You are blessed with nine months to prepare for the birth of your baby. You eat right, exercise, take your vitamins and get regular prenatal check-ups. That’s enough, right?
No. That’s not enough. That’s only the physical aspects.
Pregnancy and childbirth are viewed in our culture as physical states of being. As such, pregnancy and childbirth have slipped into the realm of a medical condition. Over the course of time, this view has evolved into the “industry” of maternity care, including a national C-section rate of 33%, and liability expenses which have forced many physicians to close their doors. The physical/medical view of pregnancy and childbirth has also led to a certain distancing between the mother and the care provider. Worse yet, it has evolved into a distancing between the mother and herself.
Mountain Midwives embrace an older and more universal view of pregnancy and birth. We recognize this adventure as far more than a physical condition. While we will definitely be observing and measuring specific physical markers, we will also help you to see and sort through the emotional, mental, and relational ingredients of pregnancy and birth.
Midwife literally means with woman.
We will be with you through this passage in your life. Every woman has her own way to give birth, based on her own unique history, knowledge and beliefs. We honor the whole individual mother, and strive to create an experience that will strengthen who you are, with a genuine power to last long after your baby’s arrival.
We respect the new father, not as a background character in this event, but as an essential and solid partner, identifying his own role based on his own ideals and courage. This is true prenatal care.
Prenatal visits with Mountain Midwives include checking blood pressure, weight, growth and position of the baby, fetal heart tones, and relevant labwork. We allow plenty of time for your own questions or concerns. Often a personal consult will follow the monthly physical exam. This private time is customized around your individual needs to address specific emotional issues that may have surfaced, and to answer any questions regarding relaxation techniques, the logistics of your home birth, or any other concern.
We invite you to educate us about your own traditions and dreams.
We are thankful to be part of a wider circle of natural healers, and may refer you to a nearby massage therapist, a family-centered chiropractic office, or a very wise counselor, depending on your personal needs.
Of course, we are very proud of our Home Birth Class. This is a weekend couple’s retreat, at a mountain resort in Red Lodge, Montana. Not only do participants receive detailed information about home birth, but they also get to meet other expectant parents who are making the same choice. This is a relaxing and informative weekend in a beautiful setting with wonderful food and friends.
Mountain Midwives still make housecalls! Most of your prenatal care will take place at our office in Billings. However, towards the end of your pregnancy we will visit you in the comfort of your own home.
This seems only fitting, as we custom tailor our services to match your personal home birth plans. This visit ensures that we know how to get there when you go into labor and to more clearly envision your delivery. The prenatal housecalls are perfect opportunities for us to meet grand-parents or friends who wish to take part in the anticipated delivery. The visits also provide sufficient time to discuss any religious customs or family ceremonies which you may want to weave into your birth plan.
Mountain Midwives deliver babies at home. We also rent an apartment in Billings, for folks from out-lying areas, who may live too far away for us to reasonably attend their home birth. Out-of-hospital birth is only for low risk mothers. If a potential complication is identified, you will be referred to a physician. Likewise, if a complication arises during labor, you would be transferred to the nearest hospital. This is what doctors are for; to treat problems and handle emergencies. For this we should all be grateful.
Please know that Mountain Midwives are NOT anti-medical.
Midwives, however, have been called the “Guardians of Normal Birth”. Most pregnancies and most births are normal, but to be sure, risk screening is maintained throughout the prenatal care and continues throughout labor.
Likewise, our approach to the whole woman continues throughout the entire birth experience. We bring standard midwifery equipment with us, including oxygen, sterile instruments and supplies, suturing materials, herbs, and a baby scale. We also bring years of experience and a willingness to work with you through contractions, fears, exhaustion, baby poop, celebrating, breastfeeding, and lots of prayer.
The postpartum care which Mountain Midwives have developed is unique and, we believe, crucial. We again have looked to the more traditional (sensible) methods of “caring” for brand new moms and their families. Postpartum time, around the world, is considered sacred and deserving of much more caution and tenderness than what is acknowledged by mainstream medicine. We will return to your home for follow-up on the first day following your child’s birth. We may do another housecall, or perhaps a simple phone consult with you on the third day, depending on the circumstances. Then, you will see us at our office again for a one-week appointment and a six-weeks appointment. During this first six weeks, we are available for additional consultation and support, to help you through issues such as circumcision, lab tests, postpartum depression, immunizations, return to work or school, siblings, breastfeeding, and so many other changes. These are enormous shifts in your life, which most mothers in our country are left to figure out on their own. Not you!
Remember: Midwife means with woman. We are still with you! We still believe in you!