Getting to Know: Rebecca Schleuger-Valadao, ARNP CNM

Hi! I'm Rebecca Schleuger-Valadao (or many know me as Rebecca Caju).

I'm a certified nurse-midwife / advanced registered nurse practitioner.

I work with women, families, and those with female parts across the life-span.

First pap smears, to menstrual cycle regulation, to birth control management, to sexual health education, to sexually transmitted disease screening & treatment, to care for the pregnant person during pregnancy, labor/delivery, postpartum and care of the well newborn.

Tell us more about Midwifery, and how you practice!

I practice midwifery philosophy of care, my focus is your goals, your desires, your health and how it feels to you. As a midwife, I walk with you on the journey of life in women's, sexual and reproductive health. I am passionate about empowering and educating women about the choices they have in women's and reproductive health care. I am passionate about listening and allowing clients to be heard. I may not have all the answers, in fact it's likely I don't but I will help find the answers or the path to increased health for you. My focus at this time is prenatal care and planned out of hospital birth, mixed with a small amount of wellness care.

Why are you passionate about Midwifery? Why do you love doing it?

I think the most favorite part of my job is to hold the intimate space for women and families to travel through during a pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. Watching them cross a threshold into power and intuition they never knew they had, all while I keep them safe and intervene only as necessary. Birth is a "normal" / "natural" process until it is not. Until it is not safe or "normal", I leave the birth process alone to walk or run the journey it needs to, while reminding women and families of the power inside them.

What makes this service vital right now? And who are the people that will benefit most from this service? Midwifery care and specifically out of hospital based care is a vital service for low risk women these days during the pandemic, keeping our vulnerable pregnant and newborn populations safe at home if we can. We live in a time of over use of intervention, increased maternal mortality and birth trauma. Individualized care for all women is so very important. Planned home birth for low risk women with appropriate providers is a safe option for many women and families. Home birth is not the answer for all women, and most importantly women should choose settings and providers they trust and feel safe with. I will not be that person or setting for every woman...and that is okay.

So, what's it like to experience a visit with you? We spend a lot of time together in midwifery care, whether it be an hour long wellness visit or our 45 minute routine prenatals. We cozy up in my office on the couch with tea and talk, talk, talk, if you don't have questions...don't worry I've got things to discuss and talk about. I like to say to clients "you drive the boat in your healthcare, I am thereto help navigate and keep you safe" meaning clients make the decisions that best suit their lives, their values and their individual situation.

I like to demonstrate birth positions, tell birth stories and talk about birth food. Humor is medicine and I like to tell jokes and even more I like to laugh. There is no "TMI" for a midwife, if I haven't heard it yet, I am happy to listen and discuss it. The human body, mind and spirit are amazing and unique to each of us. Let's celebrate yours together.

What are you hoping to do in the future, to expand your services or hone your skills? In the future I would like to combine my midwifery skills with mental health skills and provide therapy services for women and families, specifically related to perinatal mental health. I hope to one day take my midwifery skills international and teach and share the philosophy of care I am so passionate about.

I like to believe that inside and outside of midwifery care, I live by the saying "it costs nothing to treat people with kindness, but may cost you greatly to treat people otherwise"

With love and respect your local midwife,

Rebecca You can contact Rebecca for more information about her services through her website: Woman Rising Midwifery. Rebecca currently holds an office inside of Sacred Health, in Des Moines, Iowa and is accepting home birth and those requiring other gynecological/reproductive care today!

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