The safety of you and your baby are of the utmost importance to us. Through proactive education and intervention as needed in the prenatal period, we aim to keep you and your baby as healthy and as low risk as possible. But, as in any setting, unforeseen complications can arise. When we arrive at your home for the birth of your baby, we discreetly bring in and set-up equipment that will help us monitor the health of you and your baby both during the labor and after the birth. We bring a doppler to intermittently monitor your baby’s heart rate while still giving you the freedom of movement. We carry IV fluids, oxygen, neonatal resuscitation equipment, and oxytocic medication to be used in the case of excessive bleeding after the birth.
It’s important to note that we are trained and experienced in keeping labor progress within normal limits by making frequent observations, clinical assessments and suggestions when indicated. However, the primary tool we use to influence a positive outcome is allowing most labors to unfold without unnecessary interventions and needless meddling. Our care is an intricate balance between keen watchfulness and deep respect for the intelligent design of birth. Part of our assessment is knowing you and being familiar with your body and physical norms during our prenatal time together, allowing us to serve you and your baby individually and prevent routine interventions.
At every birth we are watchful and equipped to handle the most common complications, including non reassuring heart tones in the baby, cord prolapse, shoulder dystocia, excessive bleeding, maternal exhaustion, neonatal resuscitation and repair of the vaginal and labial tissues after birth. These topics make some parents uncomfortable but our goal is to be transparent with our skill level and practice protocols and to discuss this in detail during the prenatal period.
Intuition and a felt-sense of safety is important for every family to choose and embrace the best setting for their child’s birth. Science and statistical evidence also have their place and we are quick to share and value a mixed-influence in this decision making process for all things.
Home is the safest setting for birth when the following guidelines are followed:
Birth is planned to be at home and the family is adequately prepared
The family is attended by a skilled midwife with background and training in homebirth care
The baby and mother have had routine prenatal care and the pregnancy remains low-risk
Overall statistics and benefits in North America, meeting the above criteria, include:
89% of births completed at home
93% vaginal birth rate
87% vaginal birth after cesarean rate
97% breastfeeding success rate
For more information and a detailed look at the studies used for this research, visit here.
As mentioned, our primary aim is for a healthy birth with a healthy baby and mom. There may be things that come up during the labor and birth in which a transport to the hospital is the healthiest and safest option. We discuss issues that would require a transport to the hospital, such as fetal distress and excessive blood loss, prenatally. The most common reason for transport is very slow progress in a first time mom, and is not an emergent transfer. As your midwives, we will offer everything from herbs to homeopathics to position changes to encourage progress at home. If a transfer is needed for any reason, your midwives will arrange the transfer and will accompany you to the hospital and continue to provide support.
For most families, when considering the best birth setting for them, safety is a significant factor and we understand and agree. We always discuss safety at the initial consultation and keep the dialogue going throughout care, encouraging our clients to ask questions and share concerns. Sometimes there are fears surrounding birth for families, that is caused by miseducation or misunderstanding. We take every measure to uncover and work through these issues together, while remaining candid about relative risk.