In our model the primary midwife you hire will remain the midwife providing continuity-of-care for your pregnancy while taking a few days off each month and in the event of family emergencies or sickness. A few times during your pregnancy we will encourage you to attend group prenatals. We offer these events as a way to get to know our community and discuss, share and learn from one another. We inspire self-care, spark curiosity and bring joy to the process. Midwives facilitate discussions, and address key topics to further the process of informed consent but client discussion is the heart of the group prenatal. Physical exams are done in private with one of the midwives during an event and any private questions you have can be addressed during the exam. This offers clients a way to get to know the other midwives in the collective and get comfortable with them.
This care knits our home birth clients together and offers a chance to build like-minded friendships. Other midwives involved in your care offer a depth of knowledge and dynamic perspective. If labor is extremely prolonged or two births occurred at the same time, clients are more familiar with the midwives coming to the birth and can trust consistent practice guidelines. This network creates a community within home birth that supports midwives longevity and honors our commitment to nurturing our clients and ourselves in sustainable ways.
Prenatals are held on a typical midwifery schedule of every 4 weeks in the first and second trimester and every 2 weeks until 36 weeks with group events with the midwives every 8 weeks. You and your primary care midwife help decide based on preferences and your pregnancy what blend of group prenatals or private prenatals might be best for you! Some clients might choose to only attend group events for the discussions; others might choose more group prenatals. There is flexibility to co-create what best fits your needs.
It’s no wonder that this kind of care can have big impacts. Studies show that the group prenatal model reduces preterm birth, low birth weight, and cesarean delivery and improves breastfeeding rates, prenatal knowledge, and satisfaction (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26691105). This can only amplify the benefits of home birth including lower interventions, lower c-section rate, higher rates of exclusive breastfeeding, lower rates of post partum depression. (Cheney, Melissa et al., 2014). The application of this woman-centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.