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May 1, 2013 / amiller1012

Birth center empowers women

Inanna Birth and Women’s Center in Denton has been empowering women and their families through the natural birthing process since 2006. Jean Smith, a certified nurse-midwife (CNM), purchased the property and opened the center after practicing nursing for over 10 years in labor and delivery.

For the first year, Smith was in charge of the clinical aspect while her then-business partner oversaw the financial aspects. She had an assistant who helped as needed, but the workload was far too heavy.

Smith brought on her good friend and fellow CNM, Betty Hoffman, to provide much needed relief. She also had a part-time CNM who worked on Thursdays. Smith says the best part was knowing that “at least on Thursdays [she] could finally get some sleep”.

The rewards, she says, outweigh the stress. Her favorite part about being a midwife is watching women discover their strength. Often she gets women who claim to have a low pain threshold and fear that they will need pain medication.

Many of the women who have their first natural birthing experience with Smith surprise themselves with what they are capable of. Smith recalls one patient that truly reminds her of the power of a mother.

The woman was a pilot with severe anxiety and would often pass out, causing her to have to leave her job. During labor, the women repeatedly said, “I’m going to faint.”

Smith looked at her and, in a stern voice, said, “No, you are not. It’s physically impossible for you to pass out when you’re lying down. Now you’ve got to suck it up, girlfriend, and tough it out.”

She went from a timid, self-conscious woman to a “powerhouse”. It’s life-transformations like these that keep Smith pushing through when the center gets busy.

The center delivers about 15 babies each month. It provides care and monitoring during the pregnancy, care during labor, and checkups for the mother and child through the postpartum stage.




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