Quality prenatal care is the first step we make with clients to work toward a safe and satisfying birth outcome. Midwives have the advantage over other maternity care providers by having the physical time to spend with each client, ensuring that women have the time and space to ask important questions and get real answers.
Prenatal visits in our practice take place on the typical schedule of once a month until the 28th gestational week, every other week until 36 weeks, and then weekly visits until delivery. During this time, the midwife will make appropriate clinical assessments, obtain lab specimens standard to pregnancy, give referrals as needed, and create an individual care plan based on the clinical and social picture. Women are seen in the office with one at home visit before delivery for those clients choosing homebirth. The midwife is always on-call, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to attend to any pregnancy related questions, emergencies, and extra visits that may be needed.
Labor and Delivery Care
By the time we reach the labor and birthing experience, we have had the opportunity to establish important relationships with our clients. Our team has the luxury and privilege of knowing our clients not only by name but knowing each family’s individual needs and hopes for their birth experience. We consider it our job to maintain safety and mindfulness when our clients are giving birth. We consider ourselves guests, invited to help families have the birth they desire.
At every delivery, we have a Licensed Midwife and a trained Birth Assistant present. Clients benefit from the fact that our team has many years of collaboration in attending births together, which translates to improved outcomes relative to safety at each birth we attend. Whether the delivery takes place at home or in our well-equipped and modern birth center facility, we are prepared with necessary equipment, emergency medications, and non-pharmacologic methods of pain relief for the labor process. The following list is part of our normal and routine care for women in labor, and are evidence-based maternity care practices:
- Freedom of movement during labor and encouragement of positions that assist in the physiologic process of birthing
- Labor support comfort measures that are both physical and emotional
- Continuity of care team throughout labor, birth, and post birth
- Warm water submersion for pain relief benefits, including delivery in water
- Skin to skin bonding immediately, no separation of mother and baby (outside of a medical emergency)
- Delayed cord clamping
- Physiologic delivery of the placenta
- Involvement of partner and support people as a vital part of the family experience
- Minimal disruption of the normal process of labor and delivery, unless the situation deems intervention by the midwife necessary
- Adherence to birth plans presented by the family
The midwife team remains with clients for 4-6 hours following delivery, performing all the necessary examinations of mother and baby. New mothers receive breastfeeding support, assistance with immediate recovery, and have the opportunity to eat, shower, and rest. We make sure that before a mother and baby are discharged to home that our new parents have received education regarding danger signs, what is normal, and are scheduled for their first of five individualized postpartum visits with the midwife.
We consider the postpartum time to be one of the most important times of the childbearing experience. Unlike many other medical practices, we care for our clients closely after they have their baby, with scheduled visits happening 24-36 hours after birth, at 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, and a 6 week follow up visit focusing on well-woman health and family planning options. The visit done at 24-36 hours is an in-home visit. The remaining postpartum care visits are done in the office with the midwife.
In our practice, we care for mother and baby together. This allows us to experience the dynamic between a mom and her new baby, evaluate what is working, and make suggestions in regard to improved self-care measures, lactation, and overall postpartum recovery. As mothers ourselves, we recognize the tenderness of the post-birth time and the needs and realities that are at the same time universal as well being unique as each individual mother/baby pair. We often refer to Lactation Consultants, doulas, physical therapists, therapists specializing in postpartum mood disorders, pediatricians, and other medical care providers to ensure that our clients get the best care.
Postpartum care for mother and baby is a standard part of our services. This includes:
- 5 postnatal visits, including one in-home visit at 24-36 hours after birth
- Well-baby care, including evaluation of jaundice (blood work billed separately), weight loss/gain, feeding problems
- Well-mother care, including nutritional counseling and post-natal self-care
Newborn Metabolic testing, congenital heart defect screening, and newborn hearing testing as required by Utah law
- Lactation support
- Emotional support for post birth transitions, with appropriate referrals given as necessary
- Additional lab testing for mother, which may be billed separately
- Family planning and well-woman care at 6 weeks post birth
We are committed to not only providing specialized care to families choosing to deliver their babies at home, but also to those birthing in local hospitals. We will always support the notion that women will birth best where they feel safest, and for many that will mean delivery in the hospital. A hospital delivery does not necessarily mean that a natural birth cannot be achieved; having a natural birth in a medical center may, however, require a greater necessity for support and advocacy.… Read more»