FAQs: Midwifery Services
It is a well known fact that women birth better when they are relaxed and comfortable. This is true for all mammals. The birth happens quicker and with much less stress on mother and baby, leading to a healthier birth for all.
When birthing at home, women are in their own environment, their safety zone, surrounded by loving family. They are able to lie in their personal bed and bedroom, pace their kitchen and use their own bathroom.
Imagine: moving around during labor to many positions and to whichever room is comforting; to have everything you might need and not worry that it didn't get packed; being able to eat and drink, even encouraged, to keep up your strength; to choose which position you give birth to your child, be it bed, floor, couch or bathroom; surrounded by the family that you choose as your support system, including your other children.
You may hear that homebirth is not safe, but the research does not support that claim for low-risk women with a skilled attendant having a planned homebirth.
At home you are free to use water- a tub, pool, or shower- to ease Labor or even to give your baby a gentle transition into the world. You will able to listen to your intuition and be inside drawing on your inner strength and connecting with your baby. Birth can be a dance with your baby, supported by a caregiver that is a partner and truly listens to your wishes and desires.
There is very important bonding between a baby and his or her family that happens right at birth and the first few hours postpartum. One of the best parts of a homebirth is that this is not interrupted. The family is kept together as a unit and when everyone is stable and fed, you are all tucked into your bed to rest after all the hard work. Breastfeeding is encouraged and supported as part of that bonding soon after birth. Did I mention using your own bathroom, able to shower whenever you feel ready.
Many women tend to associate being in the hospital with being sick, an abnormal and stressful event. Many different nurses and staff come in and out to attend you that you have never met before. Their are many foreign germs in the hospital, a place where people only go when they are sick, while you are already used to the normal germs in your own home and they are not threatening to you. This goes for your baby as well.
Hospitals and surgeons are there when we need them and do a great job at what they are trained for. Unfortunately, when all women are treated as high risk and interventions are routinely used without a medical reason this often leads to The Cycle of Interventions.
This can cause what would have been a normal birth to spiral out of control with a simple intervention interfering with the natural birth process leading to another intervention needed and another. Many of these births will now involve drugs and perhaps forceps or vacuum extraction, or even cesarean. Because of the different view that many doctors and hospital staff have of birth, many of whom have never seen a homebirth, they do not always see or understand how this cycle develops.
As a Traditional Midwife, I am trained to monitor throughout pregnancy and labor the woman and baby for signs that she may not be low-risk any longer. In this case, or if a problem arises in labor where the mother or baby is at risk, we will transport to the hospital where they can do what they need to.
Not all labors and births go as planned and none are free of risk, wherever the setting may be. Birth needs to be flexible. But you can plan, explore what type of birth would be best for you and make educated decisions.
I believe that birth was meant to embolden us, to find how deep that inner strength really is, and to prepare us to parent this particular sacred child.
What midwifery services do you offer if something goes wrong during the birth?
Due to having low-risk clients with healthy, low-risk pregnancies, our transfer rate is very low. We are trained to identify risk factors and transfer to the hospital before complications become true emergencies. In my birth bag, I carry different herbal tinctures, homeopathic remedies, if there are any bleeding concerns and resuscitation equipment that allow us to manage some complications at home. I am also trained and certified in Neonatal Resuscitation and CPR.
During your care we discuss the reasons why we might transfer to the hospital and what happens during a transfer. My assistant's and I are always present and watching. As Midwives, we are trained in normal, physiological birth so if any issues arise, we have the tools and knowledge to take whatever next step is necessary.
Is home birth safe?
Yes. When women are left alone to move, eat, rest, and progress as their body sees fit, they have the best chances of a safe and normal birth. Check out our resources page for more information.
Is HBAC safe?
Yes. There are more and more studies being done to prove that vaginal birth after cesarean is not only safe but it’s actually safer than more abdominal surgery. Research has been steady in proving the safety of VBACs. Check out our resources page for more information.
Is water birth at home safe?
Yes, water birth is a safe option. The largest meta-analysis study showed that there is no increased risk of poor outcomes for mothers or babies. And water birth reduces exposure to bacteria or skin infections.
Will the baby breathe water, during a water birth at home?
No. Babies are designed to not breathe until they come in contact with the air. Unless they are left under the water for an extended period of time – which we never let happen – the baby’s transition is smooth and they easily take their first breath.
What if I want an ultrasound, do you offer that as part of your midwifery services?
My fee does not include an ultrasound, but I am able to refer you to a local facilities, as needed.
What if I tear during a home birth? Can a home birth midwife do a repair?
I always carry a suture kit in my birth bag and I am able to repair perineal tears at your home. A wonderful benefit of home birth though is a low chance of a perineal tear because the mother is able to move and assume whatever position she chooses.
What about the placenta? What does a home birth midwife do to clean up the mess?
We will allow your placenta to deliver naturally, without any coaxing. I also keep the umbilical cord intact for as long as you’d like. There are many benefits to keeping the cord intact which we can discuss during your prenatal visits. I encourage you to encapsulate your placenta, find the benefits on that here. You can keep the placenta, or I can take it if you don’t wish to keep it.
And to be honest, the mess is far less than you imagine! My team and I will clean up, while you rest and bond! It will be as if we were never there.
On Being a Midwife- written by Beth Gager (I really love this explanation)
On Being a Midwife
A midwife is a wise woman herbalist. She has a sacred calling for being a birth steward. She loves the earth and babies. Her mission is to give a woman and her children a safe sacred passageway into life. This can not be underestimated as a key grounding and foundational root of a world society. If our birth is interfered with we have trauma at the start.
We need to be birth activists as a tribe of women. We need to say no to intervention. All intervention harms. We can not do this to ourselves or let it be done to us. So we need laws and practitioners that support the natural way of birth and nursing.
Our midwives are our gold as women. We need them to be respected and honored so we can be respected and honored. Our bodies are always perfect with birth and nursing when allowed to be. We are not allowed. I was not allowed.
A midwife makes a pot of vegetarian chicken noodle soup as soon as the birth tunnel is opened in either the woman’s home or her chosen birth studio. A midwife sees a woman and talks things through with her during her pregnancy. A midwife helps with nursing. A midwife makes sure the house is ready for the family. A midwife is never fearful. But she has boundaries with people that insist on interfering. And a mother could do this if she didn’t know better. So a midwife has to teach as well as attend.
Girls can be brought up to know about birth. And we should start making sure this happens as the women of the tribe. So we shall gather and speak to birth and nursing and wellness and thrive for mothers, babies and children. Boys and men can be taught as well. And we need them, too.
A midwife always has a Doula. And the doula also has a sacred calling. She likes to assist birth. She does Birth Journeys groups. She cooks food. She makes the first birthday cake on the day the baby is born. She goes shopping. She helps with music. She helps the mother know what she needs to buy. She is the emotional and physical support person and she looks to the wise woman midwife herbalist to take care of the woman and the baby physically during the birth and before and after.
Midwifery and Doulaism is sacred and ancient among women. Find a way to work in the tribe with others to make sure birth is safe, joyful and blessed. This is Blessing Way College. And we need to take it on as a tribe of mothers and daughters. Wise women, take your places and stand tall. We need your grace, Grace.