Self Care for the TCM Team

Here at Twin Cities Midwifery, we take self care pretty seriously! It is something that we talk to our clients about in pregnancy and during the postpartum period. It is also something we talk about internally, as a team. Birth workers are prone to burnout. One way to prevent it, is to support our team members in getting regularly self care and encouraging them to find a good work/life balance. It also helps our providers stay healthy and “keep their cup filled” so they can continue to provide an extremely high level of individualized maternity care. As our team has grown over the past 7 years, we decided to create a “Self Care Statement” so that we would have something in writing to keep revisiting and to remind us to keep scheduling self-care! In creating this statement, we elicited ideas from all of our team members about what self care means to them, and what might be included in some of their favorite kinds of self care. Even though this had been shared with our team over a year ago, as this topic comes up in visits and even with other birth workers, we wanted to share it here! We hope that in encourages everyone reading it to take some time to evaluate if their self care is in balance with where they’d like to to be. Enjoy!


TCM Self Care Statement

Twin Cities Midwifery strives to provide high quality maternity care in a sustainable way, encouraging the TCM team to practice the healthy self care and work/life balance that we recommend to our clients, which supports the health and wellness of our team members and our practice.

Twin Cities Midwifery functions from a team approach so that responsibilities can be shared and no one is completely “alone” in their work. We value reaching out to each other if we need a break or need help brainstorming for a certain situation or project. There are multiple team members that can fill each other’s roles so that others can step in as needed.

TCM values providing flexibility to team members. This means that all members are expected to take regular off-call time and time off, both scheduled in advance and for last minute unexpected needs. Team members get to determine how busy they will be in their work with TCM.

TCM values team members having family time and alone time. To be able to do this work long-term and to be able to continue to function in their TCM duties at such a high quality level, team members need to have regular and frequent opportunities to “refill their well”. TCM values team members staying filled or filling up so that they can give their best to clients and loved ones, and so they can continue to enjoy their work.

TCM strives to provide a calm and peaceful work environment. Time for meals, bathroom breaks, and opportunities for grounded breaths are built into the days (and nights) of work.


How do we put these values into practice? Here are some specific and concrete examples:

  • Ability to have another midwife or birth assistant step in as back-up (for a midwife, birth assistant, or office manager) so that team members can be off for important events or family emergencies
  • Our midwives generally are expected to take about 8 weeks off-call a year (no one in dates, or not on call for clients in dates during that time), which is often broken down into 2 days a month and the flexibility to use the other 5 weeks as desired.
  • Our clients are aware of the expectation that their primary midwife is not on call 100%, but likely will be on call about 95% of the time during their due window.
  • Midwives get to determine if there are certain months they are willing to be more or less busy with EDDs.
  • Birth assistants can freely choose when they would like to take EDDs or not, without an expectation of a certain number of EDDs a month or year. There is no pressure for birth assistants to be at more births than desired.
  • Birth assistants can have an unlimited length of maternity leave, knowing they will be welcomed back into the assistant team rotation whenever they are ready.
  • All roles have flexibility to be less busy when desired.
  • All team members have the ability to set their own work hours for non-labor needs (such as flexibility to choose when to be available for client visits). Midwives have ability to set their own normal clinic days/times, and can block routine visit hours off for personal time or family events as desired.
  • Meal breaks are built into clinic days, and TCM provides meals at births if the kitchen isn’t well stocked.
  • Chart prep and end-of-day charting wrap up is built into clinic days so there is less stress and less rush.
  • There is enough flexibility in visit scheduling (hour long visits) that midwives and assistants have time for bathroom breaks, getting tea/water, taking a breath and getting grounded, as desired.
  • Our team is built in a way that members are supporting each other. Midwives and birth assistants are working together at births. The midwives and office manager are supporting each other in their roles. (Having an incredible team of birth assistants and a stellar office manager are a huge support to our midwives!) There isn’t an expectation for one person to do everything. There are opportunities to reassess and adjust processes, and all team members can provide input for adjustments.
  • TCM encourages team members to get regular body work as part of their own continuing education.
  • Midwives discuss the value of self care with clients, so that clients create or support their personal self care routines, also valuing that TCM members would also have self care routines.
  • TCM provides a pager for midwives if desired, so they don’t always have to be attached to their phone (or can turn the ringer off when sleeping).
  • TCM supports midwives and birth assistants alternating taking naps during long births, and calling in extra midwives or assistants if needed.


What are some of our team member’s favorite kinds of self-care?

  • Exercise:
    • Yoga
    • Running
    • Bike Rides
    • Blooma Classes
  • Spa kinds of treats:
    • Bubble Baths
    • Herbal Baths
    • Steamy Showers
    • Pedicures
    • Going to the spa
  • Bodywork:
    • Massages
    • Prana Stretch
  • Being social:
    • Time with friends
    • Catching up with friends
    • Going for a walk with a friend
    • Going on a date with their partner
    • Watching a favorite show or movie with their partner
  • Sleep:
    • Getting regular sleep
    • Uninterrupted sleep
    • Taking naps
  • Spiritual time
    • Time for prayer
    • Bible reading
    • Meditation
  • Quiet time:
    • Time to read for fun
    • Adult coloring books
    • Painting
    • Some moments to focus on breathing in and breathing out
    • Limiting time on the phone to just be away from demands and unwind
  • Regular family time
  • Being able to go on vacations
Happy Holidays 2017 & Happy New Year 2018!

Happy Holidays 2017 & Happy New Year 2018!

What a wonderful year we had this 2017! We have gotten to know many new families, enjoyed working with many returning families, and welcomed a second midwife to the practice!

If you are a past or present TCM family, you should have already received your card in your mailbox! If not, it means we don’t have your current address. Feel free to email any address changes to so that we can update our list!

Much love and light to each of you!

MuTu Review

By Lauren, TCM Office Manager

As a mom of two toddlers I saw the impact pregnancy and birth had on my body. I wanted to strengthen my core and put some extra special care into the areas that were put through the ringer (twice!), but I wasn’t sure where to start. I thought about putting together my own exercise program, but that seemed overwhelming. It was around this time that I discovered MuTu, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve included below some basic information about MuTu (you can find more here) and my own experience with it.

MuTu is a 12-week system that helps women who want their bodies to “look, feel and function” better after having a baby – whether that was 6 weeks ago or 6 years ago. It focuses on helping women strengthen their core and pelvic floor, and help close diastasis recti. To get access to the MuTu program you have to purchase it, and $97 is no small investment, but when you compare it to a gym membership and hours of putting together your own program it’s pretty reasonable. No to mention that $97 also gets you lifetime access, which is a great benefit.

MuTu has three different components – 1) alignment and posture; 2) healthy eating; and 3) exercising. You do need some equipment to complete the exercises, but most of it you probably have around your house already (I only had to buy a set of dumbells and a set of resistance bands).

The first two weeks of MuTu gently ease you into the program. The only exercises are the “Core” exercises which take about 10-15 minutes, and I found them easy to fit into my day (so even with toddlers climbing all over me I could still do them). Week 3 starts the Intensive Workouts and those really kicked my butt, especially in the beginning. Starting with Week 3 through the end of the 12 weeks I had to carve out about 30 minutes/day to do the exercises (not including the daily walking), and I found it tough to do the exercises with my kids around. To be honest, I restarted MuTu probably four or five times because I always got stuck at Week 3. I would try doing the exercises at different times of the day, but with a full weeknight schedule and busy afternoons when my boys were napping, I couldn’t find a time of the day that worked well for me do the exercises consistently. Then, this summer, my younger son started sleeping through the night (only took 14 months!) and I found I could get up earlier in the morning and do the exercises before my boys were up. That made a big difference in my success rate with MuTu – so my #1 tip is find a time that works for you and your schedule and make the decision to stick with it.

Everything you need to complete the 12 weeks is available online, and you can download the videos to your phone, tablet, or computer so you can access them whenever you want. There are also “cheat sheets” of the exercises available that you can print off to help if you don’t like watching a screen while you exercise. The first two weeks I used a “cheat sheet” for the Core exercises, but after that I always watched the videos while exercising. To do the exercises correctly I found I needed the reminders and Wendy’s example in the video. I would also say that I’m not the most athletic or coordinated person I know, but overall the exercises were pretty accessible, even for me.

Now that MuTu is behind me the big question is…would I do it again? Yes!! In a heartbeat. I will do this after every baby born from here on out. After my second was born I had a small diastasis recti, and doing MuTu closed it. Completing MuTu also helped me feel stronger – I really appreciated that I was working the areas that needed some extra TLC, and I could feel the difference. I felt stronger and healthier. I would say that MuTu has a lot to keep track of with the exercises, daily walking, eating healthy, and working on your posture, and I didn’t do everything perfectly. The next time around I’ll focus more on my posture, but something I appreciated about MuTu is that I was able to go at my own pace. If there was a week where my kids were sick and getting up early to exercise didn’t happen, I just repeated that week and didn’t think twice about it. One final comment about MuTu, I also liked that it doesn’t hold up an unattainable body type as the goal; the goal is for every person who uses it to feel stronger, healthier, and more confident – whatever that means for them.

MuTu usually offers has a sale about three or four times a a year, and we always post them on our Facebook page. If you want more information about MuTu you can check it out here, or email with any questions you have.

International Babywearing Week

In honor of International Babywearing Week (Oct 2-Oct 8) we have a guest post from Jennifer Taylor from MomTricks. Enjoy!

My name is Jennifer Taylor, and I’m here to talk about babywearing, a wonderful practice that has been around for thousands of years. I believe that everyone should give it a try! There are so many great benefits of babywearing, and I’m here today to tell you about several of the best reasons to try babywearing with your little one.

Here are 7 great reasons to consider babywearing!

#1. Babies feel secure.

Suddenly being born into a new environment will naturally make babies feel overwhelmed. Being carried in a sling close to mother’s body mimics the same environment in the womb which babies have gotten used to for the past 9 months.

When babywearing, they’re close to their mother and can hear her heartbeat and breathing which will make the baby feel calm and secure. In their first three months of life, babies are still getting used to their new surroundings so being in a carrier can help them slowly adapt to the world.

#2. Baby cries less.

Carrying babies is proven to lessen bouts of crying. The swaying movement while being in a carrier and the closeness to the mother’s body help babies calm down and relax. The mother’s constant movement while wearing the baby helps them sleep longer as they are positioned comfortably in the carrier.

Additionally, babies who suffer from colic or spit-up once in a while are comforted by being in an upright position. Mothers are more in-tune with their baby’s cues when they are worn and be able to attend to them immediately.

#3. Hands-free mommy.

Mothers who wear their babies in a carrier are able to do more chores and tasks throughout the day because they have their hands free. Wearing the baby in the carrier is very convenient and is very helpful for mothers who don’t have companions.

They can bring their baby with them and even involve them in washing clothes, cleaning the kitchen, cooking meals, doing the grocery, vacuuming the floor, and a lot more!

#4. Mommy and baby bonding.

Keeping babies constantly close helps form a special bond between the mommy and baby. They get familiar with each other’s body movements and become in sync to one another. With babywearing, mothers can cherish every moment while their baby is young.

This is very helpful to those who are experiencing postpartum depression. Babies can reach out to their mothers too and create physical and emotional connections that can help them both adapt to the overwhelming changes they are experiencing.

#5. Beneficial for breastfeeding.

Babywearing also benefits breastfeeding because there is more opportunity for skin-to-skin contact that encourages production of oxytocin and prolactin.

These are two important hormones that help establish the breastmilk supply of a mother. Keeping the baby close. can help mothers determine early hunger cues and attend to them immediately, minimizing delayed nursing and crying. Babywearing also helps mothers have breastfeeding privacy because they can easily nurse the baby while worn in a public place.

#6. Babywearing is exercise.

A great way to gently lose that maternity weight is by babywearing. Regular walking and chores can already help mothers get back in shape. But mothers can enjoy different activities and have a real workout while the baby is worn.

The baby’s weight provides great aerobic exercise and getting fit is just a matter of wearing the baby and getting involved in the mother’s daily activities. Even shopping can be an exercise!

#7. It’s convenient!

Babywearing is very convenient for parents who are always out and about. Although strollers are very helpful, having a carrier helps especially when you are traveling and need to attend to errands quickly without the bulk. Carriers are very easy to wear and can be used without any assistance.





Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

August 1-7 is world breastfeeding week, and in anticipation of it we put out a call on the TCM Facebook page asking people to send in their breastfeeding selfies (or even professional shots).

I have so loved getting to see these photos arrive in our inbox. There is so much love in each of these. Sometimes nursing feels like it takes SO MUCH TIME out of every day and night. But then there comes a time where the nursing relationship ends, and then it seems like it went so fast. I have a 22 month old who decided to wean himself at 1, and a 4.5 year old who we ended up planning a “goodbye to mommy milk day” a month before she turned 4! There are times when I wish my 22 month old was still nursing, as I have fond memories of my oldest nursing during those ages/stages. But it is very much a relationship, and babies get to have a lot of say in what nursing will look like for them (surprise, surprise, parents don’t get to be fully in charge of their children, yet again!).

As I saw these photos, along with love, nourishment, and beauty, I also saw a lot of connection. Sometimes nursing can feel like a lonely or isolating task. When I think of all of my currently nursing clients, I bet some of them are nursing right now as I type this. And then thinking of all of the babes nursing in our community, in our state, in our world, there are so many people nursing in this moment! So just a reminder that if it sometimes feels lonely, there are many others in the same boat, doing the same thing.

I so enjoyed these precious photos, and I hope you do, too. Thank you to all of the amazing families who sent them over to share with all of you. (Click the images to expand them with captions.)