Who is Kate and why is she a midwife?
Kate Shantz, CNM, was born and raised on a farm in Iowa and came to Goshen to attend Goshen College, from where in 1982 she earned an undergraduate degree in biology.
She married Steve Shantz a year after college and gave birth to her first of two daughters, Rebecca, in 1984 in a Canadian hospital.
“It was a typical hospital birth, and I was rather naive about what to expect. In the end, the life-giving experience of my first childbirth was overshadowed by the very un-gentle and ‘expedient’ practices that are the norm for hospital delivery. I found it terribly distressing, and one of the worst moments of my life. I was determined that no woman should ever have to go through what I did, and I began looking for a midwife for my next baby almost as soon as I was home from the hospital.
Kate’s second daughter, Emily, was born at home in Goshen in 1986 attended by a midwife.
“It was one of the most empowering experiences I have ever had! Inspired by this dramatic rehabilitation of the birthing process, I was positive that I wanted to be a midwife,” Kate said.
Kate went on to earn a BSN from Goshen College in 1991. She then worked for 10 years as a labor-and-delivery nurse at Goshen Hospital. She knew that after her girls were older, she would pursue a midwifery career.
From 2000 to 2003, Kate worked to earn a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) from Case Western Reserve University after also attending Frontier Nursing University for midwifery training. She worked for one year at a hospital-based midwifery practice in South Bend and left in August 2005 to begin her private practice.
She has been busy since seeing up to 12 clients per month and is now beginning to enjoy second, third and even fourth repeat clients! In her private practice, Kate offers care at home or at two local birthing centers. She does not, presently, have privileges at any area hospitals, though she remains open to doing so in the future.
Kate says about midwifery her job is to help “be the eyes and ears” watching and listening through pregnancy and birth. Though she is highly trained to handle many medical issues, she says she tends to trust the process needs little intervention.
“Women are made to have babies, and they can do it – usually with no interventions,” Kate said.
Kate’s clients tend to love her gentle – “Peaceful!” – presence and how she is sure to listen well to their needs.
In her spare time, though there is little, Kate likes to knit and read and spend time with her family.