What is a midwife?
Midwives have been a part of life since Biblical times. Their training and skills may come in a variety of ways such as self study, apprenticeship, or formal education but we basically see birth in similar ways. We see birth as a right of passage for the mother, we are not delivering, but aiding in the experience to be as she sees it. Our care is more of a holistic approach, where both mind and body are cared for during the childbearing year. In this type of care we believe that women should be able to choose where and how they will give birth. We also trust women can make decisions for themselves and their families based on accurate information that provides them all of their options.
What types of midwifery services does AZ Womb Service provide?
Free initial interview/consultation
High quality affordable care
Midwife availability 24 hours a day, 7days a week
Most insurances welcomed
Lending library/ books, videos of pregnancy, birth, and family related topics
Referrals to photographers for pregnancy and birth
Referrals to birth/postpartum doulas
Prenatal lab work and testing, ultrasound
Informed consent/benefits and drawbacks of homebirth
Continuous labor support
Newborn Screening test (PKU)
Referrals to healthcare providers for pregnant women and babies
What can I expect at my midwifery prenatal visits with AZ Womb Service?
We work in a team of 2-3 people other than your family members. “We” means the midwife and her assistant who may be a midwife and/or a student midwife. You will be able to meet them and get to know them in your prenatal visits.
During the initial visit we will review your medical and pregnancy history, risk assess you for homebirth, perform a brief physical exam and draw blood for a complete prenatal lab work up. This first visit may last an hour and a half. After the initial visit, routine prenatal visits usually last about an hour. The most important part of our visit is getting to know you, your family and baby through asking how you are doing and feeling and addressing your concerns and questions. The visit also in
cludes clinical checks such as urine dips, blood pressure checks, pulse, weight gain, uterine growth and baby’s heart rate. At each visit we may educate you on topics such as nutrition, pregnancy discomforts and prenatal testing. By asking questions about baby’s activity and feeling mom’s tummy we get to know your baby too!
Additional, optional prenatal testing such as ultrasound and other diagnostic tests can be provided at your expense.
Monthly prenatal visits occur until mom is 28 weeks pregnant and then we see you every two weeks until 36 weeks and then weekly until you give birth.
Lending library of books and dvds regarding pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, parenting, exercise and nutrition are available.
What can I expect at my midwifery assisted labor and birth?
After 36 weeks of pregnancy, you may labor and give birth safely at home. It is best to call when you think labor is beginning. We can assess your labor over the phone or in person, until active labor begins. Once you are in active labor, we will stay through out the remainder of your labor. We follow your lead as to how much involvement you would like from us, at a minimum we will listen to baby’s heart beat through labor, as well as assess mom’s vitals like blood pressure and pulse.
During labor we can provide information regarding position changes, massage, aromatherapy and use of water in helping you cope through labor. During labor, we will also encourage you and your partner to eat and drink to keep up your energy. Intuitively you know how to labor but we are there to offer support and guidance. You are in charge and can choose what works best for you and your family. Some of your choices may include family members present, the location of your birth- your bed, bathtub or wherever you prefer. Should you have other children, we will suggest how they can participate in your labor, if you choose.
The safety of mom and baby are our highest priority. If serious medical issues arise, we will assess if you are able to remain at home, or if you should be transported to the hospital for more medical assistance. In the event of a transport we will accompany and stay with you.
A home birth truly allows for an entire family experience. As baby is emerging, mom and partner are encouraged to touch baby and receive the baby (if desired) as birth occurs. Perineal support is given when birth is close, to allow the tissue around the vagina to stretch as needed. After birth, repairing is available if needed. Baby is placed immediately on mom’s tummy where they can meet each other face to face. Breastfeeding is encouraged as soon as baby is ready. Baby’s cord is cut after it has stopped pulsing. If the partner chooses, they can cut the cord.
After birth, we wait for the natural release of the placenta, which can be immediate or a little while after birth. In the immediate postpartum period we watch mom closely through monitoring her blood pressure, pulse and amount of bleeding. We also assess the baby’s temperature, breathing and heart rate.
We carry emergency equipment such as oxygen and resuscitation equipment. Our certification and training in CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation are current, though these measures are rarely needed.
Within a couple of hours after the birth, we will perform a newborn exam which includes weighing and measuring your new little one. We will also change your sheets, if you delivered in bed, start a load of laundry and get you something to eat. While we are busy cleaning up, you can spend time with your baby and family.
What can I expect after my midwife assisted birth?
After birth, we will come back to visit within 24 hours. At this visit we check mom’s vitals, blood pressure, pulse, bleeding, and how her breasts are feeling, as well as her overall well being. Baby is also an important part of this visit as we will check to see how baby is nursing, check the heart rate, breathing, skin color and how they are sleeping. We also check on your adjustment to parenting in the first days after birth through listening and answering questions.
When we return on the third day after birth we offer the newborn screen which is a blood test used to determine rare blood disorders. We will also verify all information for the birth certificate so we can file that with the state for you. You may also choose to have baby seen by a pediatrician with in a couple of days after birth. We can see you more often if you feel the need to have the midwives check on you or baby.