Why midwifery care?
Childbirth is a miracle and for the majority of us, it’s a normal, straightforward life process. For this normal miracle, it’s midwives who offer the most experienced care. Midwives are trained professionals with expertise in supporting individuals to have healthy and confident pregnancy, birth and postpartum experiences.
I offer personalized care, education, counseling and support throughout the childbearing cycle. I work with each family to identify their unique physical, social, psychological and emotional needs. I recognize if things are not progressing normally and offer essential response and guidance.
From Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA):
The Midwives Model of Care™ is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events. The Midwives Model of Care includes:
- monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
- providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
- minimizing technological interventions and
- identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention
Women choose homebirth because:
- Pregnancy and birth are a normal body process; not an illness or medical event that automatically requires hospitalization and medical interference.
- You get to choose what is right for you and your baby.
- You have the comfort and familiarity of your own private home environment.
- You are surrounded by those you love - you can choose who you would like to have at your birth.
- No strangers come in and out of the room and there are no shift changes.
- There is continuity of care with a trusted midwife who you get to know during prenatal visits and who attends your labor and birth and provides postpartum and newborn care.
- You are not "on the clock" with time limits.
- You are free to birth instinctively by listening and responding to your body's natural signals.
- You are encouraged to move, eat, drink, labor and birth as you want.
- There are no routine, unnecessary interventions, monitoring, checks and IVs.
- You are never separated from your baby. The newborn exam is done in your bed.
- The majority of complications of childbirth are due to medical interventions. By lowering interventions in birth, there are fewer opportunities for complications to be created.
- There is a much lower chance of having a surgical cesarean birth.
- There is a much lower chance of infection.
- With uncomplicated pregnancies, birth is as safe at home as it is in a hospital.
Am I a good homebirth candidate?
You don't have to be super human or exceptionally brave, you just have to want this!
Consider the following questions:
- Are you committed to being healthy?
- Are you interested in learning more about your body and birth?
- Do you want to be a part of the decision making process for your care and your baby’s care, with knowledgeable, supportive guidance?
- Do you trust yourself or do you want to develop a deeper trust in yourself.
- Do you want your mind-body-heart-spiritual connection to be honored in your birthing process?
- Do you want to birth your baby in your way?
- Do you want uninterrupted time with your newborn?
- Are you ready to know wild and unbreakable aspects of yourself?
Hospital based medical care may recommended if you are working with certain conditions. We can discuss your personal situation at your consultation visit.
What happens during prenatal appointments?
Appointments are scheduled to allow plenty of time to answer questions and discuss all aspects of your pregnancy. We spend time talking about questions, concerns, the decisions you face and the benefits, risks and alternatives of the options you have. At every appointment I check your blood pressure, measure your uterus and test your urine. I listen to and feel your baby, checking baby's position, growth and heart rate. We take time to talk and get to know each other, so that I can best understand your strengths and challenges in order to support you well.
What if I need an OB in pregnancy?
I check on you and your baby's wellbeing at every prenatal visit. Midwives are trained to recognize signs of complications. If something comes up that is a cause for concern I recommend testing to rule out issues necessitating medical care. If complications develop during your pregnancy that are outside of my scope I refer you to an appropriate medical provider. Examples of this include developing pre eclampsia, pre term labor and gestational diabetes that can't be regulated with dietary changes.
How will I manage the pain?
Having a birth is an intense and challenging life event. While it can definitely be painful, most people’s relationship to pain can be greatly affected by the environment, their relationship with their care provider and by how safe they feel. Evidence shows that unnecessary interventions, foreign environments, being surrounded by strangers, restricted in movement and being hungry & thirsty all contribute to increased pain. By choosing midwifery care and homebirth you are avoiding many of the situations that cause the intensity of childbirth to be overwhelming & unmanageable. I encourage the use of non-pharmaceutical methods to support labor:
- Doula care
- Continuous physical and emotional support
- Showers and birthing tubs
- Freedom to be in any position
- Birthing stool, yoga ball and other tools/props
- Herbs and homeopathic remedies
- Acupressure & acupuncture
- Food and drink
- Mindfulness practice - cultivating compassion, acceptance, curiosity, investigation
- Breathing techniques
- Privacy in your own home environment
What supplies do I need to have a homebirth?
I give you a list of items to purchase and assemble. These include a birth kit, that you order online, and things that are readily found in your home like a bowl, towels and plastic bags.
What do you bring to a birth?
I carry instruments and supplies for the birth which include the standard equipment for monitoring a woman and her baby's wellbeing, medications to stop hemorrhages, IV equipment, suture material and local anesthetic. I am trained in resuscitation and life support and carry oxygen and resuscitation equipment. I also bring herbs and homeopathic remedies.
What if I have to go to the hospital in labor?
In almost all cases there are warning signs which occur before a problem develops allowing for non-urgent transfer to a hospital in your own car. In these situations a transfer is relatively seamless; I call the hospital to let them know we are coming and provide a copy of your chart to the staff. I stay with you, until after your baby is born, and help you to understand what your options are, supporting you within the hospital setting. Upon discharge your postpartum care will continue as planned.
What happens after the baby is born?
You get to be with your baby! I discretely monitor you and your baby to make sure the transitions are going smoothly and that both of you are thriving. During this time breast feeding begins, I do a newborn exam, give you stitches if necessary, clean up, get laundry started and catch up on paperwork. After you have peed, showered, eaten and been tucked back into bed with your nursing baby I go home. I leave all the necessary instructions and paperwork you'll need to register your baby's birth.
How will I get a birth certificate for my baby?
After birth I will provide you with all the required paperwork and instructions to register your baby. You make an appointment with the Office of Vital Records and Statistics. All you need to bring is your baby, a witness (your partner), the paperwork and a valid photo ID.
What's the difference between an LM, CPM and a CNM?
Licensed midwifes (LM) are trained in homebirth and/or birth center settings andlicensed by the California Medical Board. They complete a three-year postsecondary midwifery educational program accredited by an organization recognized by the United States Department of Education and complete a comprehensive Licensing Board Examination.
Certified Professional Midwifes (CPM) are trained in homebirth and/or birth center settings and have met the requirements for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). CPM is an international credential that requires skill, experience and knowledge in out-of-hospital birth and practices within the Midwives’ Model of Care.
Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) are trained in hospitals. They are registered nurses who have graduated from a nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and have passed a national certification examination.
Can I meet in person to ask questions?