Healthy Beginnings

Sherry Asp, Certified Professional Midwife & California Licensed Midwife

Sherry Asp, CA Licensed Midwife, says that her business in Reno, Aspiring Birth Midwifery & Doula Services, offers similar services compared to other local midwives and doulas. However, her assistant is a Reiki Master and massage therapist and her apprentice specializes in hypnobirthing. These additional services are always available to her clients, throughout their pregnancy; which offers alternative solutions to stubborn pregnancy-related pains.

Hypnobirthing is a method where mother-to-be can learn to “go inside [herself] and shut off pain receptors while [she’s] in labor,” Sherry said. Reiki is a form of healing where the healer transfers healing energy to the person who is ill, through the palms of their hands. Both of these practices, or modalities, are great tools and resources for moms in their first to third trimester, or even beyond the pregnancy.

The general care that all clients receive includes prenatal care and attendance at birth, by Sherry and her assistant and apprentice. They also receive a newborn exam, breastfeeding support and six weeks of postpartum care, an Ultrasound, lab work, the baby’s birth certificate and social security card filing.

Most insurances companies cover these services; however Sherry offers a cash discount to those who do not have insurance. For those who receive medical assistance from the government, they unfortunately cannot receive coverage for midwife or doula services. In order for the government medical plan to offer coverage, a provider needs to carry a license. However, the state of NV does not regulate midwifery; therefore, they do not offer a licensure program for midwives. It is a catch 22. “That’s a whole other issue I want Nevadans to work on, to get NV Midwifery licensure,” Sherry explained.

Until then, Sherry is working to provide comprehensive maternity care to families planning to birth in the safety and comfort of their own home. The benefits of using midwifery services are bountiful. Patients who utilize her services are more likely to have an un-medicated birth. In general, home births tend to have similar outcomes for low risk moms (normal pregnancy) as they would in a hospital. However, Sherry believes that at-home births provide better outcomes for mom overall (less risk of C-section, episiotomy, hemorrhaging). Plus, “I didn’t have to leave and drive while in labor. I was able to stay in the comfort of my own home. My midwife served me breakfast,” she said.

She was attracted to the idea of at-home births after feeling traumatized during the birth of her niece, when Sherry was 17 years old. She recalled the tubes, wires and needles that were routine with hospital deliveries. Sherry said that she “ended up choosing to have a homebirth with a midwife seven years later with my first child. The experience was so different that I knew I wanted to offer that option to women in my community.”

Currently, Sherry only practices midwifery with at-home birth clients. She primarily works in the Reno and Sparks area and limits herself to three births a month. If it does become a case where her client begins to birth at home and then unforeseen circumstances prompt them to go to the hospital, Sherry knows staff at both of the local hospitals.

Most importantly, Sherry is an easy-going person who is non-abrasive, warm and friendly. She speaks from her own experiences with midwifery and has a good relationship with local hospital staff, which helps some of her clients feel more comfortable. She truly enjoys what she does and genuinely cares about the women she works with, even with the potentially odd hours, long work days and possible weekend and holiday shifts. This attitude is a must in this non-spontaneous profession; you have to be ready for anything. “I really don’t mind being called at 2 am, when women are in labor,” she said. That says it all.