A midwife is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by pager/after-hours/urgency number. We limit our caseload of mothers due each month to assure that we can provide excellant quality of service.
We will meet with you and any other people you wish for educational purposes and routine prenatal once a month until your pregnancy reaches 30 weeks, then every two weeks until you are 36 weeks, then once a week until the baby is born.
During these visits we will discuss your birth wishes.
Services Provided at a Normal Prenatal Visit
Prenatal visits are normally done at the Richardson’s home/Tender Beginnings Office and can be a family affair. At these visits you can expect to have the following prenatal care;
- blood pressure
- measurements of your abdomen
- checks for protein or glucose in your urine
- monitoring weight
- listening to the baby’s heartbeat
- laboratory tests
- other treatments or procedures.
We will discuss your diet, exercise, rest, and total well-being.
We will provide total Postpartum Care.
All laboratory tests for an obstetric patient can either be performed in our office or at a facility nearby. We do not routinely perform many tests. Instead, we discuss tests that are normally done in the prenatal period and then perform tests after your consent. You may at any time request or decline additional laboratory tests including an ultrasound.
Treatments & Procedures
Any treatments or procedures for the care of an obstetric patient can be arranged if needed through a consulting physician at their convenience. We are required by law to perform certain procedures. You may refuse any required procedures.
We will consult with an OB/Gyn if you have any indications of conditions to be out of the normal range. In the event of an extreme emergency, we will proceed to the nearest hospital and obtain the services of the physician on call at that hospital.
Mary Anne has relationships with many Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) and doulas in the area who have supplied additional coverage in the past when Mary Anne was not able to perform necessary duties (due to minor illness, death of a loved one, clinical schedule, planned vacation, or more than one person birthing at a time). These women are willing to cover for Mary Anne.
Our apprentices/assistants, will attend some prenatal exams and also possibly your birth. All our assistants/apprentices will be certified in neonatal resuscitation. Only one assistant will be guaranteed to attend your birth. However, the majority of the time we have a three-person team taking care of your every need during birth.
In addition to the above, the following have been procured to furnish services for your care:
- State regulated laboratory
- Ultrasound facilities
Battling stereotypes of undereducated midwives providing unsafe practices at home has become the number one reason why more women do not choose a Certified Professional Midwife’s services.
Friends and Family
In the USA, most people opt to have their babies in a hospital. The incorrect perception that “hospital births are safer” is one of the reasons for this. The other is that women believe there is no risk to epidural medication (though many studies call this assumption into question) and that they would not be able to handle the pain of natural childbirth. Natural childbirth advocates would say a woman’s body is designed to handle the sensations of childbirth, and she is much stronger than she thinks she is. If a woman chooses a home birth, she must be sure of the choice and be knowledgeable about the issues in order to help set others around her at ease. She can be her own advocate by providing good information to friends and family.
We suggest couples watch and share with their families, “The Business of Being Born.” Couples being informed can help them relax about the decision, but sometimes, the only thing that changes a person’s mind is a good outcome. Social pressure may keep them from fully embracing the choice until that time.
Also, a person planning a home birth may encounter negative feelings about this choice from a doctor or nurse she knows. This is likely because transports are the only home births they ever see. The vast majority of home births that go very well are never encountered by hospital staff. This, along with misunderstanding about a midwife’s level of skill, can easily skew a perspective with regard to home births in a negative direction. In spite of that fact, the research is clear that, in most cases, home birth with a CPM-TN is a safe and reasonable option for women who are considered low risk.