Loudoun Homebirth & Healthcare supports you and your partner in your decisions to allow birth to unfold on it’s own time, in it’s own manner. A healthy, low risk woman, experiencing a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy should go on to have a normal, physiological birth. Interventions are wonderful tools when they are needed, and having a provider that applies any intervention judiciously, contributes to the best outcomes for the mother and the baby.
Prenatal Care: Plan on meeting monthly until 28 weeks. We will then meet every 2 -3 weeks until 36 weeks gestation, continuing weekly after that, until delivery. Our prenatal visits are more than measuring your belly and listening to fetal heart tones. In fact, the majority of our prenatal visits are spent talking - answering your questions, addressing your concerns, establishing our relationship that will only enhance your birth experience.
Partners and siblings are encouraged to attend prenatal visits as well. At your initial visit we will orient you to the practice, thoroughly review your health and family history, draw appropriate labs, refer for dating ultrasound (only if there is a question about your dates), and discuss available prenatal screenings. Return visits will include appropriate discussion, monitoring of your and baby’s healthy progression, planning for your upcoming birth, and offering gestational appropriate testing/screening. Loudoun Homebirth & Healthcare does not require any genetic screening, we believe you and your partner should make an informed decision about what is right for your family once you have educated yourselves.
Testing that is required at LH&H includes complete blood counts (CBC) to ensure adequate iron reserves and continual low risk status for homebirth, blood type and antibody screens, immunity status, HIV, gonorrhea/chlamydia screen; all of these are included in your initial labs. At approximately 26-28 weeks gestation, we will do a 1-hour glucose screen. At 36 weeks, we will do a group beta strep swab. Additional testing can be done on an “as needed” basis.
We do offer an order for a 20-week fetal anatomy scan (ultrasound). You are encouraged, but not required to have this procedure done. Ultrasounds are ordered on an indication only basis, for example if breech presentation is suspected or there is a concern with growth. We will refer to an ultrasound facility of your choice.
Birth Care: You are lovely and ripe, a full term pregnancy (at least 37 weeks for a homebirth), all supplies are ready, and the day (or night) of your baby’s birth has arrived! Expect to check in frequently with me until we decide it is time to assemble the birth team at your residence. This varies for every woman, as we consider labor history, prior labor experience, distance from the midwife, etc.
Once in active labor, you can expect these basic assessments and activities, more if indicated. Monitoring of maternal vitals every 4 hours; Intermittent auscultation of fetal heart tones (Doppler) every 30 minutes, more in pushing stage; Preparing for delivery; Encouraging food and liquid intake; Suggesting position changes and comfort measures; Most importantly, providing a comfortable, supportive environment to promote mom “doing her thing”! At Loudoun Homebirth & Healthcare, as long as mom and baby are doing well, we will let labor unfold on it's own time.
Waterbirths are a wonderful way to deliver. LH&H can support this option. If your home bathtub is not conducive to a birth, we have a birthing pool available free of charge. Read more about waterbirth here.
Postpartum Care: Expect the normal immediate postpartum time for the midwife and birth assistant to be about 3 hours. We are continually assessing mom and ensuring baby is transitioning well. We are also reviewing postpartum instructions, getting cleaned up, and likely sharing a meal.
Three (3) postpartum home visits are included. The midwife and birth assistant will each be back, one at 24 hours, one at 48 hours. Expect to take baby to pediatrician in the first 72 hours as well – we will have planned for this visit, as well as state required metabolic screening and hearing screen referral, prior to your birth. The birth certificate worksheet and social security information will also be finalized at this visit. The midwives will also visit at 2 weeks and 6 weeks postpartum.
Plan on the above maternity services as a guide only. Every pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is unique, and we will adjust to suit your experience.
Do you have questions about Maternity Care?
Gynecological care is an intimate and invasive experience. This type of interaction demands a respectful and gentle care provider. Pelvic exams should never be painful, nor should any woman be made to feel uncomfortable or ashamed to pose questions, request screenings for STIs, or obtain more knowledge about their own bodies. We have known too many women that have experienced all of these issues, and as women and care providers that firmly believe “knowledge is power”, we strive to make every gynecological encounter comfortable, educational, and personalized to your lifestyle needs.
If you are due for a routine exam and Pap test, or have a specific concern, as CNMs, we can examine and treat appropriately.
Do you have questions about Gynecological Care?
Whether you are content with your family size, actively trying to add to your family, or not currently planning a family, Loudoun Homebirth & Healthcare can meet your needs. Schedule a consultation, where we will discuss short and long term methods, hormonal and non-hormonal methods, barrier, even natural methods. We will find the right fit for you, and as Certified Nurse-Midwives, we can prescribe and provide for the full range of methods, including IUD placement.
Do you have questions about Family Planning?
The Registered Nurse Birth Assistants (RNBA) working with Loudoun Homebirth & Healthcare offer far more support than assisting with the birth of you child. Take a look here at the services offered to you and your family, including postpartum, newborn, and breastfeeding support and education