Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, and my favorite resources. From books to online tools, review some of the most helpful resources my clients have utilized before, during and after their pregnancies.
What is a midwife?
A midwife is a licensed healthcare professional that is trained in providing prenatal care, postpartum care, well-newborn care and medical care during birth. Midwives focus on providing excellent, personalized care to pregnant people and their families in order to encourage low risk pregnancies and safe, natural births. Midwives focus on empowering women to educate themselves and their families about their bodies, their babies, and their births. As your midwife, I'll spend hours and hours getting to know you and your family. You won't need to wait in a OB office for an hour just to see your provider for 10 minutes. As a midwife, I provide all your care in the comfort of your own home. You get all the labs and referrals for necessary ultrasounds without unnecessary interventions or labs that aren't evidence based.
What does midwifery care look like?
Midwifery care looks different than traditional obstetric care in many ways (while all classic labs/ultrasounds/etc remain the same):
1) Time: Midwives spend lots of time with their clients to continue to encourage healthy pregnancies and maintaining their clients in the low risk category. First prenatal visits are 1.5 hours and all subsequent prenatal visits are around 50 minutes long.
2) Connection: When working with your homebirth midwife, you build a relationship. You know who will attend your birth (unless an emergency or planned absence occurs - which is rare and always discussed beforehand). The intimate connection a woman develops with her midwife allows for her to focus on her pregnancy, health, emotions, and overall wellness. Trust is built through time.
3) Information: A midwife's care is grounded in informed consent. A midwife does her best to keep her clients well informed about each step of the process. That way they may make the best choices for themselves, their baby and their family.
4) Wisdom: Midwives are trained in natural birth. We believe women's bodies are wise, and empowering women in their self knowledge and in their choices, we encourage positive outcomes. A midwife spends time "with women" in order to promote and respect natural births, while acting quickly and decisively if things go differently.
Is homebirth safe?
The research is clear: when a low-risk pregnancy results in natural labor, risks are incredibly low while the outcomes are comparable to hospital births for newborn safety and have much better outcomes for birthing people (great reduction in Cesarean sections and other interventions). This assumes that there is a good relationship with nearby hospitals if an emergency should arise. Luckily, in Austin we have many amazing hospitals nearby that have worked with midwives before.
Is homebirth messy?
With the proper precautions and supplies, homebirth can be a pretty clean process overall. Also, as midwives, we clean as we go. We don't do any household chores during the birth but we'll make sure we return things close to how we found them (with maybe a clean kitchen sink and laundry started). Even if you have a small apartment or living space, you can have a homebirth quite successfully!
What are the benefits to waterbirth?
Waterbirth has many benefits including: reduction of pain during labor, possible reduction of physiological blood pressure in labor, increased energy during pushing, and many more. There are very few risks when the tub is properly sanitized and when the baby's head is lifted carefully above the water and kept there after birth. You can rent a birth tub from many places or from Sunflower Midwifery.
On Pregnancy and Birth
Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn by Penny Simkin
The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Romm
The Holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Chilbirth by Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Jack Newman, M.D.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiesingler
Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin
La Leche League The Breastfeeding Answer Book by Nancy Morbacher
Work. Pump. Repeat. by Jessica Shortall
The Baby Book by Dr. Sears
The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson
The No Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns by Elizabeth Pantley
Chiropractors and Acupuncturists
Breastfeeding Support and Lactation Consultants