There is a common idea in America that prenatal care is something that your doctor or midwife provides for you or gives to you. This is a misconception. While we can offer prenatal testing, labs and ultrasounds, prenatal care actually is the loving care that you give your body and your baby every day of your pregnancy.
Our goal as midwives is to support you in that loving care, maximize the joys of pregnancy, and minimize the discomforts and complications.
Prenatal appointments are conducted in the comfort of our Post Falls OR Spokane office. These appointments follow the standard schedule of once a month until 28 weeks and then every other week until 36 weeks. A home visit is done at 36 weeks in preparation for your birth and then weekly prenatal appointments are conducted in the office until baby comes.
During the prenatal appointment we perform the basic examinations like measuring baby’s growth and vital signs that you would experience at an OB prenatal visit. These things take about 10-15 minutes, the rest of the appointment is designated for discussion about your individual needs and concerns. This allows us to really get to know one another and form a trusting relationship. And also these longer visits help to prepare you both emotionally and mentally for birth and baby.
In addition to individual prenatal appointments with the midwives (during which your spouse/partner and other family members are welcome), we offer group prenatal classes every other month. These are for moms only and really allow the women to take a more active role in their care by accessing their own charts, learning new info or skills, and by connecting with other moms having babies around the same time. We invite in a local guest presenter and then have a potluck lunch, and still offer private exams with the midwives. These group prenatal classes are a fun time to gather and build community. We highly encourage them!
We emphasize self education and informed choice in your decisions for all prenatal testing. This includes routine labs, ultrasounds, and newborn care. We tell you what is routine, but you decide as parents what testing and procedures you either decline or consent to have.
Lab draws are performed during your regular prenatal appointments or referred to be done at a local lab. Ultrasounds and lab work are not a service covered in our fees, but can be ordered as you desire or your condition requires.
We highly recommend that all first time moms and first time natural or homebirthing moms to find private childbirth education (CBE) and to hire a professional doula as a part of your birth team. Our local birth community is full of amazing CBEs and doulas and in our experience, moms without homebirth experience who go the extra mile in hiring these services, have a higher rate of “successful” experiences.
As midwives, we are there to support and guard the birthing process. In the very early stages of labor we will often communicate over the phone. As your body changes and active labor is established, we will come to your home.
We practice labor support according to your desires and to what your situation dictates. We use intermittent fetal heart rate monitoring with our hand-held dopplers to monitor baby, vital sign readings for you, limited (or none) cervical exams, and the observation of your emotional state to monitor the safety and progress of labor.
While you labor, your house and furniture are unobtrusively prepped to allow for a relatively clean birth and we will quietly set up our equipment and complete our paperwork. Immediately after birth, you are encouraged to hold your baby as soon as you want to and feel ready. We are happy to assist in away, but we desire to stay background to the family. We safely monitor for baby’s transitions and vitality, and your signs of wellbeing and normalcy. Breastfeeding assistance, newborn exam, clean up of the birth area, and assistance to help you freshen up are all included and will be provided at your pace. Typically this takes 2-4 hours after birth, but will continue as long as is necessary to ensure that everyone is transitioning well. Prior to departure, you will be tucked into your own bed, with your baby, for some much needed rest.
One of the best benefits of midwifery care and home birth is that your postpartum and well baby care will be performed in your own home for the first 2 weeks.
We cherish being able to support your intimate “baby moon” period by doing the normal postpartum assessments and procedures for both mom and baby in your home. After the second week, appointments are conducted in our Post Falls OR Spokane office.
The midwifery model of care is based on minimizing interventions and interference in the normal, natural processes of pregnancy and birth while maintaining safety and well-being. As midwives, we specialize in normal pregnancy and birth, we are trained to facilitate this and to recognize when things are abnormal. If complications arise at any time during your pregnancy, labor, birth or postpartum period that we are unable to resolve, we talk to you about the situation and explain all of your options. Sometimes complications arise that we are unable to manage. When unresolvable complications do arise we can sometimes provide co-care with a specialist, or if necessary we will refer you or transport you to a more appropriate healthcare provider. In the event of transfer of care to another provider, we will follow you through the transition and offer support in the appropriate capacity.
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