I offer a free consult appointment for you and your partner in my home office so that we can discuss your interest in home birth and any questions you have for me. We will review your history and your desires, and whether you have any risk factors for pregnancy in general or particularly related to birthing at home. This is an opportunity for us to determine if we might be a good fit to work together.
Routine prenatal care is important for detecting and reducing problems, but excellent prenatal care goes further. It emphasizes nutrition, exercise, emotional, social, psychological and spiritual health. Longer appointments allow for trust and personal connection between midwife and mother-to-be.
Prenatal visits are 45-60 minutes and will occur approximately every month until 28 weeks, then every 2 weeks until 37 weeks, then weekly until birth. One prenatal visit around 36 weeks will be in your home to focus on readiness for birth.
All routine prenatal labs and ultrasounds are available, but not always required. I encourage you to carefully consider each routine test and procedure during pregnancy, choosing those that seem best for you and your baby. Excellent prenatal care is individualized to the unique needs of each mother and baby.
Birth is very private. It is certainly physical but also deeply emotional and spiritual. It is like love making that brings a baby into the world.
Labor is challenging for most women in one way or another. Physical challenges of pain and endurance, mental and emotional challenges of control and surrender, and spiritual challenges of purpose and acceptance are a few of those that women may face in labor. Many women are afraid to face these challenges so they choose medicine and experts to manage labor and birth for them. But women who are self aware and self responsible and tend to live naturally, often want to continue along this same path as they labor and birth. They don’t want to turn their birth over to others and possibly accept interventions that at worst are dangerous and at best interfere with the life process that is carefully unfolding. For this reason these women often choose to labor and birth at home, in their own nest, with loved ones surrounding and supporting them, in a space where they can feel that they still have some control even while they must surrender as never before.
As a home birth midwife, I am there to support a woman in whatever way she needs, whether she wants me to talk her through every contraction or wants me to be there just in case a problem arises, or any variety in between. My presence reminds her what she already knows if she allows her deepest self to be heard. And that is that she can do this. Yes, it is a big deal, and it may not be easy. But she is strong and amazing, just as women through the ages have been and will continue to be.
Giving birth to one’s own baby, rather than being delivered of it, is an empowering experience that lays the foundation for healthy mothering and joyful living.
I utilize evidence based medicine and midwifery in combination with a deeply intuitive, present style of care to assist families who choose to birth in the comfort, privacy and safety of their own homes.
One of the best things about home birth is that you never need to leave your home. Your midwife comes to you. Many women, whether it is their first baby or their fourth, have trouble figuring out when labor is actually underway. Instead of making trips back and forth to a birth center or hospital, we can keep in contact by phone and I will come and check you when needed. When labor is established, I will stay with you through birth and for several hours after birth, until you and baby are stable and feel secure.
At home you are the queen of your castle. Feeling more in control of your environment reduces stress, making you feel more comfortable. This promotes the flow of natural hormones that reduce pain and stimulate pleasure and excitement, enabling you to surrender more easily to the power of birth.
Midwife means “with woman”. Continuity of care increases safety during pregnancy, and particularly in labor and birth. The home birth midwife knows her client intimately and is closely attuned to her well-being and that of her baby. Overwhelmingly, if problems do occur in labor they begin small and develop slowly, allowing an astute person who is watching and participating closely with the laboring woman to act to resolve the issue or transport in a non-emergent manner.
When your baby is born, you and/or your partner are welcome to “catch” if you’d like. The umbilical cord is left intact until the placenta is out and often until baby has had a good feeding.
Postpartum Follow-up Care
Your postpartum follow-up care includes 2-3 home visits in the first week. Then you and baby will return for office visits around 2-3 weeks and again around 5-6 weeks. I encourage 2 weeks of lying in, then gradually increasing your activity and responsibility beyond care of baby over subsequent weeks.
The best place for your baby after birth is skin to skin with you. Skin to skin contact with mom regulates baby’s temperature, keeps baby calm and secure, and makes baby want to eat. Initial assessments of baby after birth are done with baby in your arms. Skin to skin contact with mom or dad is encouraged for most of the first week of life.
Newborn care includes care for your baby at birth and for the first 6 weeks of life, including medications and labs that you choose. After these first 6 weeks you will choose a provider for continuation of your baby’s care. This could be a pediatric or family nurse practitioner, a family practice physician or a pediatrician. I will give you information of care providers in this area.