Midwifery Care

I provide full maternity care that is natural, holistic, and family-centered. I have a passion to educate mothers about health, nutrition, and exercise—some of the biggest ways to reduce complications throughout the childbearing cycle, and beyond. I believe that pregnancy and birth are safe, natural events, and that women are perfectly and elegantly designed by God to nurture and bring forth new life.

Prenatal care
You will have the benefit of relaxed prenatal visits in the comfort of your own home. Each visit will usually last between 30 minutes to an hour to allow plenty of time for us to build a relationship, to discuss any questions you have, and evaluate your overall health, and the baby’s health and growth. It is also important to work through any fears or other emotions you have in regards to pregnancy, labor, birth, and parenting. Prenatal visits will occur monthly until 28 weeks, biweekly until 36 weeks, then weekly until the baby is born. In addition to prenatal visits, I am also available for you as needed, between visits by phone or email.

Phone calls and office hours
As your midwife, I will be on-call for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 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 have a concern, or need me for anything.

Labor support and care
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 once labor is established, or 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 monitor you and the baby throughout labor and birth, making sure that both mother and baby are physically doing well during labor. I monitor the baby by listening intermittently with a fetoscope or hand-held Doppler. 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. Some mothers, however, find that they do better with a more hands-off approach, with the midwife close-by, but not heavily involved in labor support. You are also welcome to labor in a tub or birth pool—many mothers find that water greatly assists in their ability to relax, especially in advanced labor when contractions are most intense.

There will always be at least two people at the labor and birth to assist you. Once the baby is born, there are two people whose safety and health are depending on our care, and I feel that it is very important to have two people there so that (if necessary) one midwife can attend to the medical needs of each person. The assistant who attends your labor and birth will also be certified in Professional CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation. Occasionally, there may even be three members of the birth team. I like to provide student midwives with the opportunity to attend births with me—this is how every midwife receives the training and experience needed to practice—but this will only be with your permission. You will not be required to welcome anyone into your home or birth.

Birth
Because there is not one right position that works for every mom, you again will have freedom to use a position that makes your pushing most effective. At the actual time of birth, I use warm oil and compresses, and help you deliver the head slowly—allowing your tissues to stretch and usually, avoiding tears. I almost never cut episiotomies, and would only do one in an emergency, when the baby was in trouble. I will happily assist the mother or father in catching their own baby, if they desire. After the birth, I give the family time to bond and enjoy their precious little one. I will wait to cut the cord until it stops pulsing on its own, or there is a reason to cut it. I allow the placenta to be born when it is ready—there’s no rush, especially if mom is stable and not bleeding.

Immediate postpartum
While continuing to monitor mother and baby to ensure everyone remains safe and healthy, I like to stay in the background as much as possible to allow you to enjoy time with your new baby. I will help the mother with breast feeding, ensure she gets something to eat, prepare a soothing and healing herbal bath for mother and baby, and perform a newborn exam (a head-to-toe check to make sure baby appears healthy). I will clean my equipment, tidy the birth room, and get a load of laundry started.
After going over postpartum and newborn care instructions, I will stay with you after the birth until both mother and baby are stable and doing well. Before I leave, you need to be able to get up and empty your bladder, have eaten something, and the baby needs to have nursed. I also want both parents to feel comfortable with me leaving. I will still be on-call for you if you have any questions or concerns.

Postpartum visits
At two days, I will come see you and your new baby at your home, and I will do the first newborn screen, which tests for 28 metabolic disorders. We will go over the birth certificate information, and have you sign it, after which I will submit it for you. The baby’s social security card can be requested as part of the birth certificate. At two weeks, I will see you and the baby again, and do the second newborn screen. At 6-8 weeks postpartum, you will have your final postpartum exam. We will discuss the baby’s weight gain, breast feeding, answer family planning questions, and do a PAP smear for mom (if desired). As with prenatal visits, there will be plenty of time during postpartum visits to discuss any questions or concerns that arise.

Complications and emergencies
In addition to being trained in allowing normal birth to proceed with minimal interventions, midwives are also trained to handle complications and emergencies. In the rare case that intervention is needed, we come with the tools and knowledge to handle the most common problems that may arise. As mentioned earlier, we are trained in helping a baby who needs resuscitation at birth, and carry oxygen to assist in that. We also have the ability to help a mom who is bleeding too heavily after birth.

For complications or emergencies that are not possible to handle at home, we will go to a nearby hospital. Most situations requiring transport are not true emergencies. If we determine transport is needed, I will go with you, taking your records, and explaining the situation to the medical staff. Although I won’t be able to make decisions regarding your care anymore (that is the on-call doctor’s role), I will step into the role of a doula: providing labor support and emotional support as needed, answering any questions you have about typical hospital procedures and interventions, and staying with you until after the baby is born. After you are discharged from the hospital, you can resume postpartum care with me.

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