Homebirth Midwifery Care
In keeping with the Midwives’ Model of Care, (a shared-care model where parents play an active role in their health care decisions), your prenatal care is individualized and evidence-based. Any and all procedures and treatments are performed only with your informed consent. Clients receive a binder full of information regarding prenatal self-care, nutrition information, laboratory testing options, as well as birth, postpartum, parenting and self-nurturing suggestions. Throughout your care I’ll provide you with information and guidance on what to expect during your pregnancy, birth and postpartum; however, I strongly encourage parents to conduct their own research as well.
I work closely with other holistic, midwifery and obstetric practitioners in the community and often collaborate with, or refer to them, in order to help you have the best possible pregnancy and birth experience. I recommend childbirth preparation classes for all parents, and I require all parents to see a collaborating physician at least once over the course of pregnancy. Partners and siblings are an integral part of your life and welcomed at all visits.
Our initial visit, like all our visits, takes place in your home and lasts about two hours. We will have the opportunity to get acquainted, review your medical, health, family and childbearing history and perform a physical exam. Follow-up prenatal visits last at least an hour in order to allow plenty of time for questions and answers. Each prenatal visit includes a thorough evaluation of mom and baby (blood pressure monitoring, measuring the growth of your uterus, listening to your baby’s heartbeat and palpating your baby’s position) as well as an educational component with discussions about healthy lifestyle choices, optimal nutrition, comfort in pregnancy, sibling preparation, breastfeeding and many other topics. Between visits, I am available by phone and email to answer any questions you may have.
Appointments are scheduled at these approximate intervals:
• Once a month until 28 weeks
• Every 2 weeks from 28-36 weeks
• Weekly from 36 weeks until birth
Prenatal and Postpartum Groups
I offer monthly group visits and walks for pregnant and postpartum clients. These group activities are a great way to meet other parents, socialize, get support from your peers, build your community, share your birth story and show off your new baby.
Your Labor and Birth
Every labor and birth is different. When you go into labor we will be in close contact and I will join you when the time seems right to us both. At your labor and birth I will remain respectful and patient. I will offer encouragement, guidance, emotional support, trust in your inner wisdom, and ideas to facilitate your labor. There are no arbitrary rules or timetables about how you go through this process. My role is to support you in birthing your baby, your way.
I will monitor you and your baby’s progress and health during labor and the immediate postpartum period, I will do so as unobtrusively as possible. I can be as available or as out of sight as you wish during your labor (many women prefer to labor privately or with just their partner for a good portion of their labor).
As your labor progresses and your baby’s birth draws near, I will call a second midwife to act in an assistant's role. The second midwife usually stays an hour or so after the birth of your baby.
Before I leave, I will ensure that both you and your baby are stable. Your baby will receive a comprehensive newborn exam, which takes place right at your side. I will make sure that you are comfortable and nourished and that your baby has nursed. Lastly, I clean up, tuck you into your bed and leave you with some postpartum instructions. I return to check on your family and provide your first postpartum visit within 24 to 48 hours of your baby’s birth.
I routinely provide at least five postpartum/well momma/well baby visits in your home during your first six weeks postpartum, and more when there are special circumstances warranting them. During these visits we will monitor your health and your body’s return to its non-pregnant state. I will also monitor your baby's growth, well being and the development of your breastfeeding relationship. We will spend time discussing your family’s adjustment and your emotional state.
Michelle Welborn, CPM, LM