Labor and Birth Support
We practice what is called "Biodynamic" childbirth where less is more. We listen deeply, working with the natural and unique rhythms of your body to support both the anatomy and physiology of your body. We do not rush the process, but rather go slow, allowing your baby to be born gently with connection and limiting the need for unnecessary interventions. Now, if your body or baby indicates the support of an intervention we will absolutely use one; but, only if your body or baby indicate that is necessary. You can birth in whatever position you feel is right for you. We work around you and your body, making sure your baby is born safely into your - or your partners - loving arms.
During the immediate postpartum time, we pride ourselves in going slow, allowing you to integrate this momentous event that has just happened. As we all soak in the fabulous oxytocin, we will continue with our medical protocols to continue with your and baby's well being and safety, including checking you for tears, make sure you are not bleeding heavily and do a newborn exam all in the comfort of your own bed.
It takes somewhere between 2-6 hour to complete our work. Once we are all done with basking in the glow we will help you get showered, make sure you have had something to eat, give you postpartum instructions and then leave your family in peace, ready to take a nice long nap.
Before your labor begins, because you have 24/7 access to us, you or your partner might pick up the phone to check in with your midwife for an on the phone assessment to make sure that everything is proceeding normally. Typically, once your labor is rockin' and rollin', meaning you are 5 - 6 cm in dilation, you will come to us (if you are birthing at our center) or we will come to you (if you are birthing at home) and you will reconnect with one of our two midwives who you have spent time getting to know during your prenatal care. By the time you are ready to push one of our seasoned assistants will join the midwife to make sure we have plenty of hands available in case of an emergency.
Respect Birth, Trust the Process
Birth is to be respected. Some women find it easy, while others go deep into physical, mental, emotional or spiritual challenges. No matter journey awaits you, you will be transformed and GraceFull Midwives are experts at holding space as you birth your family.
We trust your process. Your body will speak to you while you are in this altered state of labor, as you prepare to birth your baby. It will tell you what position you need to go into, and if not, our seasoned midwives will make suggestions for efficient labor. We encourage you to eat when your body says to eat and rest when your body says to rest. Deep listening is a skill that can not be taught in a book. It is passed down from generation to generation of midwives. Because of our extensive out of hospital training that our midwives have had, they have learned the art of space holding which varies based on what is going on in labor. Some women need a calming voice while others need a bit of tough love to get them over a hump. Either way, we will work with you to hold the power through communication in support of an efficient and safe birth.
Why We Go Slow
Did you know that the highest level of oxytocin (which is known as the 'love drug') is found right after giving birth. We love oxytocin! Its one of the best parts of birthing without drugs, so why would we rush you out the door?? We are known in town for going slow after one of the most intimate moments in your life. We give you plenty of time to enjoy yourself as a family all snuggled up in bed to bond while making sure that mom is stable and your baby has passed the newborn exam. We are so passionate about not rushing you that not only do we wait for the cord to stop pulsing, but we don't cut the cord until after you have had some good family bonding time. Once we are done with our job you will have time to shower and you will either leave our center to head on home to enjoy your new family or we will leave you all snuggled up in bed in your house.
We know that you can do this, that you can birth your baby. We believe in you and believe in your body. We also know that for some women the physical pain they feel is more than they anticipated, which is why we have a plethora of pain relief choices.
- Massage and aromatherapy are great places to start, which is why hiring a doula might be the right thing for your family.
- Positional changes and moving during labor not only help a baby come down and into your arms more efficiently, but it can also help if you are feeling intense pain while in the most common position that the hospital likes: lying on your back.
- We are all extensively trained in the use of a rebozo to help move baby into a position that will come off of your back, correct a challenging position of baby's head and/or help you have a more efficient labor
- Our Tens unit which can not only be a wonderful distraction that you get to control but also offer physical pain relief in the low back while you labor.
- You know how good it feels to swim in a pool with a big belly? That's where the idea of a water birth came from. You can have a water birth at our center or your home.
- We are trained in the use of sterile water injections to offer pain relief in your lower back.
- We also have Laughing Gas at our center, the same Gas and Air that they use successfully all over England. You will have full control over how much you use and when. Our tanks can safely be wheeled to you anywhere in the center - the bed, the tub, the toilet - anywhere you need to help take the edge off and support you to have the calm and safe birthing center birth that you desire.