Peggy Franklin, CPM, RN, ND

Peggy Franklin, CPM, RN, NDI am blessed to be the mother of 8 children (2 daughters and 6 sons) and grandmother of 12 sweet grandchildren. I was privileged to be the midwife for 3 of them. My husband, Tom and I have our children nearly all raised. We enjoyed homeschooling for over 20 years and are proud of our 3 married children, our 2 college graduates, our 2 sons who are still at home and one currently in college. We anticipate more grandchildren someday in the future.

My path to midwifery began as a young girl knowing I would be a nurse like my mother. I grew up in the 60's in Ohio, attended Riverside Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Columbus and worked as a Registered Nurse at hospitals in labor and delivery for over 15 years. In 1970 when I had my maternity nursing rotation most mothers, seeking a "painless" birth were given the amnesic drug called twilight sleep in labor which made them have wild dreams and unable to participate. They were given a general anesthesia for the birth and the babies were born with forceps. Fathers were sent to the waiting room and babies went to the nursery before either mother or father had a chance to see him. This seemed so impersonal and dehumanized and was very disturbing to me. Thankfully Bradley and Lamaze childbirth classes were becoming popular and I began to see couples come to the hospital and stay together, stay awake, nurse the baby in the delivery suite, and then "room- in" with the baby instead of sending the baby to the nursery. Things have changed a lot over the last 35 years. Some for better, some not. The cesarean rate then was around 5%, not nearly 40%. The induction rate was about 5% as well. Most mothers in those days, before we had fetal monitors, ultrasounds, epidurals and IV pitocin pumps, had a more natural birth in the hospital than they do today. Unfortunately, in spite of all these new technologies, maternal mortality rates are higher today than they were then, making the US rank 50th in the world.

Having witnessed the horrible effects of "painless" births, I knew I wanted to know more about natural childbirth education and became a childbirth educator at our hospital. I enjoyed the continuity of care for my students when I was their nurse in labor. Although in those days breastfeeding was not "in style" and La Leche League was considered radical among the medical community, especially, I found it to be a wonderful resource and in alignment with my belief in the value of motherhood so I became a La Leche League leader. Then, in 1980 after I had my third baby at home with a midwife I decided to become a midwife. In 1992 I began working with a homebirth midwife in Washington state and then attended Seattle Midwifery School, a MEAC accredited 3 year on site midwifery program. I also became a Naturopathic Doctor through a distance program. Naturopathic medicine augments my interest in natural health and is a foundation for my midwifery practice.

I moved to Virginia from Washington State in 2003 and began Birth by Design,LLC when I could become licensed in Virginia. I am a member of Commonwealth Midwives Alliance, Birthmatters Virginia, Midwives Alliance of North America, National Association of Certified Professional Midwives, Association of Midwifery Educators  and have been a member of the Midwifery Advisory Board with the Virginia Board of Medicine. Together with Kim Pekin CPM, I am a founder of Virginia School of Traditional Midwifery, an on-site and distance midwifery program leading to Certification as a  Professional Midwife. I have been the preceptor for over 10 midwifery students most who now have their CPM. I believe God calls some women to become midwives and it is important to preserve and pass these nearly lost skills to the next generation.

I have attended over 2000 births, including my work as an RN in the hospital and in several out of hospital birth centers; about 700 additional births have been midwife attended home births. My transport rate is about 5%. I have had experience with most common complications and emergency care measures.

I believe our bodies were made to birth babies and that most healthy women can successfully birth with a midwife out of the hospital at home or a freestanding birth center given the proper support, education, and experienced guidance. You, the parents, are in charge of your birth. I am a silent observer and encourager, moving into your space only as you request or require. I love teaching about the usual childbirth practices, their risks and benefits, and encourage you to make your own decisions about the care you desire. Information is power. FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. Knowing the truth and understanding how to preserve and promote our body’s normal functioning, we can then trust our bodies to do the rest.

I am passionate about the role women, especially mothers, have in making our world a better place. I believe in the quote "the one who rocks the cradle rules the world". The role of a mother is irreplaceable and  in this culture it is underappreciated. Women need support, encouragement and education as well as convenient services at a reasonable cost. If our culture placed mothers as a high priority, we could see amazing changes in the amounts of violence, crime, depression, suicide and poverty. World peace would be attainable, within reach of the mother's arms rocking her baby.

I would love to help you plan your home or birth center birth, to be an observant encourager and informer as you desire. Birth is a continuation of the love and intimacy you shared as a couple at the beginning of this journey. Your love is branching out to welcome a child into your lives. It is a natural, normal life process that is potentially one of the most powerful experiences you will ever have. It is an opportunity to build strength into your lives as you grow in new and wonderful ways.



NOVA Natural Birth Center
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