Prenatal care should begin at 8-12 weeks of gestation or sooner if you are experiencing problems. The first pregnancy visit usually lasts an hour and includes a physical exam, medical history, and an introduction to midwifery care. Blood and urine specimens are collected for many important tests and infection screening is offered. Our nurse-midwife will talk about the best practices for a healthy pregnancy as you begin to form an important relationship with your midwife and the staff at Inanna Birth and Women's Care.
One of the greatest benefits of prenatal care at Inanna Birth and Women's Care is the amount of time and personal attention you will receive. Additional appointments will be scheduled monthly until the third trimester and generally last 30 minutes. Additional time and attention translates into improved outcomes.
During your visits from 13-24 weeks, the midwives will listen to fetal heart tones and check your fundal height. Your urine will be tested for the presence of sugar and protein and your blood pressure is monitored. You will talk about nutrition, exercise, dealing with pregnancy discomforts, selecting appropriate childbirth classes, and any questions or concerns you may have.
Visits with the midwives become more frequent as your baby's due date draws near. As before, we monitor your blood pressure, test your urine for the presence of sugar and protein and address any discomforts you may be experiencing. The baby's heart tones are monitored and the baby's position is also noted. A test for gestational diabetes is done in the 7th month and a vaginal culture for Group B Strep is collected in the last month.
You are encouraged to talk to us about your preferences for labor, birth and the immediate postpartum period. Much time is devoted to preparation for your birth and we will work closely with you and your partner during the last weeks of pregnancy.
Once you are in labor, the midwife on call will meet you at the birthing center. She will get you settled in to the birth room and take your vital signs, listen to the baby’s heart beat and check your dilation. Every effort will be made to make you as comfortable as possible. She will offer physical and emotional support and keep you and your partner advised of your progress. She will continue to monitor you and the baby every thirty minutes or more often if indicated.
Many women find soaking in the tub a wonderful way to relax and reduce the pain of labor. Your midwife will probably encourage you to wait a while before getting in the tub because it relaxes you so well that sometimes it can slow your labor down. If you desire a water birth you will just stay in the tub to complete your birth. If either you or the midwife prefers you to birth outside the tub, we will assist you out and into a position of comfort.
Once you start pushing, we will listen to your baby’s heart beat every five minutes. When birth is close, the midwife will call in a birth assistant to help assist her and provide additional support to you. If you or your partner wants to help deliver the baby please let us know! We love helping partners take an active role in the birth.
When the baby is actually born, the midwife will lift the baby up to your chest, dry and stimulate the baby and gently wipe out any mucous in the baby’s mouth. Then we just wait. We give you and your partner plenty of time to soak up the miracle that has just happened. It is our standard practice to wait until the umbilical cord stops pulsating to cut the cord. Once the cord has been cut then we can check the baby’s weight and do the newborn exam. This is done with the baby right there with you while you watch. The baby is never taken away unless the midwife feels the baby needs mechanical suctioning or closer observation. The baby is put to your breast within a few minutes after birth. It is our experience that many babies need a few minutes before they are ready to nurse so we use that time to do the newborn exam which only takes about five minutes.
We offer the same standard of care that any hospital offers. We will discuss the need for vitamin K and erythromycin eye ointment again and administer it according to your desires and/or clinical situation. We do not administer the hepatitis vaccine unless you specifically request it. We recommend you discuss this with your pediatric provider.
Over the next couple of hours, the birth assistant will continue to care for both you and the baby until you are ready to go home. She will give you verbal and written discharge instructions and make sure you feel comfortable going home. The midwife will not discharge you from the birth center until both you and baby are in good condition and ready to go home. The birth assistant stays with you until you are ready to go home.
Once you get home, we recommend that you go to bed for about three days. This gives you and baby time to recover from birth and get caught up on sleep. It is best if visitors are limited at this time because you need to recover, not be burdened by entertaining guests.
You will return to the birth center approximately three days after birth for a follow-up exam, and again at two weeks following birth. The midwives and birth center staff are always available to help with any questions or concerns.
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