Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are prenatal visits like and where do they take place?
A: Prenatal visits occur on a similar schedule as most OB physician care, although midwives encourage beginning care as soon as possible after conception. Visits occur every four weeks until the 28th week, every two weeks until the 36th week, then every week until the birth. A typical prenatal lasts about an hour and encompasses the following: discussions about nutrition, pregnancy discomforts, questions about pregnancy and birth, prenatal testing options, a comprehensive physical assessment of the mother, abdominal palpation to determine baby's position, and listening to baby's heartbeat. All visits take place in the Hernando office with the exception of a 36 week home visit to your birthplace.
Q: How is a midwife different from my regular OB and can I stop seeing my OB if I hire one?
A: As a primary care provider, we perform many of the same duties you may be familiar with already. We check your baby's growth, listen to the heartbeat prenatally, and comprehensively monitor your pregnancy. In addition to physical care, we spend a good deal of time discussing matters of importance to you. We understand that pregnancy and birth are very emotional and spiritual times for women and their partners. In short, we congratulate ourselves on an excellent "bedside manner". We can do your lab work, check your glucose levels, monitor iron levels in your blood, and order a sonogram if medically necessary or desired by client. You may not need to see an OB during your pregnancy.
Q: How many births do you do per month and what happens if you have two women in labor at the same time?
A: We restrict our calendar schedule to minimize the possibility of births overlapping. Two to three births per month is more the average. If a client contacts a midwife to report signs of labor while the team is attending another birth, someone from the midwifery team will visit this second client to evaluate her labor progress, report by phone, and may stay with her or return to the first client's home. Should the rare instance occur where two women are birthing closely or at the same time, the midwives split into two teams with an assistant and a midwife at each client location.
Q: What supplies do you bring to a birth?
A: Our birthbags include, but are not limited to the following supplies: respiratory and resuscitation equipment for mother and baby, anti-hemorrhagic medicinals, fetal heart tone doppler, sterile instruments, suturing materials and numbing agents, sterile disposable supplies, Vitamin K and antibiotic eye ointment for baby, and general labor support items.
Q: Can I have a waterbirth?
A: The benefits of water to a laboring mother are numerous. You are free to birth in your own garden tub or rent our Aqua Doula Professional Birth Tub. The midwives at Full Circle Midwifery are experienced in attending waterbirths and encourage the use of hydrotherapy as a labor support method. For more information, see the Waterbirth International website.
Q: What happens if there is a complication during my labor, birth, or postpartum?
A: We strive to be as non-interventive as possible, thereby reducing the risk of complications. Complications in birth are rare with a healthy normal pregnancy and when birth progresses without undue interference. We take plenty of time at prenatal visits to make sure that our clients are in optimal health before labor begins. We diligently monitor our clients to ensure no complication arises that would contraindicates a homebirth.
Should a complication arise in labor, there is usually ample time to transport to the hospital. We practice safety first and are frequently assessing the condition of mother and baby using medically approved monitoring methods. Hospital transport choices are discussed prenatally. Once we transport a client to the hospital, we stay by her side until both mother and baby are stable. Although no one enjoys discussing the possibility of a hospital transfer, it is a possibility that we take very seriously. Our ultimate goal is a healthy baby and mother.
Q: How messy is a homebirth?
A: This is a very common question. While there are fluids involved in childbirth, we take great care to ensure that your mattress, linens, and carpets are protected. We make up your bed with protective linens when we arrive at your home and carry absorbant pads for containing fluids should you choose to birth outside of your bed. Within half an hour of your baby's birth, the bed is clean, the disposable pads gone, and any soiled linens in the wash. We even take out the trash!
Q: What happens after the birth?
A: We generally stay for 2-4 hours after the birth of the baby. We ensure mother and baby are stable and healthy, clean up and pack our vehicles, provide breastfeeding support, perform a thorough newborn exam, check mom for tears and repair if necessary, and complete documentation in the chart regarding the details of the labor, birth and newborn exam. Before we leave your birth we first train the partner or another support person to take vitals on mother and baby and identify any potential complications. We return to your home at 24 hours postpartum. We are completely available 24/7 for questions/concerns any time during the postpartum period.