"Birth works best when interfered with the least." - Aly Folin, CPM, LM
By Erin Stertz-Follett, LCCE, CD(DONA), HBCE, Owner of Flutterby Birth Services, LLC
Over the past several years, I have had the pleasure of working with Aly Folin, certified professional midwife (CPM), licensed midwife (LM), and owner of North Star Midwifery. When I began writing the Meet the Midwife blog series, I knew that I wanted to interview a home birth midwife, so I was very pleased that Aly agreed to answer a few questions! Keep reading to find out more about Aly, North Star, her partnership with fellow midwife Rebecca Polston, and their plans for serving even more women and their families through out-of-hospital birth services in the Twin Cities!
Q: How long have you been a midwife?
A: I started training to become a midwife in 2001 and have been in practice since 2005 -- 10 years! It is sometimes hard to believe it has been that long because I still love what I do so much!
Q: Where did you receive your training and education?
A: I attended the Seattle Midwifery School (now the Department of Midwifery within Bastyr University). SMS is one of the oldest direct-entry midwifery programs in the country. I got my CPM in 2004 and became a Minnesota Licensed Midwife (LM) in 2005.
Q: Did you practice anywhere/with any other midwives before starting North Star?
A: I came back to Minnesota right after I finished school. I practiced briefly with another midwife, and have helped several other midwives in our community as a preceptor during their training. I continue to help other midwives as a second set of hands at births.
Q: Tell me about your partnership with Rebecca Polson, CPM:
A: Rebecca and I initially met when I was the assistant midwife at her first birth. Then when I had my first baby, we were a part of the same parenting community and got to know each other as moms. As Rebecca was finishing up her training to be a midwife, we started connecting around Racial Equity in birth issues and working on the Doula Bill with the MN Better Birth Coalition. When she needed help finishing up some numbers I helped her out; and as we started attending births together, it became very clear that we worked really well together! It was so easy, and we communicated really well, so I invited her to join me at North Star.
Q: What makes North Star unique? What is your model of care?
A: Our model of care places the woman and her family at the center of her care. She gets to choose what is right for her and her baby, and as midwives, we give information and provide guidance as she needs it. Our philosophy is that "birth works best when interfered with the least." We guide and support, but let the birthing mother lead the way. What makes us unique, I think, is that Rebecca and I come from two very different training backgrounds. I was trained in a program where midwifery was considered mainstream in Washington state. Rebecca was trained in a very traditional midwifery setting. We have a really nice blend of those two ways of approaching midwifery.
Q: What are the future plans for growth and expansion at North Star?
A: While we love our small home birth practice, we also want to make our model of care available to more families! Therefore, Rebecca will be opening the Roots Community Birth Center soon. We will continue to attend home births at North Star Midwifery and we will have the birth center option through Roots Midwifery as well!
Q: How can families get in touch with you to initiate care and where are you located?
A: Families can call us at: 651-764-6933 or they can look us up on our websites: North Star Midwifery at www.northstarmidwifery.com or Roots Midwifery at www.roots-midwifery.com. Our office right now is in St Paul at Grand and Fairview. We will also see clients at the birth center once it is open, which will be our western Twin Cities location!
Q: What else do you want to be sure readers know?
A: A couple of things people may not know: CPMs are the experts in out-of-hospital birth. Our training is specifically for birth outside of the hospital and in knowing how to skillfully care for both mother and baby.
Also, we are water birth providers - Almost all of our families use the tub at some point in labor, and about 90% end up birthing in the tub! We lend out our birth tubs at no additional cost to families.
Thank you, Aly! Be sure to visit North Star on Facebook!
Flutterby Birth Services, LLC provides childbirth and breastfeeding education, doula care, lactation support, car seat installation/checks, placenta encapsulation, new mamas support groups, and more! Flutterby is located in Edina near 494 and France Avenue. Follow Flutterby on Facebook!
Erin Stertz-Follett, Owner