Samantha M. Brooks
Heeding the Call
Heeding the Call of Chiropractic
And Its Role in Childbirth
Samantha M. Brooks, D.C. Student
One of the most inspiring things about our profession is how many of us feel we were called to it, in spite of the difficulty and expense in time and indebtedness that come with our education and licensure. Life University’s founder, Dr. Sid E. Williams, referred to that calling as Lasting Purpose, the understanding that the point of our existence on earth – and as healthcare practitioners – is finding our reason for being.
This sense of calling seems still stronger for those among us who have been called to care for growing families – for couples committed to childbearing, for pregnant and birthing mothers, and for children.
Today’s Chiropractic Leadership is pleased to honor Life University student, Samantha Brooks, who heard – and heeded – the call to serve the Atlanta Birth Center, which will fill an unmet need for women to experience childbirth vitalistically, in a way that supports all aspects of the fiercely committed, instinctual, loving, life-affirming, largely successful process nature designed childbirth to be.
Ms. Brooks’ is an accomplished student who has opened her heart to TCL readers, as you will find as your read about her exceptional involvement in being a parent, a future childbirth and pediatric focused chiropractor, and a volunteer serving the administrative needs of making the Atlanta Birth Center a reality.
For chiropractors who understand the natural partnership between chiropractic and midwifery and are inspired by Ms. Brooks’ story, please visit the Atlanta Birth Center to find out how you support this vitalistically integrated, functional center the puts childbirth back control of mothers and their families.
TCL: For which professional achievements will you most want to be acknowledged?
Brooks: As a student, this is a hard question to answer. According to my resume, these are my “professional” achievements…so far ;).
- Fall 2012 – Alumni Scholarship, Life University
- Spring 2013 through Fall 2015 – International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Certification Series
- Spring 2013 – Max L. Harris Scholarship, Life University
- Spring 2014 through Winter 2016 – Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation Scholarship, Life University
- Fall 2014 – Third Place in the International Talk the ‘TIC Competition
- Winter 2015 – Network Spinal Analysis Certification, Level 1 and Level 2
TCL: What projects are you working on now (or have worked on recently) that you are most excited about and would like more people to know about?
Brooks: During the President’s Lunch at the LIFE Vision seminar this past July, Dr. Riekeman introduced a project that he has become involved with called Atlanta Birth Center. He showed this video and, as I sat at a table of mostly strangers, I couldn’t help but cry.
Seven years ago, I went through the majority of my pregnancy fighting with my OB-GYN because I wanted a natural childbirth. I was made to feel as though I wasn’t strong or capable enough to give birth without an epidural. There were several visits during my pregnancy that I was “talked in to” having unnecessary ultrasounds, tests, and medications that I had legitimate concerns about. At my 35-week visit with her, she convinced me to get a test that I really didn’t want and wasn’t prepared for. I left her office that day feeling alone, manipulated, and scared. Sitting in her parking lot crying, I decided to take my power back by researching other options.In the state of Georgia, the law states that you have to give birth in a hospital, so I didn’t consider homebirth options and the closest birthing center was in Savannah, Georgia. A recommendation from my doula, Kristin Pittman, led me to having my 36-week check-up appointment with a midwife in another practice that delivered babies at what many considered the worst hospital in our community. There were no fancy hardwood floors in the delivery rooms and the nursing staff and equipment seemed older and out-of-date. It was perfect! After 28 hours of labor and zero medical interventions (not even a hep-lock), I gave birth to Davey.
This idea that birth is a medical condition that requires intervention and treatment disempowers women during the pregnancy and birth process. Atlanta Birth Center is all about empowering women and informing them of their choices in birth. When I heard about this project, I knew I had to be involved. I would have loved a choice like this for my pregnancy and birth! I requested a meeting with Dr. Riekeman about a week later and expressed my interest. In fact, I told him that I felt so passionate to see it happen, that it was the only thing that could keep me in the Atlanta area after I finish classes and clinic requirements at Life University in December 2015.
The day of that meeting happened to also be the day that Atlanta Birth Center’s project manager put in her resignation to take an amazing job opportunity elsewhere. Since she was the sole employee of Atlanta Birth Center and with Certificate of Need deadlines quickly approaching, my arrival on that particular day was fortuitous. I began volunteering my time and learning all of the details of the project to serve in the project manager’s place and ultimately assist Anjli Hinman, who is now the Center’s Executive Director, while we plan events, negotiate lease terms, and work and re-work budgets. Atlanta Birth Center plans to open Spring 2016 and I intend to continue to work with them and support the project for as long as I’m in the Atlanta area.
TCL: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Brooks: Yes, the Center’s Executive Director, Anjili Aurora Hinman, wrote a great article for the newsletter. Here’s the link: http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=690d96fba95f4c3856a0cd8cb&id=6ff6b21b82&e=%5BUNIQID%5D
TCL readers who would like to find out more about the Atlanta Birth Center (and we encourage you, as part of the chiropractic leadership in your communities and association – especially those in North Georgia – to generously support it) may visit this link: http://atlantabirthcenter.org