When planning a home birth, I will be your primary midwife providing care throughout your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum season. I look forward to getting to know you and building a relationship with you during this special time of your life.
Your care will be personalized to your individual needs and desires, while adhering to the Tennessee Midwives Association (TMA) practicing guidelines*. Together, we will develop a birth plan that you’re comfortable with, and I will be with you every step of the way.
I will come to your home for the initial in-home consultation, at no cost. I can answer questions about my midwifery services and what a home birth looks like for you and your family, addressing possible concerns you may have. This interview lasts about an hour.
All prenatal visits occur in your home. You can expect these visits to last about an hour, with the first visit taking a bit longer. I typically will come see you at about 12 weeks for your first prenatal appointment, followed by monthly visits through the seventh month, two visits in month eight, then weekly visits until the birth. I am available for phone consultations as needed throughout your pregnancy.
Regular prenatal care allows me to monitor the health and well-being of you and your baby, addressing issues that might need extra attention prior to birth. It’s your time to ask questions and talk about what’s on your mind as you journey through your pregnancy and prepare for your birth.
Prenatal visits include:
- Urine analysis
- Monitoring weight and blood pressure
- Evaluate baby’s health: measure growth, listen to heartbeat, assess movement/position
- Discuss nutrition, hydration, and exercise
- Talk through physical and emotional needs
- Order 20-week anatomy ultrasound
- Facilitate labs as appropriate
- Share information as needed or desired
As we approach your due date, you will meet my qualified assistants, usually at the 37th week appointment. At this time, we will do the initial setup and room preparation, so that everything is ready to go prior to labor.
Additionally, between 34-36 weeks, you will schedule an appointment with my consulting physician. He is very supportive of home birth, and my work specifically. He is available for consultation, or referral of care, during your pregnancy or labor, if needed.
After labor begins, at the appropriate time, the assistant and I will arrive at your home. We plan to be with you as active labor progresses, to monitor mother/baby vitals, offer massage, guidance, and encouragement, along with hydration and snacks for energy, as you work towards the birth of your baby. We will be flexible and available, to give as much or little support as you need or desire.
Often ladies find comfort during labor with water therapy, such as relaxing in a bath, birthing pool, or showering. Walking, position changes, or even resting, may also feel good and aid with labor progression. You may just want to be alone, or with your partner. Whatever works best for you.
As the birth draws near, you can move into various birthing positions that feel good for you such as side lying, standing, hands + knees, submerged in water for a water birth, or we can guide you to other options that are favorable for you and the birth of your baby.
The first golden hour after your baby arrives, family bonding is so sweet and important. We are mindful to encourage your time together with special attention given to immediate mother-baby skin-skin contact. I can assist you with breastfeeding if desired, and will tend to your needs as appropriate. During this time, we’ll continue to monitor the wellbeing of both you and your baby, and a bit later will go over postpartum care instructions for you both. We will also help to facilitate the post-birth clean up.
To ensure a special experience and a safe progression for you and your baby through labor, birth and immediate postpartum, we will:
- Monitor both mother and baby vital signs
- Evaluate cervical changes minimally
- Assist with coaching and comfort measures if needed or desired
- Suggest position changes to enhance relaxation and labor progression
- Help with birth
- Nurture immediate skin to skin bonding
- Deliver, examine and bag placenta
- Perform perineal repair if needed
- Encourage hydration and food to replenish energy
- Conduct initial newborn exam and administer meds if appropriate
- Bathe your baby if desired
- Provide breast-feeding assistance if needed or desired
- Monitor both mother and baby for several hours after birth
- Provide postpartum care instructions
- Facilitate clean up and laundry
Because I serve low-risk clients for home birth, complications are rare. If they do arise, emergency medical procedures and plans are followed as needed. The vast majority of our hospital transfers are not urgent, but are due to extremely long or stalled labors. If you do transfer to the hospital in labor, I will accompany you there to brief the medical providers and to serve as your doula throughout the remainder of your labor, birth, and immediate postpartum time. I typically still follow up with in-home postpartum visits.
As part of your home birth care, I also come to your home for three postpartum visits. The first visit typically occurs within 24-48 hours after the birth.
This visit includes:
- Newborn screen tests and weight
- Exams of both mother and baby
- Breast feeding evaluation and assistance if needed
- Birth certificate verification
- Post birth reflection chat
Your second visit is at 1-2 weeks after the birth, and your third occurs at about 6 weeks. Both visits include an examination and evaluation of both mother and baby. I remain available for phone consultations as needed throughout your postpartum season.
*The practice of midwifery is legal in Tennessee, regulated by the State of Tennessee with a certification and licensure process. Midwives are required to be certified by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), and licensed by the state of TN. As a Certified Professional Midwife of TN (CPM-TN), I provide care that adheres to the practicing guidelines of the Tennessee Midwives Association (TMA).