Lucy Muchiri is a midwife based in Nairobi. She helps parents to be prepare for birth, and also helps new parents cope with the rigors of parenting. In this interview with Mummy Tales, Lucy talks about her midwifery outfit EvesMama, why she began it and what she has learned from her experiences of bringing life into this world over the years.
LM: I run Eve’sMama, which is a midwife-led service whose main focus is to offer care and practical support to parents and parents-to-be during their child bearing phase of life.
The services we offer are home-based and include: pregnancy preparation, prenatal care, childbirth preparation classes, labor support, home births, post-natal support and well-woman coaching.
We craft a plan of care and support for each client as per their required needs and service.
MT: For how long have you been doing this work?
Eve’sMama was founded in February 2009. We started with “Birth essentials” which is a class that equips expectant parents for labor, birth and early parenting. After this, we introduced labor support services (doula). Since then, we have expanded into offering other services as per demand by the market as the clientele has grown over the years.
MT: What is your background?
LM: I am a Registered Nurse with close to 15 years of experience. I qualified as a registered midwife in 1999 and practiced as a nurse midwife in several private hospitals. I also hold a post-graduate certificate in emergency care –for occurrences both in and out of hospital. When I left employment to start Eve’sMama, I studied Child Birth Education, labor support/doula and entrepreneurship.
MT: Why did you get into this line of work?
LM: My journey began after I graduated from midwifery. What I had learnt about pregnancy and birth during my training was phenomenal. I developed such a passion to assist expectant mums by helping them understand the changes their bodies go through during pregnancy. I wanted to help them embrace these changes as this would enable them prepare well for birth and parenting.
It is this passion that led me to start practicing my midwifery on my friends. With time, I slowly came to appreciate the great need for information that parents (and especially mothers) have during this season in their life.
After I got my first child, I had an easy time going through labor and early parenting because I was well equipped with information and knew how to rally support around me. This is what made me resolve to one day give myself fully to helping parents and parents-to-be achieve their great need for empowerment, information, guidance and support.
After my second birth, I was definite about my realization and I started working on Eve’sMama’s name, objective and mission. This I developed during my maternity leave.
MT: Do Kenyan moms know about doula’s, or is it something you find hard to introduce to people?
LM: Actually it is better now. Three years ago, people couldn’t even pronounce the word. Now you find the word is known. However, what doulas exactly do is not well known. Since I love what I do, usually all I need is one to be curious and/or willing to give me a moment to explain to them, and I gladly do this.
MT: What is the uptake of Kenyan moms using doula’s?
LM: I think the role of a doula as part of the labor and birth team is not well understood and embraced. The support doulas give and what they help the mum and her birth partner achieve is honestly priceless. I believe that in a few years, most parents will not want to go through this experience without a doula.
LM: At Eve’sMama, we offer services that are practical, have been tried out and worked (we are evidence-based).
Because every individual is different, we tailor-make our services because we understand that everyone is unique and so there is no one size fits all service. What worked for someone else doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work on you. So we listen to you and guide you in making those important decisions.
Becoming a parent means you will need to give, care and nature your child. Giving from an empty resource leaves you drained. We not only address the pregnancy but help you work on your different wellness spheres so you are able to be a well parent which makes the parenting journey easier and fun.
You as our client are the manager of your care, we listen to you, you guide us craft a plan for you and together as a team. We work with that plan.
MT: What is the most important lesson you’ve learnt during the course of your work?
LM: The most important lesson I’ve learnt is that life is a beautiful thing. The start of it is spiritual and needs to be an awesome moment for the baby and his or her parent(s).
I have also learnt that people should be the core of all I do. As I create my services, it is because someone needs them and I should therefore endeavor to make sure their need is met. There are a lot of misconceptions about birth by parents-to-be, care providers and the society. I have learnt that I need to be patient and appreciate that I can change society one parent at a time.
MT: What do you enjoy most about your job?
LM: I meet new people every week, and that for me is exciting. My best moment is seeing the smiles of parents after the birth of their baby.
I also enjoy the calmness of a birth at home.
MT: What is the thing you don’t like much about your job?
LM: Over time, birth has become very clinical. I am working towards getting parents to trust in the ability of birth as a natural event. I find situations where parents are caught between my explanation and that of a clinical care provider very challenging –more so because some clinical decisions override the parents’ need to know what their other options are.
MT: Where are you based?
LM: Eve’sMama’s services are home based. I however have a home office.
MT: Tell us about your family.
LM: I married my best friend, Muchiri Nyaggah and have learned that it’s a trick to a happy marriage.
So there ends my interview with Lucy Muchiri. Personally, I took childbirth classes when I was pregnant with Kitty. The classes, which were done at home were very helpful as they helped Baba Kitty and I prepare well for what we were supposed to expect during labor and the early days of parenting. I know there’s alot of information out there about this, but there’s just something about an expert taking you through it on a one-on-one (in the comfort of your home) that made it worth it for us. It’s something I’m glad I did as a first time parent because I had so many questions to ask and lot’s of stuff I needed clarification about.
Best wishes to all expectant moms and dads.