“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
Complimentary Consultation with a Midwife
Deciding where you plan to birth is important. We invite you to come meet with us to help you navigate your options. This free visit is an opportunity to learn about midwifery care, birth outside the hospital and to ask questions you may have about your care or your individual needs. If you have insurance, we can do a verification of insurance benefits, 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!
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 will have access to the same blood tests and screenings that are typically offered during pregnancy. After you have had an opportunity to learn about each lab test or procedure offered, you will be able to make informed choices around what is needed for you individually. 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. As midwives we 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 provide support and suggestions where needed, and sometimes just help create a calm supportive presence to help you through this experience.
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 can 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 Home
The care offered in a home birth setting is very different than care offered in other settings. We come to you! Your birth team arrives at your home while you are in labor, and stays 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 resources for portable birth pools available to set up in your home.
We plan for one prenatal home visit around 36 weeks which gives us an opportunity to find your home and familiarize ourselves with your space, and includes a regular prenatal visit at that time. You will receive a list of needed supplies in the weeks before that visit and will 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 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 will complete and file a birth certificate and social security card, 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 keep in touch. The relationship women form with their midwives is unique and lasting. We welcome these contacts – 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!