We come to the birth when active labor is evident or when the family is ready for us to be there; Often we are in contact with the mom and family on a daily basis in the days preceding the birth, and by phone during early labour. There are two midwives present at births, usually Christy and Jenni working together. We also bring essential equipment that may be used in emergency situations, such as oxygen, resuscitation equipment, IV equipment, and various other items.
During labour, we can be attentive and provide emotional support, or stay in the background knitting or reading while the mom goes through the labour journey; often it is a dance between the two. We try to take cues from the mother and assist her in whatever way she needs. The partnership relationship established during her prenatal care can help us to provide individualized, respectful care for the mother and her family all through the labour and birth, even if there are reasons that we need to move into a hospital for specialized care for the mother or baby. If that occurs, we provide emotional support and follow the mother and baby until they can return to full midwifery care.
After the baby is born, we stay at the home a minimum of two hours to help the family, monitor both mom and baby, and help breastfeeding get off to a good start. Often we assist the mother and baby into a relaxing herbal bath. Many times the baby gets very blissed out as both mother and baby sink into the relaxing, hot, cleansing water. The bath also provides a nice picture moment!