Preparing for your homebirth is more than just hiring a midwife and ordering a birth kit. It starts with a relationship that is built on trust. Midwifery care is a partnership, not a dictatorship, so that at every step along the way you and your partner are making decisions based on what you have educated yourself on, been given informed consent about and what you feel is best for you and your baby.
Here is an outline of the care you can expect as you venture through this journey into parenthood, whether it is your first or fifth time.
Prenatal care is the heart of midwifery care. Our goal is that your pregnancy remains low-risk, and to do that we have to have open and honest communication on both sides. There is no question too small or any situation you can bring to us that we haven't experienced before. We want you to feel 100% comfortable and confident in our care and in the choice you have made to have a homebirth.
What to expect:
Appointments that last 45 minutes to 1 hour
Monthly appointments through 28 weeks
Bi-weekly appointments from 28-36 weeks
Weekly appointments from 36 weeks until delivery
Monitor health and well being of mother
Monitor growth and heart rate of baby
Discuss optimal nutrition for you and your lifestyle
Education on how you can prepare for the birth and beyond
Perform standard lab tests that include but aren't limited to:
- Complete Blood Count (CBC)
- Blood type and Rh factor
- RPR screening (blood test for syphilis)
- Rubella antibody titre
- Genetic screening
- HIV screening
- Glucose screening (26-28 weeks) if indicated
- Group B streptococcus culture (near term)
- Ultrasounds are available by referral throughout the pregnancy
Once you are in active labor, your midwife will arrive at your home with either another Licensed Midwife and/or a trained birth assistant. This will be determined by ongoing communication between you and your midwife that begins with early labor. We will stay on average 2-3 hours after the birth, until both mother and baby are stable and ready to settle into bed for their much deserved rest.
What to expect:
- Monitor vitals and well-being of mother
- Monitor fetal heart rate
- Encourage adequate nourishment and hydration of mother
- Monitor labor progress
- Assess newborn's transition immediately after birth and over the next few hours
- Promote immediate skin-to-skin with mother
- Assist with establishment of breastfeeding
- Perform vaginal/perineal repair when needed
This is a time of transition, whether you are welcoming your first child, or going from a family of five to six. We are here to answer all those little questions that inevitably come up and to ensure the health and wellbeing of you and your new baby during this time. Our care will continue through your 6th week post partum, but hopefully a relationship that lasts a lifetime has been established. There is nothing we love more than having our clients come in for little visits throughout the years.
What to expect:
- Home visit within 24 hours of the birth and again on day 3
- Office visit at 2 weeks and 6 weeks
- Birth certificate and social security paperwork
- Weight check of the baby at each visit and as needed
- Ensure the mother is healing / recovering well
- Extra visits as needed
A note on VBAC. It is important to have an at-length conversation with your potential care-provider about whether or not you are a good candidate for a HBAC, home birth after cesarean. Women are often times told "once a c-section, always a c-section" and that is simply not evidence based. If you are interested in discussing your options, please visit the contact page and we will set up a consultation. Fore more information regarding VBAC please visit www.ican-online.org.