As midwives, our midwifery model of care believes:
- Pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding are normal life processes.
- Women are most likely to labor best in a place where they feel free and safe, with privacy and attendants whom they know and trust.
- Pregnancy and childbirth involve every part of a woman. Her feelings, hopes, fears, physical and practical needs, and spiritual or religious beliefs all affect her pregnancy and birth. The Midwifery Model of Care addresses all of these aspects to help a women give birth naturally, safely and confidently.
- We respect each woman and family’s right to make informed decisions about medical tests, recommendations and interventions.
- We respect the birth process as it unfolds, uniquely for each mother and baby.
- We encourage each mother to discover her own body’s ability to give birth, in its own way and in its own time.
Our Practice Model
Our practice consists of 4 midwives and 1-2 apprentice midwives. We rotate time off call so that we can maintain healthy personal lives. We find that this helps us be fresh and fully present with our clients. In order to maintain continuity of care throughout pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, 3 midwives and an apprentice midwife will be dedicated as your personal birth team. Your team will be the midwives you see (2-3 at a time) for prenatal appointments, birth, and postpartum. We are happy to be working as a group, and find that the support network this model of care offers us helps us be better midwives. See Your Team on our midwifery care page for more information.
We offer individualized midwifery care. This means listening to the individual needs of our clients. We make individual health care suggestions that take into consideration each client’s history, lab work, vital signs, and emotional needs, among other things. We also educate our clients about routine obstetrical procedures, and then ask them to make their own informed choices. We spend quality time with our clients and continuously monitor for individual well-being. We see each pregnancy and birth as unique, so how could we treat them all the same?!
Biodynamic Care and the Hormones of Birth
Biodynamic birth works with the natural rhythms, hormones, and physiology of birth to help bring about an optimal experience for mother and baby. Biodynamic care holds attentive presence, intervening only when necessary, to encourage the natural unfolding of pregnancy and birth.
One of the major birthing hormones is oxytocin, the hormone of love. During labor, oxytocin gradually increases. Mom’s oxytocin levels peak at birth, when she has the highest levels of her life. This building oxytocin acts physically to increase the strength and frequency of uterine surges, and acts mentally to fall head-over-heels in love with baby. If mom is relaxed, these surges open her cervix and move baby down. If mom is stressed or afraid, catecholamine release inhibits oxytocin, slowing surges and prolonging labor. These stress hormones also cause mom to tense up her muscles, leading to the fear/tension/pain cycle discussed on our HypnoBirthing page. As natural, relaxed birth intensifies, mom’s body releases beta endorphins, creating sensations of pleasure and euphoria.
To encourage these wonderful natural hormones, biodynamic care trusts the natural birth process rather than attempting to control it. As midwives, we build trust with mothers prenatally so they can fully relax into their birthing.