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New Life Birth Svc - Austin, TX - Reviews page 1 - Judysbook

New Life Birth Svc

2311 West 9th Street
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 477-5452
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I agree with the previous review that it's very important to interview several doctors/midwives before choosing someone to help deliver your children and we're very fortunate in A...


i like to post up letters on various topics on salon. several recent articles have come up about traumatic birth experiences and birth at home versus hospitals. i had a very unp...

Two Excellent Experiences with New Life Birth Services 6/1/2011

I agree with the previous review that it's very important to interview several doctors/midwives before choosing someone to help deliver your children and we're very fortunate in Austin to have a large pool of midwives and doctors to choose from. Childbearing is a wonderful time but also a very vulnerable time for the mother emotionally. This makes it almost as important to find a caregiver whose personality works well with yours as it is to find a caregiver with lots of experience. I chose MariMikel to help deliver our two children (ages 2 1/2 and 8 weeks old) partly because of her strong personality. She was also compassionate and capable when I came to her after a miscarriage a year and a half ago. I'm a little on the quiet side and can be indecisive. Right from the initial interview I felt that MariMikel's strong personality would be a welcome support as I ventured into pregnancy and childbirth for the first time. I was not disappointed. All my prenatal visits were 45 minutes to an hour long, and a good portion of that time was spent discussing any questions or concerns that I had and generally getting to know each other. She provided a wealth of information and resources about nutrition, birth, and postpartum care for mother and baby. It was clear that she keeps herself current on the latest research in all these areas. I found the videos shown in her childbirth classes very helpful. As one reviewer has pointed out, Marimikel spends some time in the videos sharing her own experiences and opinions. I felt these stories were shared friend-to-friend and mother-to-mother and I was grateful and very interested to hear her experiences since she has 6 children of her own. Marimikel and her apprentices were always easily available by phone at all hours of the day or night. At the births themselves Marimikel arrived in a timely manner after I called. I felt that while she did all the appropriate regular checks on the baby?s heart rate and my progress she also gave my husband and I plenty of space to labor on our own. It was great to know we had help but we also had our privacy. If there was some small intervention that might need to be done (i.e. checking dilation, breaking the bag of waters, or a potential episiotomy which I didn?t end up getting) she explained the situation succinctly and whenever possible gave me a choice. She was sure to time the explanation and choice in such a way that I would have a chance between contractions to take it in without feeling too overwhelmed. There was one time at each birth when I started to panic a little because the contractions were so strong and she helped calm me down and focus me, which helped enormously to make everything seem doable again. In the time after the birth MariMikel and her apprentices visited regularly, checked in often by phone, and encouraged us to call if we had the smallest question. Through the prenatal care, births, and postpartum periods it was clear to me that Marimikel sees doctors and hospitals as a wonderful tool that should be used when they are needed. She did not hesitate to send us to the ER when my oldest daughter seemed to be having respiratory trouble (my daughter and I caught a cold 2 days after I delivered her) and later when something seemed abnormal after my miscarriage. On the whole my experiences with New Life Birth Services have been very positive. If and when we add another member to the family I?ll be calling Marimikel again. more

Midwife MariMikel 3/16/2011

Not that you asked but the most important advice I could give you is to take time to interview two or three midwifes and/or doctors. I know it may seem tedious but when you consider how large of an impact this person could have on you and your baby not for nine months but life long ? taking a few hours here and there is worth it. If there is something you definitely want or don?t want be up front, if you are sensitive about religion or anything that comes to mind, ask about how or if they will address it during your visits. more

as another here has said, marimikel is a control freak 9/12/2010

i like to post up letters on various topics on salon. several recent articles have come up about traumatic birth experiences and birth at home versus hospitals. i had a very unpleasant experience with marimikel, and on a whim, i searched for reviews. only one other person has posted something similar to my experience, so i suppose i should describe mine as well. more

Amazing support and depth of knowledge 6/10/2010

I had all of my pre-natal care for my second pregnancy at New Life and had a home birth. The experience was beautiful. The care I got was unsurpassed. Marimikel Penn is a gifted person whose calling as a midwife could not have been more perfect for her. She is safe, knowledgable about so many health issues (including and way beyond pregnancy and birth) and spends an enormous amount of time in the care of her clients. I couldn't speak more highly of her and her apprentices. I would do this all over again with another child and wish I had had her for my first pregnancy! Pros: In depth care, personal support, affordable, safe more

What a miracle observing the birth of my great-grandson... 5/14/2010

What a blessing! I was present while Marimikel delivered my great-grandson. I was amazed at how relaxed, professional, and on-task she and her two assistants were...and how relaxed my granddaughter was throughout the whole labor and delivery. I was so pleased to be able to witness a birth in the most natural way possible...the way God intended it to be. I am very impressed with Marimikel's professional, caring approach and would hope more grandmas would be able experience what I experienced. more

Would do it all over again in a heartbeat! 4/29/2010

MariMikel is a passionate, caring and outspoken midwife who truly cares about her mothers. She has the right balance of believing in non-medical ways of nurturing a pregnancy along with her vast knowledge of medicine through nursing school and experience. At every appointment I never felt rushed and knew that she really wanted to know how I was. She always spent 45min to over an hour with me and was glad to answer any questions I had thoroughly. When my delivery day finally came she arrived at my house with over 200lbs of equipment and 3 midwife assistants. I knew that I was in good hands and I had the most wonderful birth experience. I am definitely going to go back to New Life Birth Center for baby number two! Pros: Very knowledgeable, truly caring, respectful and dedicated Cons: Having to find a pediatrician once the baby is born! more

Best midwife in Austin 9/29/2009

I just gave birth to my second child, but this was my first home birth. I only wish I would have discovered Marimikel earlier. When I found out I was pregnant, my husband and I interviewed a lot of midwifes, but none seemed to fit just right. Then, on a recommendation from a friend, I met with Marimikel. It was amazing. She was everything that I was looking for in a midwife and more. Her RN license also helped to ease my concern. Throughout my whole pregnancy I received wonderful, informed prenatal care... then as my due date came and went Marimikel kept in close contact with me just to make sure everything was alright. Finally, 15 days after my EDD I went into labor. Marimikel hadn't had a lot of sleep, due to having had two other ladies have babies the day earlier... but she was still on the ball and made several trips to my house while labor was still early... as I had a very long hard labor. The times that she wasn't there, Aleah (apprentice) was hanging out on my couch for extra support. Finally after labor picked up a bit for me, Marimikel was there permanently and was there to encourage me throughout the whole birth.. even though I was probably not the most ideal laboring woman. She did get firm with me when I was ready to give up... but it was exactly what I needed, as I really wanted to do this without relying on drrugs or having another c-section. She ensured that. After the birth, everyone was so incredibly supportive and proud that I was able to accomplish my goals of not having a c-section. Marimikel and apprentices are amazing. I couldn't have found anyone better. Also, she's very understanding about money issues. My husband and I are on a very fixed income and she's more than willing to work with you. Heck, we're still paying her... but I don't feel pressured at all. She knows we're doing the best we can... and is more than patient with us. Pros: knowledgeable, experienced, amazing care more

Beautiful birth experience for 41 year old first time mom 9/14/2009

Because I am considered of ""advanced maternal age,"" I initially assumed I was not a good candidate for a home birth, and chose to go the traditional medical route with an OBGYN. After a couple of months with a doctor who routinely became frustrated with our questions, we realized that the experience was far too impersonal and that we needed to explore our options. At our initial consultation with Marimikel, we knew we had found the path we had hoped for. Before we were under her care, we felt uninformed and not very much a part of the process of the birth of our own child! Yet as soon as we began working with Marimikel, we were provided very clear instructions and guidance for the best possible natural prenatal care. At 32 weeks I developed polyhydramnios, which put me at some risk for preterm labor. I followed Marimikel?s advice and cut down my hours at work and started swimming more, and the condition disappeared. I then ended up at 15 days beyond my due date (a normal, full term pregnancy). Because my amniotic fluid was low (also normal at that stage), the OBGYN scheduled me to be induced. We were so depressed that unless I went into labor that day or the next, we would not have the home birth we?d planned and so desired. Marimikel suggested acupuncture; I went, and (whether or not due to that) I went into labor the next morning. I was in labor just 6 hours and pushed for 16 minutes ? amazing for a first time mom! Marimikel coached and encouraged me through the entire labor and birth experience with great love and confidence. She is an excellent midwife in the way she prepares you for birth, but she shines like a star during the birth itself. There is no doubt in my mind that I have her to thank for such a beautiful experience...without her intuitive advice and attention throughout my pregnancy, things could have gone very differently for us. If you?re looking for an intimate, personal birth guided by a seasoned pro, call Marimikel as soon as you find out you're pregnant! Pros: Extremely knowledgable, very loving personal care more

Wonderful birth experience from an incredible midwife 8/8/2009

MaryMikel is one of the most dedicated and competent midwives that exist in Texas. As a member of the Austin medical community, I can honestly say that I felt like I had such comprehensive and thorough medical care, far superior in many ways than what is being offered through the mainstream medical community. I never had to wait for an appointment, always had a reminder call, and had incredibly detailed appointments that were full of education and communication. I always had immediate access to her, and was confident in her ability to detect and manage or refer out any severe medical problems or emergencies. This was my first child, and I had a wonderful home birth that culminated in a beautiful, incredibly healthy child. MaryMikel comes equipped to manage many complications of birth at home, and was very professional and affordable compared to a hospital birth. I feel my entire pre-natal, birth, and post-natal experience has been more than I expected and I am so happy that a place like New Life Birth Center exists in Austin. Pros: Very medically competent, safe, educational, affordable more

Top-notch birthing experience---SOOOO knowledgeable 6/12/2009

Meri Mikel knows such an amazing amount I doubt anyone else can come close. She takes lots of time with you and sincerely cares about your health, and your baby's. She pushes her clients to greater levels of self-care that pay off in smooth, easy births. I love her! If experience and knowledge is what you are looking for, she is the way to go. I had such an easy, sweet home birth thanks to her. Pros: Her stats speak for themselves.I felt so safe and cared for. more

Best Midwife this side of Heaven =) 5/7/2009

I don't know what the bad review is all about but someone has totally misjudged Marimikel Penn, but hey, you can't win them all. Pros: Thorough, informative, loving care Cons: I wish doctor's were this good. more

MariMikel is the epitome of an excellent loving midwife!!! 5/1/2009

I worked with MariMikel and she is such a caring individual and wonderful midwife. I am sad to see that someone feels she is all about money, for in my experience she is completely the opposite. She is always more than willing to work with people that have financial problems and just wants woman to be able to have the care they deserve. Pros: Complete, loving, well balanced care:) Cons: ? more

3 good birth experiences 4/28/2009

I had to write a response after reading the negative review on this site. Marimikel assisted the deliveries of all three of my sons. I've had one baby at home, one at the birth center, and one transported to St. David's because he was premature (She stayed with me for moral support even when she was unable to deliver him). We interviewed several midwives before settling on New Life. She gave us immense amount of advice and information even before we signed up to be a client. She has one foot in holistic type care and the other in traditional medical training (as a nurse). It's true, Marimikel is opinionated and that may be off-putting to some people. We were well informed and involved in managing the births, but I wanted to feel like I could put things in her hands if necessary. (I tend to panic easily so this is important to me) I never felt like things were out of control. It is so crucial that you have a good rapport with a midwife: they are much more involved with your care than a traditional doc. Some midwife practices are more hands-off or alternative in their approach. Others are more like a traditional medical ob/gyn practice. You might have more or less autonomy. The best thing is to interview several providers before making a decision. I can recommend New Life without reservation; the prenatal care is excellent and someone was available whenever I needed advice or had a problem. The classes were informative. And Marimikel and her apprentices put a lot of love and care into what they do. Pros: experienced and balanced approach Cons: don't know more

Warning to all 10/31/2008

My warning may seem extreme but Marymikel Penn is an extreme controlling person. Her birthing classes though they are helpful are very unproffesional to watch. She is not at all interested in what you have to say she just loves to talk. She is absolutely against the medical community and does not prepare you at all in case of an emergency. Luckily we found out I could not do a home birth two weeks before my due date. Instead of helping me research my options she shut me out when she found out I wanted to meet with other doctors in the community other than the one she recommended. Then she tried to charge our insurance for emergency transport and birthing services. We had a scheduled date and my husband drove me to the hospital. She is overbearing, unproffessional, and only has dollar signs on her mind. She hides behind her knowledge not her love of birhting she is just in it for the money. Beware- there are other loving, caring, and more genuine midwives out there. Pros: Midwives are wonderful just not her Cons: she is a control freak more

Marymikel is the best! 3/15/2005

I used New Life Birth for my now 2yr old son. The whole experience was awesome, If you are even considering a midwife you should go to Marymikel Penn! Pros: Affordable, Loving, Intelligent more
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