I am currently providing home birth services on a limited basis to families in Iowa City. Please contact me for more information.
Our nation is in the midst of the largest global pandemic of our lifetime. COVID-19 has left all of us unsure of what comes next. As we watch the numbers of infected individuals rise, research and guidelines change. Expectant parents are left with fear and an ever-changing plan. Understandably, people are curious about what the world will even look like when their child is born. Hospital policies are changing. Birth plans must be altered. As midwives, empathize with these concerns. We hear and see you.
Many are considering a change in birth location right now. In all health care professions, resources such as gloves and masks are in high demand and short supply. This is true for community midwives as well. We must carefully consider our workloads. Most community midwives have come into this season with an already full practice schedule.
In order to provide the high-quality and safe care that we’re known for, community midwives must prioritize those families who were already a part of our practice before this pandemic. Social distancing doesn’t really work in this profession. We know many of us will become ill at some point. These are important things for us to consider moving forward.
The planning and preparation needed for the birthing person and their family to feel safe and secure in their decision to birth at home are great. Many families spend months and months, sometimes even before conception, mentally and emotionally preparing for a medication-free birth at home. They have been physically preparing with good nutrition, exercise and lifestyle choices. They have been gathering supplies, preparing their home, reading books, taking classes, hiring a doula. This is not a decision they have made lightly.
Even in this time of uncertainty, we believe that expectant families may still be best served by the facility in which they chose to give birth before this pandemic. As community midwives, we also empathize with the healthcare workers at the hospitals and clinics. Their plans must also change as they navigate this world we’ve all found ourselves in while the birthing person navigates this new system of care.
If low-risk pregnant persons are still feeling the urge to investigate birthing at home with a community midwife in attendance, we encourage them to do so. If after diligent and thoughtful research, the autonomy and safety of homebirth remains appealing, pregnant people are welcome to contact us to see if assistance is available.
Research continually shows that planned home birth with a skilled attendant is a safe option for low-risk people, resulting in high rates of normal physiologic birth and high rates of continued breastfeeding (Cheney, et al. 2014). The entire family enjoys better outcomes with a healthier postpartum period. Midwives work alongside families through shared decision making, solid informed consent, and caring relationships, and we treasure the opportunity to be a part of your baby's birth.
Cheyney, M., Bovbjerg, M., Everson, C., Gordon, W., Hannibal, D., & Vedam, S. (2014). Outcomes of care for 16,924 planned home births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 59(1), 17–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmwh.12172
Grunebaum, A. & Chervenak, F. A. (2016). Out-of-hospital births in the United States, 2009 – 2014. Journal of Perinatal Medicine DOI: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jpme.2016.44.issue-7/jpm-2015-0396/jpm-2015-0396.xml
"Having Monica attend our birth was easily one of the smartest decisions my spouse and I have ever made. Monica educated us, she was an advocate for us, and she helped and nurtured our relationship as we approached the birth of our child. Monica is family, and we feel so blessed to have found her. The birth of a child is always a miracle, an awesome occurrence, and a learning experience all in one. All of these elements were truly enhanced for us by Monica's presence."