“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
Complimentary Tour and Consult with a Midwife
Deciding where you plan to birth is important. We invite you to come tour our birth center and meet with a midwife to help you navigate your options. This free visit is an opportunity to learn about midwifery care, birth outside the hospital (whether at BirthWise or at home), and the care you will receive in your pregnancy, birth, and beyond; to ask questions you may have about your care or your individual needs. We include a free verification of insurance benefits around the time of your tour, so that you and your family can know what to expect financially, without surprises after the birth. Come find out what makes midwifery care the best option for healthy pregnant women!
When asked what they like most about their visits with the midwives, women answer: My visits are about me. Every time I see my midwife, I get so spend an hour dedicated to me, my pregnancy, and my baby!
Our prenatal care follows the same schedule of pregnancy providers everywhere – we see you monthly until your third trimester, then every 2 weeks until you are 36 weeks, and then weekly until you birth your baby. Prenatal visits are an hour long, which gives you and your midwife time to get to know each other, to talk about your questions and concerns without feeling rushed. You have access to the same blood tests and screenings, with one significant difference – you choose, after you have an opportunity to learn about each lab test or procedure offered. You are a partner in your care. Prenatal visits are for the whole family – we love to have partners involved, and children and other family members are always welcome.
Labor and Birth
Midwives bring personalized care into your labor and birth. Your BirthWise midwife will communicate with you in early labor, and stay with you throughout your active labor and birth. We will monitor your baby and your vital signs, however, this is just a small part of what we offer. As your labor progresses the midwives will offer support and suggestions where needed, and sometimes just provide a calm supportive presence to help you through this experience.
Your BirthWise midwives bring many important skills with them to birth – all birth staff are trained in neonatal resuscitation; our midwives carry medications to manage bleeding if necessary, IV fluids as needed, Vitamin K and eye prophylaxis for your newborn if desired; will repair a tear or wound following the birth and offer or refer for other treatments as needed.
Your baby will go to you immediately after the birth, and remain undisturbed, skin-to-skin, for as long as possible. We will assess your newborn without disrupting those essential first moments of bonding. Most babies will breastfeed within an hour or two of birth and we will assist you in this– with support and patience. We provide a head-to-toe newborn examination and communicate what we are doing as we complete your baby’s first check-up.
Once everyone is settled, we will help you to tuck in to bed for a rest. Your midwife will call you to check-in the day following the birth, and to schedule your home visit. In addition, your midwives at BirthWise are just a phone call away, should a need or concern arise for yourself or your newborn.
Birth at the Birth Center
For many families, the birth center is the perfect option between home and hospital. Our facility provides a “Home away from Home” atmosphere to allow women the space to labor and birth safely and comfortably. When at the birth center, women have the freedom to labor where they please – whether that is in the birth tub, the shower, resting in the bed, walking, or even spending time outside. You can use the birth tub for labor and for birth. With unlimited hot water, this provides a great resource for pain relief. Our birth rooms are quiet and calm, with low lighting and the music of your choosing. You bring a short list of items with you such as snacks, clothing, toiletries, and a car seat; however we provide the essentials: towels, blankets, pillows, comfort supplies and support.
After your birth, your BirthWise birth team will continue to care for you and your newborn for the first several hours to ensure your well-being. Most families stay 4-6 hours after their birth.
Birthing at Home
For some families, home is the place to be for labor and birth. The care offered in a home birth setting is very similar to care offered at the birth center, with one big difference – we come to you! Your birth team arrives at your home while you are in labor, and stay until you and your newborn are safely tucked into bed. Giving birth at home can be an incredible and empowering experience for the whole family. Staying in your home eliminates the need for a drive in labor and the discomfort and disruption that can bring, and allows you to be in the space where you are most comfortable and familiar. If families desire a water birth, we have a portable birthing pool available to set up in your home, or we can assist you in finding a pool if ours is not available.
We offer one prenatal home visit around 36 weeks for families planning a home birth, which gives us an opportunity to find your home and familiarize ourselves with your space, and includes a regular prenatal visit. You will receive a list of needed supplies in the weeks before that visit and have an opportunity to gather up needed items beforehand.
Your post birth care begins immediately after the birth, and continues through the following 6 weeks. Every family birthing with BirthWise receives a home visit from a midwife within 48 hours of birth, with further home visits available as needed. We see you in our office three more times, at about one week, two to three weeks, and a final visit at six weeks, which can include a full physical exam and an opportunity for a pap. Much like our prenatal visits, these visits include physical care of both mother and newborn, but much of the visits focus on your family’s transition as you welcome your new baby. We offer extensive breastfeeding assistance, many opportunities for families to talk about their birth experience, space for new mothers to process through the physical and emotional changes that come with having a newborn, nutritional support and education, information about child spacing and family planning… the list goes on!
For newborns, in the first week we offer metabolic screening, a hearing test, weight checks as needed or desired, assessment of jaundice, and screening for congenital heart disease; in the remaining five weeks of care we offer continued assessment of the normal healthy newborn, with encouragement that you establish care with a well-baby care provider in addition to our care following the birth.
After completing your care with the midwives, women and families are always welcome to stop by, contact us, send birth announcements, and keep in touch. The relationship women form with their midwives is unique and lasting. We welcome these calls – we’re happy to hear from you! One of our favorite times of the year is the BirthWise family picnic when we get to see all of the growing babies and their families!