Labor and Birth
Your midwife is on-call and available 24 hours a day by cell phone. During early labor a midwife will be in contact with you by phone. Once active labor is established or when you feel the need for more support a midwife will come to you. A second midwife is called when labor is advanced. Clinical aspects of care during labor and birth include:
- Monitoring labor progress
- Maternal vital signs
- Fetal heart rate and position
- Delivering the baby and placenta
- Conducting a physical assessment of the newborn
- Assessing the mother's condition
Midwives provide skilled clinical, physical and emotional support during labor and birth. The most important emotional support is that provided by your partner, family and/or friends. You are welcome to have whomever you wish present at your birth. It is very important during prenatal appointments that your midwives meet the person (or persons) whom you plan to have with you during your labor and birth.
In the first few hours following the birth we arrange to keep you and your baby together in a quiet and respectful environment with the people of your choice supporting you. We will help you to breastfeed within the first hour after birth. We will continue to provide clinical monitoring, support, information and guidance throughout the first six weeks.
What if there is an emergency?
True emergencies are very rare. However, I carry emergency equipment and am trained to handle complications. I am trained in Neonatal Resuscitation and CPR. I carry oxygen and other resuscitation equipment. I have drugs to stop postpartum bleeding as well. These are the same drugs that would be used in the hospital. In the event of a transport to the hospital, I will accompany you as your advocate and labor support.
If you wish to have a water birth you can rent a tub locally or buy an appropriate size kiddie pool. While the kiddie pool takes some more time to sanitize before filling (the rental tubs come with a liner) and don’t have heaters they can be much less expensive. Birth tubs with heaters are ideal for first time mommies who will probably be spending more time laboring. Most women find that their labor is eased and relaxation greatly facilitated through use of the tub. Labor also tends to progress more rapidly, sometimes at a truly amazing rate.
For more information about waterbirths, refer to Midwifery Today or The Waterbirth Website.