Midwife Services

Pregnancy, Homebirth and Postpartum Services in Fort Bragg and Mendocino County, CA

Prenatal Care

Prenatal - Couple Expecting Baby

The foundation for a safe and joyful pregnancy and birth and preparation for the time thereafter is accomplished through prenatal care with hour-long visits, most often taking place within the comfort of your home, with partner and sibling involvement welcomed. Prenatal visits take place monthly until the last trimester then increase in frequency as we get closer to your due date.

Education and Informed Choices

A client notebook, divided into sections for each prenatal visit, provides the framework of topics for discussions that develop the client-midwife relationship and prepare parents for the road ahead. Much attention is placed on pregnancy and birth but the time after birth is just as vital. Your right and responsibility as parents is to make informed choices about what is best based on individual history, personal values, up-to-date resources and innate knowing. I help you sort through conflicting opinions and research, give you the benefit of my experience as a midwife and reveal my biases. I will make recommendations based on your particulars and support you in the decisions you make. This honest communication builds the foundation of mutual trust and confidence essential during birth.

Holistic Health Assessment

Sound clinical skills and judgment are used to differentiate between variations and deviation from normal and recognize areas that need addressing to optimize health and outcomes. As a licensed midwife, I am able to collect samples for lab tests and order ultrasounds, but these measurements must be used in conjunction with a thorough history and constitutional analysis that includes mind-body-spirit.

Optimal Nutrition

We discuss food choices that meet your needs, personal preferences and budget. Being well nourished is essential for mothers to meet the extra demands of pregnancy and nursing and is a lifelong gift for your child.

Loving Counsel

Holistic midwifery care addresses your well-being on all levels including support systems, emotions and self care. Even when there are no solutions to a stressful situation, empathic presence and counsel can be helpful in finding peace within difficulty.

back to top

Home Birth

Mother and Father with Newborn - Home Birth, Water Birth

When birth takes place within the privacy and intimacy of your own home, it can unfold according to its unique nature and mothers can more readily access their inherent wisdom. As midwife, fully present and attentive, I must know when to sit on my hands and when to use them, when guidance is needed and when it would interfere, and to monitor unobtrusively for safety and progress. A second qualified midwife is always in attendance for the birth.

Water Birth

As water's inherent nature is to surrender and flow, laboring immersed in water is a powerful relaxation aid to labor progress. Remaining in the water for delivery is usually an option. For babies, emerging in water provides a peaceful unfolding and transition. Multiple tub styles are available for rental.

VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)

As options for vaginal birth after cesarean dwindle, a home birth clearly becomes a wise choice. Proven to be no higher risk than a first baby when prerequisites and guidelines are followed, VBAC does require special attention prenatally for review and processing the previous experience and awareness that the birth can include challenges that present at the old mileposts.

Immediate Postpartum Care

There's no place like home, as you receive your baby and witness the first breath until we leave you tucked into bed a few hours later, this time supports bonding and awareness of newborn consciousness. A complete newborn exam is done, weighing, measuring and ruling out need for medical attention.

Hospital Transfer

If we decide to transfer I will accompany and continue to be a vital part of your now expanded team providing support and advocacy for evidence-based medical treatment.

Emergencies

Since we are not using powerful drugs to induce, strengthen labor or provide pain relief, situations requiring emergency transfer are truly rare. I have the skills and equipment to resolve at home common complications that can arise, such as hemorrhage and newborn resuscitation, and I am able to provide life-saving emergency measures while transporting if needed.

back to top

Postpartum Care

Family with Newborn Baby

Postpartum home visits are the standard of care in countries having the best perinatal outcomes. In the U.S. home visits are routinely included for women who have chosen a home birth, but women who birth in hospitals lack the benefit of this professional care that not only ensures safety but also enhances well-being during this vital time. I especially enjoy working with families of multiples, pre-term infants, breastfeeding challenges and other high-need situations.

Breastfeeding is Best

Since the tradition of breastfeeding was nearly destroyed decades ago, today's new mothers often benefit from prenatal education and gentle guidance and support in the postpartum. As a lactation specialist, I have the advanced training to work with challenges in breastfeeding.

Baby Wisdom

Babies are aware and communicating with us from the beginning. The emotional security that comes from responsive parenting is the foundation for all learning, love is meant to be life's first lesson. I'll help you learn about your baby's temperament, cues, cries, sleep and wake patterns, and how to soothe your amazing newborn.

Postpartum Depression Prevention

Mother and baby are dependent on the sphere of support and protection provided by her intimate partner and/or community. When this is inadequate it leads to the isolation and fatigue which contribute to PPD. Before birth we will evaluate your needs, risk factors and resources and create a postpartum plan for your family.

Schedule of Visits

Home birth packages typically include 6 visits which start the first day after birth with 4 visits in the first 2 weeks, one at week 3 or 4 and concludes at 6 weeks. Services for families who have not birthed with me are arranged according to their needs and can include night nursing.

back to top