Monatrice Care

Some mothers desire the support during labor that a midwife would ordinarily give, but feel most comfortable birthing in the hospital (or have a health situation that makes it wisest to deliver in-hospital). In this situation, a doula or monatrice can be very helpful, and greatly increase the mother’s chances of having a vaginal birth, and a positive labor and birth experience. A doula provides support (emotional, informational, physical) during labor, birth, and the immediate postpartum period. A monatrice (mon-ah-TREECE) does the same and more, because she is also a trained healthcare provider (usually a midwife) who can monitor the mother and baby’s vital signs, and dilation, if desired, and assist the mother in determining the best time to go to the hospital. Especially for mothers desiring a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean), a monatrice can provide the assurance that the mother and baby are doing well, while allowing the mother to labor in the comfort of her own home during the early stages, if she so chooses. Once active labor is well-established, and the decision is made to go to the hospital, the monatrice steps into the role of the doula, providing emotional and physical support to the laboring mother, and suggesting laboring positions and comfort measures that can be helpful. The role of a monatrice is quite different from the role of a midwife. A monatrice does not provide medical advice, as that is the role of the pregnant mother’s health care provider or doctor. If any variations of normal arise during labor, or if complications arise, I cannot be responsible for continuing to monitor and care for you at your home unless I feel comfortable continuing to care for, and monitor you at home, and your health care provider is in full support of you continuing to labor at home.

Although I am a licensed midwife, I also enjoy serving mothers as a monatrice. (This is a limited service I offer for only a few clients each year.)

 I offer a free initial consultation (by phone, or in person), with no obligation. This is our opportunity to get to know each other a little, and decide if we would make a complimentary team during labor. It is also your chance to ask me questions you have about me, my services, or labor/birth.=

Fee for Monatrice Care: $700—If you plan to labor at home in the early stages of labor and want me to monitor mother and baby’s vital signs, and (optional) cervical dilation while you are at home.

These fees include the following:

Two visits during your pregnancy (these do not include labwork, urinalysis, blood pressure/pulse check, fetal palpation/listening to the baby’s heartbeat—the usual prenatal care routine that would occur at your doctor’s office)
Once you’ve decided to use me as your monatrice, signed the contract, and paid your deposit, our first visit will be one to two hours in length. This is our opportunity to get to know each other better, for me to learn your fears, desires, and wishes for your labor and birth. We will also discuss writing a birth plan.

At the second visit, we will discuss and have the opportunity to practice several pain management techniques and coping skills, discuss positions for laboring and birthing, and when you should call me. We will also review signs of labor, and its progression.

If I have not met your primary care physician, I also like to try to attend a prenatal appointment with you so I can meet them before the birth.

I will be on-call for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your labor/birth. I do ask that you keep all calls that are not urgent during daytime hours (9:00-6:00), but please do not hesitate to call me if you believe labor is starting, or you have an important question. (Questions regarding your medical condition should be directed to your healthcare provider; you are hiring me as your monatrice, not as your health care provider.) I’m glad to answer any questions you have, and talk through any concerns you may have regarding your birth.

Labor Support
When you think labor is beginning, we will keep in contact by phone, and discuss what you are experiencing and feeling. I will come to your home when you are ready for my assistance. I will encourage you to drink and eat easily digestible, nourishing foods during labor, and choose positions that facilitate good labor progress (often upright positions). You will have freedom to move and change positions during labor (to sit, rock, walk, squat, use the birth ball, or lie down) which helps facilitate good progress. I will happily provide as much or as little labor support as you desire, and your individual situation dictates. I enjoy providing verbal encouragement, reassuring touch, and massage, especially if that is what you need and desire.

Once the decision is made to move to the hospital or birth center, I will go with you and continue to provide support, and help you work with your body. I will stay for about an hour after your baby is born, and will gladly help you with breastfeeding, if you desire.

One visit after your birth
At this visit, we’ll discuss your birth, I’ll try to answer any questions you may have regarding your labor/birth/postpartum, and, of course, admire your new little one!

Disclaimer: If you hire me as your midwife, and we end up transporting to the hospital during labor or birth, there be not be a discount from your originally agreed-upon fee for midwifery service (unless you deliver before 37 weeks of pregnancy- that will be handled on a case-by-case basis). This is an entirely different service, and you must decide before labor and birth for which service you wish to hire me (midwifery care, or monatrice), and sign the corresponding contract.

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