It is a job that has been around since the beginning of time and one Black Hills local is using her skills to help mothers bring their babies into the world while in the comfort of their own home.
Cassie Applegate started Appletree Midwifery, a business providing home birth midwifery services to the Black Hills in 2016.
Certified Nurse Midwives are registered nurses who do obtain Bachelor's degrees in Nursing and go on to get a Master's in Midwifery and certification. Applegate believes the midwife experience overall provides an option of more in-depth, hands-on, and preventative care for future mothers.
Cassie Applegate, certified nurse midwife, says "The difference I would say is just the choice of your setting. Most women feel comfortable giving birth around their family, you know having their cultural norms being respected and having space for that. It's much more lower intervention with really good outcomes."
Applegate says although 98% of midwives perform births in the hospital, her primary goal is to eventually see midwives working several places in the Black Hills in the hospital, in birthing centers, and from the home as she does.
After almost closing its doors some months ago, one church in Rapid City is taking a number of steps to revitalize their ministry.
Holly Sortland has been pastoring South Maple United Methodist Church for about eight months. Since then, the church has launched an after school program for middle school students on Tuesday afternoons.
After noticing an influx in foot traffic where it's located, they have launched a free clothing store, partnered with Volunteers of America for a diaper drive, and plan to bless people in need with their free little pantry. They are also changing their name with an open heart.
Holly Sortland, pastor at South Maple United Methodist Church, says "We are here to love people, we're here to share the word of Christ, we're here to minister to them but I also envision us almost becoming a sort of community center. Our goal is to really become a source of love and healing within this community and to reach people where they're at."
To find out how you can donate to the food pantry or clothing store at what will soon to be the Open Heart Methodist Church later this month, you can drop by during their office hours found at openheartumc.org