During each hour long visit, your blood pressure, pulse, urine, and weight are checked, your uterus is measured and the size and position of your baby are felt and fetal heart tones checked. This takes about 15 minutes. The majority of the time is spent on education and getting to know one another. There is always time for your questions. During the first or second visit, a basic physical exam, nutritional evaluation, and health history are completed and labs are drawn. All diagnostic tests including glucose screening, GBS screening, genetic testing, lab tests, and ultrasound are available for home birth clients; the difference is that informed consent is given and families may choose what is best for them. We offer a holistic view offering recommendations for herbs and homeopathy where necessary. Partners and kids are encouraged to attend prenatal visits. We love to have kids "learn" midwifery skills to connect to the new member of the family.
Labor and Birth
As early signs of labor begin, we stay in contact over the phone. Generally, once you're in active labor, the midwife heads to your house. Of course we might come sooner if you feel like you need us. The labor team stays with you throughout labor and birth adapting to what you need. This is individualized care at it's best. For some, this may look very hands-on like the role of a Doula and for others we simply slip in the room to monitor the baby and check vital signs and leave you to labor independently or with your partner. We intermittently monitor fetal heart tones and check maternal vital signs throughout labor. Vaginal exams are kept to a minimum and only offered when information is truly needed. We trust your body!
At home, it's important to eat and drink and move around in order to keep labor flowing. Homebirth is as much about creating the optimal space for you to feel safe and labor instinctively as it is to protect bonding with your baby. When babies are born, they are put onto your chest and the cord is not cut until after it's stopped pulsing or up to around an hour and a half. Baby-led breastfeeding is supported. We don't rush around but rather sensitively try and honor this amazing transition.
A thorough medical newborn exam is performed at 1-2 hours after birth, evaluating your baby from head to toe. We examine mom for vaginal tears. Vital signs will continue to be assessed until we leave at 2-4 hours post partum. We make you and your family food and get the house clean-up and laundry started. You and your family are taught what normal is for the post partum time and of course we're available 24/7 for you until we return at 24-36 hours post partum.
We continue to care for mom and well-babies postpartum assessing vital signs, uterine firmness, proper healing of vaginal tears, the breastfeeding relationship, weight gain for the baby and general overall health of the baby. We are there to give emotional support through this huge transition. We offer postpartum care in the home at day 1, 3, and 7 to support your choice for rest and bonding with the newest addition to your family. We continue to be on-call for you 24/7 for any questions or emergencies. Postpartum visits are back at the office at week 2 and 6. The newborn screen is offered at day 1 and at 2 weeks. The midwife refers out for the hearing screening. Pap smears are available at 6 weeks.
Respectful, confidential preconception counseling is offered focusing on holistic ways to prepare for pregnancy including lifestyle, diet, supplementation and herbal supplements. Referrals are given when further steps are necessary.