with used to tell the parents during long births, “I know this is hard, but it’s the next 20 years that really kick your butt!”) For close to 30 years I have been designing and dreaming of a holistic health institute, and in 2007 the first piece of it came into being when we opened Indigo Forest, a Holistic Family Center. Most recently, I also became an instructor at the Naturopathic Institute of Therapies and Education in Mt. Pleasant, MI, along helping to develop their state-certified Holistic Labor Companion (HLC) program.”
Please contact Beth through Indigo Forest to arrange a consultation, private class or free 15-minute phone consult. Resume and enthusiastic references are available!
The Choice of Homebirth
Believing that the best midwife will be “a good chameleon”, I understand that women come to homebirth for many reasons and I strive to support your needs in the most thoughtful manner possible. For some this means water births, for others it’s meant helping the birthing mother, or father, or one time even the grandmother, ‘catch’ the baby. It means sometimes coaching mothers through every contraction, and other times sitting quietly downstairs, respectfully available but not disturbing your laboring work. I welcome the uniqueness of your birth, be it quiet, dark and private, or an extended family celebration complete with children and pets.
Safe birth takes many forms, and it is our responsibility together to attend to your body, mind, and spirit for the optimal outcome. To each birth I bring my education and experience in normal birth and it’s many safe variations (and what’s not), as well as in modalities such as nutrition, homeopathy, herbology, essential oils, flower essences and more.
My commitment is to look at each situation individually (breeches and twins are not ruled out due to protocol or certification restrictions, for instance) and I see it as a strength that I do not hesitate to seek out or refer you to other community resources where appropriate. I am constantly expanding my education, and love to learn as well as to share the knowledge through teaching. A wise midwife once said a puzzling thing to me, that “the real work of labor and birth is done in (good) prenatals.” She said it was much better to do that work during business hours over the course of months, than in a marathon birth because issues where not resolved for the mother’s body or mind! I have found this to be sage advice, and to that end meet with mothers as often as need be, with the minimum being the usual obstetrical calendar (every month, then every two weeks, etc.) Visits are usually an hour long. My homebirth clients are also invited to partake of Resonance Repatterning with me as part of the homebirth package.
It’s your responsibility to communicate your needs, be upfront and honest about your nutrition and diet (we need to find what works for YOU), and to be willing to do what you can to prepare your body and mind for the wonderful, challenging and all-encompassing work of labor and birth.
There’s always more, let’s talk.
“The difference between you and the hospital midwives were that they had a plan, and we were supposed to mold ourselves to them. Medicine right now asks nothing of the patient, so they don’t have to think about their health. You helped us find our own plan, and together we developed a consensus of care. What helped (my wife) was the whole calmness of everything, the suggestions and things from your knowledge base of all you do, that we would have never thought of. It definitely put her in a better place. It meant a lot to us that you had the ability to even arrive at a consensus. “
Father of 3 home birthed children
Contractor, Previous Fourth Year Medical Student
“I knew that the care would be different, but I didn’t expect the quality of care to be so different, so much better. When I had so many Braxton Hicks contractions I was afraid to drive, you even came to my house for prenatals.”
Mother of two, after second birth (first homebirth)
Prenatal or postpartum consultations
Supplemental prenatal and postnatal consultations
A mother myself, I believe that every woman deserves to be respectfully attended in pregnancy, with time for her questions and the support to grow confident in her abilities. While homebirth has been proven to be a very safe (and even the safest) choice for most women, for many reasons it is not a choice that a majority of women feel they can or wish to make at this time. Many women have chosen to work with me to supplement their medical care/hospital birth with high-quality midwifery prenatal care, expressing that they wanted
- Time to explore all of their questions (There’s lots of Internet information, for instance, but how does it relate to you? And is it accurate or credible?)
- Detailed nutritional information and personalized guidance
- Warm emotional support throughout the pregnancy and postpartum
- Hands-on care lacking in other settings
- Quality information to help ease fears and look forward to birth
- Help processing & integrating past birth experiences
- To normalize their pregnancy experience
- To have an experienced guide educate them about the important aspects of normal pregnancy and natural childbirth
- A place where they could “let down their guard” or allow themselves to be “high needs.”
- A relationship with a birth advocate to help them get the most out of their birth experience and early parenting
- Someone who would include the family in pregnancy care – showing the father how to palpate or check dilation, or include the children in developmentally appropriate ways.
- Help strategizing postpartum recovery and support
Consultations are available by the hour ($75) or package (4 visits for $275, for instance). Many are able to use their Health Flex Spending Accounts to cover such care. Many consults also include related handouts and the use of teaching aids and multi-media materials.