Top Questions from Prospective Parents:
Natural labor and birth are simply and beautifully designed with low risk of complications, especially when evidenced-based birth practices are utilized. Midwives are trained to understand the physiological process of birth and are there to protect, support, and promote natural, normal birth, with the clinical training to recognize when intervention is necessary and take the proper actions to ensure the safest possible resolution.
Women who have no major medical or obstetrical problems; desire minimal interventions during the course of pregnancy and birth; are willing to actively participate and make informed decisions; and take responsibility for their health are all suitable candidates for an out of hospital birth. Most women are low risk and remain this way throughout their pregnancy.
Prenatal visits are usually scheduled for 30 minutes face to face time; however, they can vary depending on any questions, comments, concerns, or issues that you may have during each visit. Education and informed consent are important parts in our model of care. Our prenatal assessments include monitoring the well being of the mother and baby through fetal growth, heart tones, position, blood pressure and pulse, standard labs and ultrasound, urinalysis, and diet and weight; Referral to MFM specialist, GP, or other healthcare professionals is provided as needed. Prenatal visits are scheduled monthly until 28 weeks, every 2-3 weeks until 36 weeks, and then weekly until birth. There are 3 postpartum appointments after delivery.
Midwives offer clinical support and care of women with healthy pregnancies. They examine, diagnose, and treat medically, if necessary. The midwife promotes normal birth and creates care plans for any complications or emergencies. Their role and training is primarily healthcare and clinical.
A birth doula’s primary role is to emotionally, physically, and informationally support you, your baby, and your partner during birth. Doulas offer emotional and physical support and can be invaluable to many women. We are always supportive of women who choose to have a doula at their birth. It's like having your own personal labor coach and expert join you for birth to support you, helping you with coping measures, positional techniques, and to advocate for your individual desires for birth.
Yes! Waterbirth has been associated with several benefits including a lower need for pain medicine, a lower rate of episiotomy correlating with a higher incidence of an intact perineum. For more information about the safety of waterbirth, click HERE.
Evidence shows that statistically, out of hospital birth is safe for healthy, low risk women. Occasionally, problems do arise during pregnancy or labor despite our best efforts, and a consultation or transfer of care may be recommended. In the event of a transfer of care during pregnancy, all of the mother’s current medical records will be provided to the practitioner of her choice. If the transfer is occurring during labor and is not an emergency (ie., prolonged labor, desire for pain medications), we will provide all relevant information on the mother’s current condition and birthing situation to whichever hospital she would prefer to transfer to. In the event of an emergency or a complication arises that is beyond our scope of practice, an ambulance would be called and the mother transferred to the nearest appropriate hospital. All families are given an Emergency Transfer Plan worksheet which we keep in your chart. The midwives facilitate smooth transfers by calling ahead so that the hospital is ready to receive the woman with her health records faxed to the provided number.
Most women who have had a previous Cearean Section are capable of having a vaginal birth in subsequent pregnancies. Cesarean delivery leaves a scar on the uterus and thus, creates an area that is weaker than normal. Studies show that in 0.2-1.5% of cases, this can result in uterine rupture, which is quite rare. Maintaining healthy habits (ie., good diet, no smoking) and allowing a year to heal after surgery before becoming pregnant again all help keep this risk low.
We provide families with option for a third trimester ultrasound to measure and assess the thickness of the scar tissue to ensure our VBAC mamas are low risk.