Hello! I’ve been asked recently what you can expect from a home birth midwife and I think that’s something that I can talk about… at least as it pertains to expectations of me and the midwives that I directly work with here in Cincinnati.
It all starts with prenatal care! You can expect a normal scheduling of visits, each prenatal will last about an hour and they will be monthly until your 28 weeks, bi-weekly until you’re 36 weeks and then weekly until you have your baby. Prepare to go deeper in these prenatals then you would with your local obstetrician. This is an opportunity to delve into not only about what is physically and clinically happening with your body but also what is emotionally and psychologically happening in your pregnancies process. Personally this is one of my very favorite parts of midwifery care!
When your midwife arrives she will begin by washing her hands, quietly saying hello and then having a good long listen to your baby using the handheld fetal doppler. She will then do frequent listens throughout your labor, at least once an hour, remind you to eat, drink, empty your bladder and try to encourage your individual process as much as possible.
Once it’s time for you to begin pushing she will remain watchful and calmly and quietly await the arrival of your baby. Once she can see your babies head, she will encourage you to reach down and feel your baby, so you can be even more connected to the process.
As long as everything is progressing really smoothly, the midwife can coach anyone to which the mother agrees to catch her baby. The baby will immediately be brought to the mothers chest and should remain there if at all possible throughout the immediate postpartum period. We leave the cord intact for a minimum of 30 minutes.
The midwife will be closely monitoring from the background. She will deliver the placenta and then again assist the mom to eat, drink and empty her bladder. She will tuck mom into bed and allow her to enjoy these first impressions of her new baby.
After the birth team has cleaned up the birth space, it will be time for the newborn exam, clamping and cutting the cord, examining the placenta with the family and processing the labor and birth.
Finally the midwife will go over postpartum instructions, when to call and set up a time in the next 48 hours that she will return with instructions to contact her if anything were to arise before then.
Homebirth is really a peaceful and intimate, life changing experience.