We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Slak and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, what’s the end goal, career-wise?
The end goal of midwifery care is always a healthy family. But I believe this means so much more than just a good clinical outcome. Of course a safe pregnancy, birth and postpartum is always the most important aspect of our care but it’s not the only part that matters. I would feel like my career was successful if, through the course of my work, I was able to be a part of a shift towards greater emphasis in mental health and trauma reduction around the way babies are brought into the world.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
There is a quote from the Tao Te Ching that says: You are a midwife, assisting at someone else’s birth. Do good without show or fuss. Facilitate what is happening rather than what you think ought to be happening. If you must take the lead, lead so that the mother is helped, yet still free and in charge. When the baby is born, the mother will rightly say: “We did it ourselves!” I feel most proud when I use all of the tools at my disposal, all of my hands-on skills and hard-won intuition, and at the end of my journey with a family they tell me that they are so proud they did it all by themselves.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite place in the city is the beach. I would take a weekend-long tour around all of the beaches, drinking coffee and listening to the waves.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow, who doesn’t deserve a shoutout. If it takes a village to raise a child, it definitely takes a village to raise a midwife. First and foremost, the families I serve have always been and continue to be my greatest teachers. Midwives are experts in normal pregnancy and birth but each individual is an expert in their own body and their own baby. I continue to be amazed at the unique ways babies make their way earthside. I also have to give a huge shoutout to my mentors, Michelle Freund, Andrea Meyer, Kaydee Welchons, Nicole Morales, and every other midwife I have had the privilege to work with or learn from. These powerful women are keepers of such important knowledge and I feel very honored that it was shared with me. Last and definitely not least is my husband, Patrick. People don’t think much about how hard it is to be partnered to someone who lives their life on-call. We miss family vacations, concerts, birthday parties and weekends away. Sometimes I have to leave mid-fight, mid-conversation, or mid-anniversary dinner to support a family in labor. When I am called at 3am because a client’s water broke, he wakes up too. This is all to say that he is a rockstar and mid-husbands deserve a lot of appreciation.
OC Birth Photography Lauren Elise Photography