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Patrice Bobier, CPM is the senior Midwife at Full Circle. Associate midwives Barbara Olsen, Dorothy Vandezande, CPM, Jennifer Holshoe, CPM, and Laurie Zoyiopoulos, CPM assist with the practice and at births, and provide back-up if Patrice is unable to attend.   All midwives and students are certified in Neonatal Resuscitation, and are members of the Michigan Midwives Association and the Midwives Alliance of North America. They practice according to protocols and standards for home birth and midwifery care established by their credentialing organizations and home birth midwives in Michigan. The midwives monitor and assess the health of you and your baby during your pregnancy, labor, birth, and immediate postpartum. Permission is usually asked before providing care. They keep you informed of what they are doing and why, and what their evaluation is. Copies of your records are available to you any time. The midwives are available to talk to you at any time. They are open and honest with you: answering your questions, providing reassurance, helping to provide information to you so you can make informed decisions about your care. You are encouraged to obtain referrals from other clients of Full Circle Midwifery Service. See the Birth Story page for referrals now!

Patrice and Barb with 2 darling home-born girls visiting the Full Circle  office.

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To see STATISTICS for Full Circle Midwifery from 1984 through 2016, click HERE.

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This is an article written in my local newspaper and did a great job of capturing how I still feel about midwifery and birth:

Oceana Herald Journal – News Article  9/3/2003

999 babies… and counting

Midwife Patrice Bobier has delivered 999 babies, with the 1,000th newborn expected to arrive by next week. Bobier, who owns and operates Full Circle Midwifery Service, Inc., celebrated hitting the 1,000-mark Saturday during a reunion at the Ferry Township home of Patrice and her husband, Bill. Moms, dads and children delivered by Bobier attended the reunion and reminisced about the home births.

Bobier, 52, began training to become a midwife in 1979 and started her own practice in 1982. “I attended my first home birth in 1977 as a friend of the couple having the baby,” she said. “I wanted families to have a safe choice about their birth place and attendant. It is such a special time – pregnancy and the birth of a new baby – it should be a loving, empowering, enfolding experience that will bond the parents and baby for a lifetime of caring for each other.”

Donna Richert, a mother of four, had her two youngest children in her Spring Lake home under Bobier’s care. “It’s much more comfortable being at home,” Richert said. The stress of having to race off to the hospital to have the baby is completely eliminated when you’re under a midwife’s care, she said.

Erika Dertien, a mother of three young children, had her last child under Bobier’s care. “The major advantage (of home birth) is being relaxed in my own home,” Dertien said. She said it was nice that her husband, Jeff, was able to hold her during her son Jacob’s birth. “Whereas in the hospital, he could only hold my hand,” she said. Dertien said she gave birth to Jacob in the family’s hot tub with Jeff right at her side. “To have Jeff in there as well was very relaxing,” she said. “It was great – compared to the hospital setting, which was kind of tense and you don’t know what’s going to happen.” “More or less you put it in the doctor’s hands (during hospital births), but you know what to expect (during home births), and you’re more informed.” Dertien said she and Jeff are planning to have more children in the future. “We don’t know when, but yes, it would be a home birth,” she said.

Also at the reunion were the two other midwives involved in Bobier’s practice, Barb Olsen and Laurie Zoyiopoulos, and two apprentices, Jen Weese and Kirsten Grimm. “It’s fun to get together,” said Weese who is training under Bobier to become a midwife. “But this is extra special, because we timed it right around the time of her 1,000th birth.” Bobier has had a reunion just about every year to stay up to date with her clients and their families. In the past, she has had as many as 150 attendees. “Patrice is really knowledgeable,” said Olsen. “I really trust her.”

Bobier said there is no licensing for non-nurse midwives in Michigan, although an extensive amount of hands-on training is required. “I trained through apprenticeship, working with other midwives for three-and-a-half years, attending prenatal clinics and births, doing postpartum care for mothers and babies, following a course of self-study that we designed,” she said. “I am a CPM – Certified Professional Midwife. I also am certified by the Michigan Midwives Association, and have to follow state and national standards of practice. The certification requirements are extensive with written and oral exams, documentation of education and experience, written recommendations from clients and other professionals, etc.” “For both organizations, I have to re-certify every three years with required continuing education, certification in Neonatal Resuscitation and CPR, Peer Review. I have to provide statistics on every client I have contact with.”

Bobier has two children who are now 29 and 32 years old. “They were both hospital-born back when fathers were just being ‘allowed’ to be present. Many mothers were drugged to the point of being physically restrained, and contact between mother and baby was severely restricted,” she said. Bobier’s two grandchildren, Jenna, 4, and Tyler, 7, were home-born right into her hands. Another grandbaby is due in October.

The oldest baby whose birth Bobier attended is now 25 years old, and she has home-born children, ages 3 and 7. The youngest (number 999) was born last Thursday evening. She has delivered babies for mothers 16 to 47 years old.

Although births are not usually an emergency situation, Bobier said midwives are always prepared to handle one. Should an emergency occur, a midwife would “treat and transport (the patient) to the hospital and medical providers accordingly – in a similar way as smaller hospitals refer patients out to larger ones,” she explained.

Although she absolutely loves her profession, she does plan to eventually slow down the pace in the future. “I plan to gradually cut back as younger women are trained to take over this wonderful work,” she said.

“Midwifery care is much different than obstetric care – more teaching, sharing of responsibility and care with the mother and family, more hands-on, more intuitive, more common-sense and personal in its approach, less dependent on medical tests, drugs, interventions, less ‘assembly-line’ care,” she said. “We are available for the whole childbearing year to answer questions, provide reassurance,” Bobier said. “We monitor mom and baby for health, watch for complications, but in different ways than the medical way. We spend much more time with clients. I personally spend about 10 hours with each client before she goes into labor,” she explained. “When women are in labor, my associates and I are with them for as much of the time as they require – no change of shifts, no coming in at the last minute or leaving shortly after the birth. We make sure babies and moms get breastfeeding established, and the family is coping with the changes a new baby brings as we do home visits in the first week after the birth.”

The 1,000th baby Bobier will be delivering is tentatively slated to arrive in this world, Sept. 9, 2003.