The Mother and Family's Responsibilities

Mothers and families who choose midwifery care and out-of-hospital birth often cite a greater amount of control over their birth options and experience as a reason for their choice. This is true, mothers do have more options, and more say-so with a midwife. This is one thing I love about being a midwife—I am able to provide a very personalized experience for the families I serve. However, along with greater freedom and more choices also comes greater responsibility. For this reason, I ask mothers, if they desire care with me, to commit to the following.

Be committed to accept responsibility for your health care choices, and educate yourself about your options so you can make informed decisions.
By choosing midwifery care, you are choosing to take greater responsibility for your healthcare decisions. This means you are making the commitment to learn about pregnancy and birth sufficiently to be able to make informed decisions. As your midwife, I will present you with your different options during the childbearing cycle, and the benefits and risks of choosing one vs. another, but certain decisions may require more research and reading on your part so you can make a fully-informed choice.

Commit to maintain and improve health
Health is gained or lost primarily through the day-to-day choices we make about what we put into our bodies. Eating healthy foods not only improves your day-to-day well-being, but it is also shown to lower the incidence of pregnancy and birth complications. Additionally, you are giving your child a healthy start.

Eat foods that are health-producing:
Replace highly-processed white sugar with natural sweets and sweeteners, such as fresh or dried fruits, whole cane sugar, honey, agave, stevia, etc).
Replace highly-refined, enriched white flour with whole grain flour (spelt, rye, oat, wheat).
Consume fresh and raw fruits, vegetables and whole grains on a daily basis (ideally organic, non-GMO).
Replace coffee, sodas and other unhealthy drinks with pure, filtered water. (A good rule of thumb is to take your weight, divide it in half, and drink that much in ounces daily.)

Create a health-building lifestyle:
Walk, swim, stretch, or do some sort of exercise for 15-30 minutes, three to five days weekly.

I have some simple stretching exercises I also recommend, which strengthen, tone, and balance the muscles of the pelvic floor, and the muscles that support the pelvis. This can be very helpful during pregnancy, labor, and birth by reducing pain and discomfort and often contributing to an more efficient labor and birth. Having a strong pelvic floor encourages the baby’s head to be in the best position for labor and birth. It also prevents incontinence during and after pregnancy, and prevents organ prolapse.
Being in good condition physically and having built-up endurance will be a great asset when it comes time for the hard (but very rewarding) work of labor and birth.

Be committed to prenatal and postpartum care:
Most real prenatal care is what the mother does for herself and her baby in between visits.  The purpose of prenatal care is to build a trusting relationship between the parents and the midwife, and to increase the mother’s trust in her body’s ability to labor and give birth normally, as well as to monitor the health and well being of the mother and baby.

It is important to be punctual with your appointments, making sure you are at home and available at the time we have your appointment scheduled, and that you keep distractions during appointments to a minimum. If for some reason you need to reschedule your appointment, please notify me at least 24 hours in advance (exceptions will be made for sickness) so I can adjust my schedule accordingly.

Pay your midwifery fee in full and have all the necessary supplies for a homebirth on hand by 36 weeks.

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