First, I want to congratulate you on your wonderful news. I hope you are excited about being a mother and if this not your first baby, I hope this newest addition brings much joy to your growing family!
Many parents are opting to have homebirths. Homebirths are childbirths that take place in the comfort of the birthing couples home, usually with the assistance of a midwife. These births have been on the rise since the sixties, here in America, since their decline at the turn of the 20th century, when medical doctors and hospitals started to medically manage childbirth. Another trend in childbirth is Unassisted Childbirth or husband-wife birth; these births use no midwife or medical physician.
Many women want to have a homebirth or unassisted birth, but are met with much resistance from their partners or family members. In these cases, women often call upon the aide of a midwife or doula to assist them in their wishes and to create a sense of ease for their worried family.
My name is Michele and I am a Traditional Lay Midwife, Doula and Natural Childbirth Educator. I offer my services to couples seeking a very low tech, natural and non-medically managed birth. I offer these services for women who are, healthy, secure with their bodies and the birth process, and those women with low-risk pregnancies. I offer my services, especially to those who are wanting homebirths or unassisted births and whose partners are not comfortable with having an unassisted birth or homebirth without an experienced professional skilled in normal pregnancy. For those couples wanting non fussy prenatal care with few tests and procedures, then Natural Attachment Birth Assistance is right for you.
Couples who are seeking care from a Certified Nurse Midwife or Medical Physician, should not contract for services with me; I can and will offer referral to such professionals or offer synchronized care with them. Women wanting vanity ultrasound tests, complicated medical and diagnostic laboratory work ups, and medical interventions such as pitocin induction, pain medication or fetal monitoring, should also not contract for services with me, as I do not perform such procedures. For a complete scope of services, please read on....
For those couples wanting to give birth as freely as physically possible, as natural as possible and with an assistant who serves as a “silent observer”, Natural Attachment Birth Assistance is probably for you. Contact us today for more information and to schedule a consultation.
What I Believe about Pregnancy and Childbirth
- I believe that childbirth is a natural event, not a medical procedure; it is physiological, not pathological.
- Birth is a sacred Rite of Passage, not just a medical event, especially when medical care is necessary.
- A woman’s body is capable of giving birth, naturally and safely.
- Holistic birth preparations and approaches provide tools for a sacred birth experience.
- How a woman gives birth is a direct reflection of how she will handle parenthood and life in general.
- Parents should be respected and supported in whatever decisions they have made.
- Fathers deserve to be treated as such and not treated as just coaches.
- Women need the company of loving support persons during the postpartum period.
- I believe that when parents are properly educated and prepared for childbirth, it can be a wonderful experience for them, binding them closer together as a couple and a family.
- I believe in the parents' right to choose the caregiver and place of care in which they wish to have their baby, whether it be a midwife or a physician, and whether it be in their home, in a birth center, or in a hospital.
- I believe that when parents are given accurate information, the vast majority of them are capable of making the best decision regarding the circumstances for the birth of their babies.
- I believe that proper nutrition (including appropriate nutritional supplements) during pregnancy makes an enormous difference in the health of both mom and baby.
- I believe that, for most pregnancies and births, medical intervention is entirely inappropriate, and may result in unnecessary complications for moms and babies.
- I believe that most episiotomies and most Caesarean Sections are unnecessary. There are occasions when these interventions may be necessary, but they should be very rare.
- I believe that there is a time and place for excellent doctors and hospitals. I am not "anti-doctor" or "anti-hospital." I am thankful for wise, sensitive doctors and hospitals.
- I believe that the woman carrying a child has the last and final word concerning her health and that of her child, born or unborn.
Details of Natural Attachment Birth Assistance Midwifery Services
- First of all, your visits take place in the privacy and comfort of your own home.
- You rarely have to wait for your appointment. I limit myself to only two births per month and try and schedule all visits on different days. I also schedule visits at two hour intervals! That's right, you have up to a two full hours for your prenatal visit, if you desire or need it. Most visits are done in about half an hour, but sometimes we just enjoy the good conversation and use up the whole hour anyway.
- The first prenatal visit is the longest. I will take a complete medical history and do a risk assessment for homebirth. I also do a brief physical exam evaluating your general well being. I do not do a vaginal exam at this time. There is really no medical benefit to this. Instead, I wait until after 38 weeks and let you decide when the and if to have your cervix checked for dilation and effacement, unless there is a medical reason to do so sooner. Under normal conditions, I do a couple blood iron counts; this is the only blood test I will do during your pregnancy.
- I don't offer or perform sonograms/ultrasounds. If circumstances require one, I will refer you to a lab/clinic to have one performed. The same goes for other in depth diagnostic testing on blood and urine. At visits your urine may be checked for proteins and sugar. We always discuss anything I find that is not normal so I can help you turn around a small problem before it becomes a big one.
- For the first 30 weeks your appointments are every 4-5 weeks. Then from the 30th through 36th weeks they are every 2 weeks. Beginning with the visit at 36 weeks, you are then seen weekly until you go into labor.
- Next, you will weigh yourself and tell me what you weigh. I watch your weight gain to make sure you are gaining weight at a healthy rate. However, I do not lecture about "gaining too much weight." I am much more interested in how you are eating rather than only in how much you are gaining. Some women will have perfectly healthy pregnancies while they gain a lot of weight. Others can be unhealthy but have seemingly "ideal" weight gain. For this reason, at your first visit, you are asked to fill out a diet sheet of everything you eat for at least one week. I continue to do nutrition counseling throughout your pregnancy.
- I will also take your blood pressure, temperature and pulse. You will be asked questions about how you are feeling. I always try to really listen! I will answer any questions you have and give you more information to read and research as it is needed. I have a library full of books related to pregnancy, childbirth and babies. They are yours to check out as you desire.
- I will measure the growth of your uterus at each time. This helps me to evaluate the growth of your baby. It also helps confirm your estimated birth month (EBM). Occasionally, this may be when I get my first clue to possible twins (should you be carrying them). I tend to give you a birth month instead of day, so that you aren't stressing about being “over due”. I consider 38-42 weeks a normal length pregnancy, but up to 44 weeks is acceptable.
- I listen to the baby's heart and let you hear as well. Heart tones are reassuring to us all and help me to know what your baby's usual heart rate is. This is an important thing to know when you go into labor. Listening to heart tones is most often to best part of the prenatal visit. Your partner, other children or anyone else you desire is welcome to listen.
- I will palpate your uterus. This means I will feel for the baby through your stomach and tell you where his head, back and feet are. You can learn to do this at home as well. I take plenty of time getting to know your baby and knowing his position. If he is not in an ideal position near the end of the pregnancy, you will be taught exercises that will help him or her move into a better position. This is very important to make for an easier labor and delivery.
The Home Visit
- When you reach 35-37 weeks of pregnancy, I will schedule a home tour. This is when I come to your home and do another prenatal visit. The 36th week marks the time at which you can safely deliver at home. From this time forward, should you go into labor, I will assist with your baby's birth at home. I usually bring the birth assistant(s) with me to your home visit so that you have an opportunity to meet them if you have not already met by this time.
- By touring your home, I make sure we know exactly where important things are located. We need access to trash, laundry (if you have such a room in your home), bathroom and to inspect the room where the birth should take place. By this time we will have ordered your birth kit and we will look at its contents together and explain it to you. We will discuss where in your home you want to birth and how to set up for the birth.
- At the home tour I like to meet everyone who will be at your birth (if it is possible). I desire to answer their questions as well as yours. After the 36 week visit, the rest of your prenatals are done weekly until you are in labor.
- When you think your labor is beginning, I want you to call me right away. It doesn't matter if it is late at night or you just aren't sure. This gives me an opportunity to evaluate your situation and be best prepared for your labor and birth. I will come to be with you as soon as I am needed or even if you just want me to come on over anyway. Once active labor is established, I will stay with you.
- I always try to follow your cues on how much you want me and my assistants involved in your labor. If you prefer to labor quietly alone with your husband, I will respect that. If however, you prefer, I will stay right with you. I will encourage you through the contractions, suggest position changes as needed, or even massage your back.
- During labor I encourage you to eat and drink as you desire or need. I allow you to shower or soak in a warm tub of water. You may walk around, go outside or do what feels right to you.
- When it is time for the birth, you choose the position. I may suggest a birthing position if you need my help. As long as you and baby are doing well, I encourage you to listen to your body and push as it tells you. Your perineum can be supported with counter pressure and warm compresses. This usually feels real good and helps you relax your bottom.
- I never do an episiotomy. Instead I gently support and help to stretch the perineum. Tears rarely happen, but if they do, I am prepared to repair one. The healing of a tear is much quicker and easier than an episiotomy and most tears are smaller than a standard episiotomy.
- As your baby is being born, I encourage you to watch, or touch. The father is allowed to 'catch' the baby if he wants. The baby is placed immediately upon your tummy at delivery. I encourage nursing right away. If the baby needs any special attention, most of the time I can tend to his needs right there beside you.
- I carefully watch but never rush the delivery of the placenta. Once the placenta is out, we cut the cord (unless you are having a lotus birth) and my assistants and I will try to give you a moment alone for your new family to bond.
- We begin to prepare your herb bath if you didn't have a waterbirth, while continuing to sneak back in keeping a close eye on both you and the baby.
- Once the herb bath is ready, both you and the new baby may enjoy it. Most mothers express some sigh of contentment when getting into the tub. The baby will also feel the familiar surroundings of water once again and gaze into your eyes to get acquainted with you.
- While you bath, the birth assistants and I clean your room and remake the bed with fresh sheets. When you return to the room, I will do the newborn exam as you watch. This is when you will find out how much the baby weighs, etc. I stay around for at least 2 hours after birth or as long as I am needed. Then I leave until the next day or two staying in close contact by phone.
- Your postpartum care actually begins the moment you give birth. I keep a close eye on everything for the first few hours after birth. But I also return within 48 hours to your home. I will check you and baby out and make sure breastfeeding is starting off on the right foot.
- At about one week postpartum, one of my apprentices or I will do another home visit or phone visit. We always evaluate both you and your baby. Your full milk will have come in and it's a good time to evaluate the baby's nursing progress or answer any questions or concerns you may have about nursing.
- The last postpartum visits are done at 2 weeks and 6-8 weeks postpartum. I am always available by phone or e-mail for questions or concerns, even long after your birth and postpartum visits.
We are an Equal Opportunity Service. Our services are available to all healthy, low-risk women and their babies regardless of religion, race, alternative lifestyles or ethnic origin.
We have client appointments scheduled for afternoons and evening visits as a service to working mothers and their families.
To schedule an appointment, please e-mail Michele. We will return your message as soon as possible.