Women need and deserve extra care during the postpartum period, while their bodies and minds go through major changes such as physical healing, learning to breastfeed, bonding with their baby, hormonal changes, dealing with new emotions, adjusting to relationships and learning new parenting skills.
At Open Arms Midwifery, we come to you, and postpartum visits happen within the comfort of your home. This means no need to pack up and buckle your precious new one for a trip to a busy clinic. We come to check on you and baby between 24 and 48 hours of baby's life, around day three, two weeks, and six weeks after birth. Our visits include routine assessments, such as checking baby's weight gain, and vital signs, as well as critical congenital heart defects (CCHD) screening, hearing screening, and Newborn Metabolic Screening. The midwife will also provide the necessary paperwork to generate your baby's birth certificate (and social security number) as well as walk you through the completion and submission of this paperwork. In addition to your baby's assessments, we are still caring for you and your unique physical and psychological needs postpartum, as well. Your midwife is on-call for you during this entire six week period and will provide more than the above stated home visits as necessary.
After the birth and once the family has had time to quietly and privately bond with the baby, your midwife will give the newborn a thorough head-to-toe examination including weight and measurements. Prior to your labor and delivery, we will discuss any newborn testing and procedures and will help you decide what is best for your family. We strongly believe in assisting and allowing parents to make informed choices.
We can assist with breastfeeding immediately after the birth and throughout the postpartum period. Your midwife is an experienced lactation counselor, and if needed, we can connect you with gentle, experienced resources for breastfeeding support and problem solving.
Labor and Delivery
Get Ready to Meet Your New Baby
The day your labor begins will be an exciting one. Prior to this day, you and your midwife will have discussed at length the signs and symptoms of labor and when to call.
Your midwife will be available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Together, you and the midwife will decide when it is best for her to arrive at your home for labor support. At your home she will monitor your vital signs and the progress of labor as well as the baby's heart beat and general well-being. Your midwife will ensure that you receive adequate nourishment and hydration throughout your labor. She will also recommend a variety of positions for you to try as well as provide support, guidance, respect, reassurance and encouragement. She will set up all the necessary supplies for the delivery of your baby. Your midwife will always plan for at least one additional, fully licensed midwife to assist her at all births.
When you begin feeling the urge to push and the baby is ready to come down, you will be encouraged to follow your own body's cues on when and how to push. The mother and/or partner are often encouraged to catch the baby or otherwise assist in the birth process. Being involved in this process can be a very empowering experience.
While your midwife is there to provide support and ensure the safety of your baby, she does not labor for the mother nor deliver the baby – the mother does this critical work!
After the delivery of your baby, he or she will be gently placed on your chest. Your newborn will be discreetly assessed, taking great care to not interfere with the initial bonding between mother, baby and other family members.
From preconception to placenta!
Your midwife can provide complete prenatal care throughout your low-risk pregnancy. When you choose Open Arms Midwifery, you also enjoy the added benefit of prenatal care within the comfort and privacy of your own home. Prenatal visits are available every four weeks from the beginning of pregnancy up to 28 weeks (7 months), every two weeks from 28 to 36 weeks (the 7th and 8th month), and once a week until your baby's birth. A midwife is available 24 hours a day to clients, however non-emergent calls will be answered on weekdays during working hours.
Throughout your pregnancy, labor and delivery and postpartum care, decisions about your care regarding medical procedures and tests will be up to you. We will help ensure you are informed and educated every step of the way.
Your first visit generally lasts one to two hours. During this important visit, your medical history will be discussed and a complete physical examination will be offered if you have not already had an exam. We will also discuss your food, supplement and herbal choices, overall physical and emotional well-being, and collect urine or blood for any prenatal lab tests that you choose. The follow-up visits usually last about one hour. Topics during these visits vary depending on your needs and concerns and how far along you are in your pregnancy.
Monitoring routinely offered at follow-up visits include: blood pressure reading, measuring your baby's growth, position and activity, listening to the baby's heart beat, which is done either by fetoscope (stethoscope for hearing heart tones) or doppler, and weight check (optional).
All laboratory work can be completed by the midwife, including but not limited to:
▶ Complete blood count (CBC) ▶ Blood type and Rh factor ▶ RPR screening (blood test for syphilis) ▶ Rubella antibody titer ▶ Urinalysis ▶ HIV screening ▶ Glucose screening (26-28 weeks) ▶ Group B streptococcus culture (near term)
Throughout your pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum care, decisions about your care regarding medical procedures and tests will be up to you. Your midwife will help ensure you are informed and educated every step of the way.
You are also invited to attend the prenatal home birth group conversations that take place the first Sunday of every month from 1:30pm - 3:00pm at Happy Bambino, 4116 Monona Drive (in the Lake Edge Shopping Center). Other clients from both Open Arms Midwifery, LLC and other independent home birth practices in the Madison area will be in attendance, giving you the opportunity to get connected with others in your community as well as get acquainted with Happy Bambino and all it has to offer.
You will also have the opportunity to connect with these families and those who have planned a home birth in the past with an invitation to our Madison-area home birth email listserve or check out the facebook group: Madison Area Home Birthers