With our Austin Midwife Spotlight series, we’re giving our beloved midwives an outlet to express why they love what they do. Today, we’re spotlighting Kimberly Sennet, RN, CNM, MSN. Kimberly has a master’s degree in Nurse Midwifery from Johns Hopkins University and previously worked as a midwife at a low-income clinic in Las Vegas. Kimberly brings a wealth of experience and education to our Williamson County birth center.
What, in your opinion, separates a true birth center from a hospital birth experience?
In my opinion, one thing that separates a freestanding birth center from a birth center within a hospital is the difference in protocols. Typically, the hospital is more restrictive with certain aspects of labor such as diet. At AABC, we encourage eating and drinking while in labor. Additionally, we provide complimentary childbirth education classes for our clients, which helps prepare families for the hard work of labor.
How does the level of personal care differ between an OB/GYN and an AABC midwife?
One of the hallmarks of midwifery care is education. Therefore, I believe any woman coming to AABC will receive a ton of education from her midwife, all with the hopes of increasing her autonomy so that she can have the birthing experience she desires.
How does AABC being around for 28 years set it apart from other birth centers? Is there something about it that’s unique to the fabric of Austin?
I am relatively new to Austin (just over 1.5yrs) and from what I have observed, AABC is absolutely cut from Austin cloth. The motto of the city is ‘keep Austin weird’ and I take that to mean Austinites do not conform to the norm and AABC is no exception. For instance, many of us are well versed in homeopathics and can provide more non-traditional options to take care of common ailments in pregnancy, and let’s face it, there can be ailments.
How did you find out about AABC?
I learned about AABC via the good old internet. And once I learned about it, I knew I wanted to become a part of it.
Why did you want to become a midwife? How do those ideals guide your work today?
I initially wanted to become a midwife because birth is fascinating to me. As my understanding grew, I also saw it as the prefect vehicle to become a champion of women. To this day, I strive to educate women during their pregnancy. Birth is one of the most profound and intimate moments in a woman’s life and I remain absolutely humbled each time I participate.
What’s your favorite part about working at AABC?
Honestly, that my colleagues all get along and respect each other. We midwives midwife each other.
Do you have any favorite memories from your time at AABC?
My favorite moment is a selfish one, but it was of my own birth. The labor was fast, the birth was even faster, and it was a perfect day.
If you could tell expectant mothers one message, what would it be?
My only advice is that you do a bit of research on where and with whom you plan to have prenatal care and birth your baby because that can make the difference between a good birth and a great birth.