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Midwifery Care

Please note--I am not attending homebirths as a primary midwife at this time. My expertise and support will be available in the form of birth coaching, lactation services, and assisting the other midwives when available. This page is for educational purposes. If you are looking for a licensed midwife to attend your homebirth in Arkansas, you can find a list of the midwives here.
 
Why choose home birth with a midwife?

 

The word midwife means "with woman." For centuries, midwives have attended births, providing comfort and care for laboring women, and providing safe passage for tiny new humans entering this world. 

 

Women still choose to birth at home with midwives, and the number of home births is growing. One of the most common reasons my clients give for choosing home birth with a midwife is that they don't want unnecessary interventions. Other reasons include wanting to be in comfortable surroundings, wanting to eat/drink and move freely, wanting to be familiar with who will be present at their birth, and wanting to feel connected with their caregiver.

 

Is homebirth safe? 

 

The Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) studied the statistics of 16,924 women who planned home births between 2004 and 2009, and the safety outcomes of planned home births were published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health. The findings of this study were that low-risk women who have planned home births attended by licensed midwives have less interventions, a low cesarean rate, and no increase in adverse outcomes. Read more about home birth safety outcomes

The Canadian Medical Association Journal also published a study on outcomes of planned home birth with registered midwife versus planned hospital birth with midwife or physician. This study found "Planned home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death and reduced rates of obstetric interventions and other adverse perinatal outcomes compared with planned hospital birth attended by a midwife or physician."

Watch "Why Not Home: The Surprising Birth Choices of Doctors and Nurses"

Search Evidence Based Birth's podcasts and webinars on homebirth.

 

In Arkansas, homebirth midwives have been licensed since 1984. Licensed midwives follow health department protocols, are audited by the health department, renew their licenses every three years, and complete on-going continuing education. The midwives' statistics also show that homebirth is a safe option for healthy low-risk mothers. 

What can you expect from midwifery care?

 

Families who choose to give birth at home with a licensed midwife in Arkansas will follow the same schedule for prenatal appointments as with an obstetrician--once a month for the first 7 months, once every 2 weeks beginning at 28 weeks, and once a week beginning at 36 weeks. Prenatal appointments typically last around 45 minutes to an hour. Your midwife will spend that time with you doing all the things that would be done in the obstetrician's office--monitoring blood pressure, urine, fetal heart tones, weight, and performing other tests such as glucose tolerance, hemoglobin, group beta strep, and answering all your questions. 

 

But midwives also spend a lot of time visiting and getting to know you and your family! They'll talk about what you are eating, exercise, sleep, emotions, your family...anything of importance to you and your growing baby. Homebirth midwives want you to be very familiar and comfortable with them by the time they attend your birth. They include your whole family in your visit.

Midwives complete continuing education and stay up-to-date on the current research to give you the most accurate information possible about pregnancy, birth, postpartum care, and breastfeeding.

 

If you need your midwife between visits, she will be available to you. You won't have to get past a secretary and nurse. You can reach her directly. 

 

Giving birth in the comfort of your own home, you are free to labor and birth as you wish. You choose your environment, your  positions, your food and drink, and the people present. 
Your midwife will offer comfort and guidance if needed...or monitor you and your baby's well-being as needed and then fade quietly into the background while you do your own thing. Your midwife will do her best to honor your preferences.

 

Midwives typically bring a second licensed midwife, student, and/or birth assistant to your delivery. After delivery, they stay with you for a couple hours or until they are sure that you and baby are both doing well. Before they leave, they give you thorough instructions on caring for your baby and yourself. and they clean everything up. Your midwife will come back to your house the next day to check on you and your baby, weigh your baby, and do the appropriate newborn tests. She'll file the birth certificate/social security card for your baby. Then she'll see you again in about a week to check baby's weight and see you again at 6 weeks. But if you need her more than that, she'll be available. 

Beyond that, midwives love it when you keep in touch and share pictures of your sweet little blossom as s/he grows! 

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