The Experience of Midwifery Care
Midwives believe pregnancy and birth is a natural physiologic process. The Alma Midwives support you and your family through this process physically, emotionally, psychologically, socially and spiritually. We believe that you and your family are the best decision-makers for your body and your baby and that midwives are your guides and educators through the process of starting or adding to your family. Midwives provide high-touch and low-tech care to minimize intervention in a way that maximizes safety and positive outcomes for you and your baby. We provide relationship-based care: we have hour long prenatal and postpartum appointments, and we come to your home, so that we can get to know each other and build mutual trust. We assess for health and safety of mom and baby throughout pregnancy, labor, and birth and if a higher-risk situation arises assist women in a transfer to medical care.
Prenatal care with our midwives is quite different from the obstetric model of care. At Alma, a team of dedicated midwives will provide your care. This is your birth team: the three people who will attend your birth and care for you and your baby in the weeks postpartum.Your prenatal visits last for an hour. In that time, we do the medical portion of the visit and also go over any choices available at that point in your pregnancy. We offer the same genetic screening, blood tests, ultrasounds and newborn procedures as you would be of- fered when seeing a hospital-based care provider, but these are always optional and never required. We believe in Informed Choice, and trust that if we provide our families with the information needed to make decisions, they will choose what is right for them. Once you are thirty-two weeks pregnant, our visits increase to twice a month, and at thirty-six weeks we see you weekly until your baby is born! The remainder of our time together at your visits is spent building on our mutual trust relationship.
Labor & Birth
When your labor begins, the personal care and attention that you will have come to expect at Alma continues. Your midwives are on call for you. Often, early labor will start with a home visit from one of your midwives to assess your labor. At that point, you will make a plan together on whether it’s time to come to the birth center or have your midwives at home, or if another assessment would be more appropriate. Through experience and research, we have learned that women do best surrounded by people they trust in a comfortable environment. Whether you’re birthing at home or in our birth center, your labor room can include candles, food, music, children, loved ones, and whatever you need to feel comfortable and safe.
Postpartum care is one of the things that makes midwifery care so different from care you would receive when seeing a hospital-based provider. We do three home visits in the first week after your baby is born, and then you return to the clinic for appointments at two weeks, four weeks, and six-eight weeks. In that time, we do all well-baby care for your baby as well. The first three months after a birth are often referred to as the fourth trimester, and we believe that the length of our postpartum care is a helpful tool in monitoring for postpartum depression and continuing breastfeeding support, along with any other issues that may come up in your postpartum journey.
Alma Midwifery offers insemination services to help families who are using donor insemination to build their families. Please see Conceptions for more information.
Alma midwives offer annual exams. We offer a full range of contraceptive options including hormonal birth control and Intrauterine Device (IUD) insertion or removal. We provide gentle and respectful gynecological care, and pre-conception care and education.