Midwife Supported Birth
Our agenda at the Monterey Birth and Wellness Center is to provide you with the safety, empowerment, security and agency needed to ensure a positive, healthy experience during childbirth, when you at your most vulnerable yet most powerful. We are in awe of the reproductive force of females.
The way we operate is very different from any other health care provider you may have encountered in the past. The relationship is all about trust. We are with you as a steady, guiding force throughout the entire process. We get to know you on an intimate level: your interpersonal relationships, the uniqueness of your family situation, all of your family’s medical history. We are there for you at all times. There are not many health care professionals to whom you can text an image of the contents of your newborn’s diaper with a question. At the MBWC it’s all in a day’s work.
How We Work
In a normal hospital birth, a woman in labor often encounters a rotating cast of nurses. There are bright lights and strangers everywhere. The doctor makes an appearance at the actual birth, only to disappear and be replaced by yet more nurses. Unnecessary procedures such as Caesarean births and episiotomies are common. Sometimes there is vigorous rubbing of the baby as a way to “stimulate” breathing, and the baby is often tagged and separated from the parents soon after birth. That’s not how we do things at the MBWC.
We begin from a place of trust and continuity. Each of us has spent many hours with you and your family throughout the pregnancy. We are with you throughout the entire birth. Each time we check in it’s like a best friend has arrived (albeit a highly credentialed and experienced friend), one who empowers you to make the right decisions for yourself and your baby. We give you agency, and the recognition that you are the parent. We respect your instincts and your opinion. You don’t need to be a people pleaser around us—you can let all that go.
This feeling of trust, agency and safety makes all the difference during the birth process. This is the most important day of your life, and of the baby’s life. We honor that. So not only do we monitor mother and baby utilizing the latest medical technology, assist the baby with its first breath, and help it latch on to the breast, we celebrate the entire process as sacred.
When you first walk through the doors of our birth center you might mistake it for a spa or a beautifully appointed home. Our first appointment together lasts two hours. Each subsequent appointment lasts one hour. We attend the birth, and then in the postpartum, we visit you in your home at 24-36 hours and again 3-5 days later. You will then come to our birth center three more times, for a minimum of 5 postpartum visits. That continuity of care is yet another factor that really sets us apart from the hospital model.
Furthermore, during labor we provide the following:
· Specialized support as needed for water birth
· Advise on ways to support normal labor, such as: food, fluids, resting, walking, position change, breathing, etc.
· Assessing effacement, dilation and station as necessary
· Assessing fetal heart tones for deviations from normal
· Perineal support and repair as necessary
· Option of using Nitrous Oxide for anxiety and pain relief
Nitrous oxide is a tasteless, odorless gas which can be used to provide some degree of pain relief during labor, delivery, or postpartum procedures - such as suturing or certain rare emergency procedures. That is self-administered by inhalation through a mask. Women who use nitrous oxide in labor are fully awake, aware of their surroundings, and able to respond rationally to questions and directions. Nitrous oxide typically causes a state of relaxation, euphoria, and a reduction or elimination of anxiety. It offers some degree of pain relief for most women, though absolute relief cannot be guaranteed. The research on nitrous oxide has not been shown to affect labor patterns, impact the strength of contractions, or cause depressed respirations (breathing problems) in babies after birth.
What is a Midwife?
Technically speaking a midwife is a medical professional who specializes in caring for women and females throughout their reproductive life, including menarche, fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, perimenopause and menopause. A midwife is a licensed healthcare provider who can administer medication or an IV. Certified Professional Midwives have all passed national exams.
Some people tend to think of midwives as part of a supporting cast in the childbirth experience, similar to that of a lactation consultant or doula. In fact midwives are professionally trained for years and certified to assist woman in every aspect of fertility, prenatal care, pregnancy, birth and postpartum care. A midwife can also provide care such as annual exams, pap smears, breast exams, contraceptives and prescriptions.
Perhaps the defining characteristic of a midwife vs. an OBGYN is the family-centered approach. A midwife offers a shared decision-making model that gives agency to the pregnant person, who has the ultimate say over what happens to her and the baby during the process of pregnancy, birth and beyond. The emotional and social needs of the mother and child are considered to be on par with the physical needs.
Schedule your free tour of our center today.
Insurance billing, payment plan and financing available.
Credit card and HSA card payments accepted.
Ask us about our Birth Package, which includes prenatal care, labor care, postpartum care, and state-of-the-art birthing rooms with a water birth tub.
The Monterey Birth & Wellness Center is one of only 18 accredited birth centers in California, and the only one in central California. Accreditation is a mark of quality and expertise achieved by relatively few freestanding birth centers in the U.S.A. Learn more about the standards for accreditation at the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers website.
Providing midwifery care to Monterey County and some areas of San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties: Seaside, Monterey, Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Pacific Grove, Carmel, Pebble Beach, Carmel Valley, Big Sur, Salinas, Prunedale, Spreckels, Soledad, Gonzales, King City, Hollister, San Juan Bautista, Moss Landing, Castroville, Watsonville, Freedom, Santa Cruz, Aptos, Soquel and Capitola.