"Having all of prenatal visits on my couch in the privacy of my own home is an experience that is invaluable to me, not to mention seeing ONE provider the entire time: the one who delivered my child!"
"Our eldest was able to meet the new baby in the comfort of our home and our new baby never had to leave our side. I’ve never felt more comfortable with any healthcare provider."
Planned Home Birth services at WHMS involve a full program of care, to nurture your family through the entire childbearing year.
Prenatal Care visits can be held on a common schedule or a task-based schedule.
The common schedule for prenatal care includes:
An initial visit at the onset of care.
Monthly visits to 32 weeks
Visits every other week from 32-36 weeks
Weekly visits to 41 weeks
Twice-weekly visits from 41-42 weeks
The task-based schedule is an evidence-based alternative schedule available for busy parents, parents from outside our normal service area, or for parents who have given birth before out-of-hospital and desire a more hands-off approach to their prenatal care. The task-based schedule for prenatal care includes:
An initial visit at the onset of care.
A visit at 20 weeks.
A visit at 28 weeks.
A visit at 36 weeks.
A visit at 39 weeks.
Weekly visits from 40-42 weeks.
Both schedules for prenatal care include 24/7 access to a midwife for urgent concerns.
Your midwife will arrive at your home when you are in active labor. When you are close to giving birth, your midwife will call in a Midwife Assistant. Their Labor, Birth, and Immediate Postpartum Care for you will include:
Client-led assessments including vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, and temperature) and internal exams. A note: Your midwife may offer you internal exams in labor to assess for cervical change, however this is not a routine or mandatory part of your care. Internal exams are offered as one of many tools to help assess labor progress, and internal procedures are only some of the tools your midwife may offer to assist with a safe birth at home.
Listening to your baby's heart rate, movements, and position
Assisting you with changes you request in labor, comfort measures, and labor support
Catching your baby or helping you or your support person catch your baby
Facilitating the birth of the placenta
Monitoring your postpartum bleeding and resolving any excess bleeding
Providing sutures if indicated
Helping your baby breathe if necessary
Assistance with breastfeeding
Performing a full head-to-toe newborn exam
Offering newborn medications including Erythromycin Opthalmic Ointment and Injectable Vitamin K
Providing thorough postpartum and newborn care instructions
Your midwife and Midwife Assistant will typically depart when you and your baby are stable and ready to rest. Usually this is 2-3 hours after the birth. If a transport to hospital-based care is necessary before or after the birth, a member of your care team will accompany you and provide report and your complete records to the receiving care team. They will remain with you until after you have given birth, when you and your baby are stable and ready to rest.
Postpartum Care and Newborn Care visits take place on the following schedule:
24 hours after birth
72 hours after birth
1 week after birth
2 weeks after birth
4 weeks after birth
6 weeks after birth
At these visits, your midwife will:
Monitor your vital signs and recovery from birth
Monitor your baby's vital signs and perform a full newborn exam
Assist with breastfeeding
Discuss your transition to having a newborn in your home
Screen for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders
Offer the newborn metabolic screen for your baby
Offer the critical congenital heart defect (CCHD) screen for your baby
Facilitate a hearing screen for your baby through your pediatrician or local hospital
Provide information on obtaining a birth certificate and social security number for your newborn
At your final postpartum visit, you will be offered a full physical exam (including pelvic exam), information on family planning or contraception, and other lab testing as indicated or requested.