Pregnancy and childbirth are normal, healthy physiological processes. Home is the ideal environment for birth to unfold naturally and allows women and their families to gain strength from the process. In the homebirth model of care, the midwife serves as a guide, but the pregnant woman is the decision-maker. It is her right to fully understand, choose, and take responsibility for the kinds of procedures used throughout her care. The guiding principles of informed choice, continuity of care, appropriate technology, integrated education, and counseling are the foundation for a trusting relationship between client and midwife.
Your initial prenatal visit will occur in the comfort of your home. Afterwards, every other visit will take place in your midwife's office. The primary goal is to establish your norms and build a trusting relationship with your midwife. Family involvement is encouraged. Prenatal visits occur monthly until 28 weeks, then every 2 weeks until 36 weeks, then weekly until the birth. The midwife will:
- assess your well being
- measure your abdomen
- listen to your baby's heart beat
- provide education
- answer your questions
Labor & Birth
The midwife & her birth assistant will be on call for your birth starting at 37 weeks. When your labor begins, you and the midwife will make a plan for her arrival. The midwife will monitor and assess you and the baby throughout your labor & birth. She will be sensitive to your needs and desires while maintaining the safety of you and your baby.
The midwife will remain with you and your baby for several hours after the birth. The "golden hour" immediately after the birth will be time to promote bonding and initiate breastfeeding with skin-to-skin. The midwife will continue to monitor and assess you and your baby during this time. She will leave you and the baby safely at home in your own bed when you are both stable. The midwife will return to for follow-up visits at 48 hrs, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks.
Photo credits: Captured by Casey (Tallahassee, FL)