Prenatal visits take place in my office, with the exception of the 36 week visit, which will take place in your home. Visits last about an hour so that you have plenty of time to discuss any questions or concerns you may be having. During prenatal visits, we check the vital signs of you and your baby, your baby's growth, and the progression of your pregnancy. We will review any upcoming recommended tests and make decisions together about what is right for your personalized care. I can draw any laboratory tests that are needed, and I can order ultrasounds. You do not need to see another provider unless that is your choice or a problem arises. I see my clients monthly in the first and second trimesters. Beginning at week 28, visits are every two weeks and at 36 weeks they are every week until you give birth. I enjoy having older siblings involved in the prenatal care so that they are comfortable with me and feel involved in the process. Prenatal visits are the basis of building a relationship of trust between the client, family, and midwife.
Home birth is a safe, comfortable option for many families experiencing a low-risk pregnancy. Many people find that being in the comfort of their own home during labor and birth helps them throughout the process. During a home birth, I consider myself a supporter of your process, not the authority. My job is to ensure the safety of you and your baby in a kind and respectful manner. I ask clients to purchase a birth kit for the disposable supplies for the birth, and I bring all of my own equipment. I attend births with a qualified assistant for safety reasons.
Having had two water births of my own, I am a big supporter of water birth! Many people find that laboring or birthing in water eases the intensity of contractions and allows a gentler entrance to the world for their baby. Water is nature's epidural! I own my own pool, which I bring to births, and ask my clients to buy a liner for the birth pool to keep it sanitary between uses.
One of the greatest difference between midwifery care and obstetric care is the frequency of postpartum visits. Midwives know that the transition from pregnancy and birth to parenthood is a enormous shift, and many changes can happen in this time period. Postpartum care consists of checking both you and your baby's vital signs, following your signs of healing, and the progression of your growing baby. I will come to your home for the first postpartum visit at 1-2 days after the birth. The following visits will occur at my office: 5-7 days, 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 6 weeks after the birth of your baby.
I am able to perform Pap-smears, breast exams, STI testing, laboratory tests, and general wellness exams. I also provide pre-conception counseling if you are planning to become pregnant.
Photo credts: Yennifer Lucero (top left), Jessica Myers (bottom left), Blanca Gonzalez (bottom middle)