Our Model of Care

Our care is deeply rooted in the philosophy that birth is a normal and safe physiologic process for healthy, low-risk individuals. We keep birth safe by performing regular risk assessment throughout care, meaning we routinely screen our clients for health conditions that could negatively impact the pregnancy, birth, or postpartum. As licensed midwives, we are bound to laws and regulations that can be found at:

http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/rules/oars_300/oar_332/332_025.html

Our cozy office

Our cozy office

We Are Revolutionizing Prenatal Care

What is special about care with home birth midwives?

  • We provide thorough and individualized prenatal care to each of our clients.
  • We see you as a unique being with unique needs--no "one size fits all" recommendations or discussions around your pregnancy and baby.
  • We see ourselves as guides rather than authority figures and work to maintain a "power with" rather than "power over" dynamic between ourselves and the families we serve.
  • Our visits allow for up to a full hour of time for us to check in with you and your growing baby. Many who seek care in the hospital system may see a provider for 15 minutes or sometimes much less!
  • The additional time we allot for visits allows us to delve into your physical and emotional wellbeing, perform vitals, palpate and listen to the baby, answer any questions you may have, and often just learn more about you and your family.
  • We view prenatal visits as an opportunity to not only ensure the health of the pregnancy and baby but to develop a deep sense of trust and rapport with our clients.
  • We welcome and encourage you to bring your partner, your older children, and any other family members or friends you wish to your appointments. We believe in the importance of including your loved ones in this very special and magical time in your life.

Your prenatal care with Rose City Midwifery will be a time of evolution, learning, and excitement! We hope that as each of our clients approaches their birth time, they feel complete confidence in their birth team and have tapped into a deep sense of awe and wonder of their body and all it is capable of. 

We Practice An Integrative Approach

The Rose City midwives draw from several modalities of healing from nutritional support to herbal remedies to referrals for prescription medications. We believe that most minor discomforts in pregnancy can be effectively treated with exercise, nutritional modifications, body work, herbal medicine and good old-fashioned rest and relaxation. However, we also believe in the importance of medications and antibiotics when they are needed. We identify as integrative practitioners and deeply value the support of the hospital system in the ways it can supplement our care. However, the majority of our clients do not need to access the hospital system during their care as we are able to independently address and treat many issues that arise in the pregnancy and postpartum.

The midwives at Rose City Midwifery are skilled at performing routine lab work including blood draws and cultures throughout your care. We make sure our clients are as comfortable and relaxed as possible when we are performing blood draws, as know this is a scary and unpleasant experience for many. We follow the routine medical schedule of an appointment every 4 weeks until 30-32 weeks of pregnancy, followed by every 2 weeks until 36 weeks of pregnancy, and then every week until we meet your baby!
Beginning around 41 weeks, we offer referrals for increased fetal surveillance, as this is the medical standard once a woman has gone more than a week past her due date.  

 
Prenatal home visit with midwife Liz

Prenatal home visit with midwife Liz

 

We Are Only a Phone Call Away

At the beginning of care, you will be provided with your midwives' phone numbers, where you will be able to immediately reach them at any time throughout your care. We encourage our clients to reach out any time day or night if they have a concern with their body or with their baby and to feel free to call us during business hours with questions that may arise between appointments. This type of support is one of the many facets of midwifery care that is far superior to what is offered through the hospital care system. No need to call a nurse who will leave a message with your care provider who may or may not get back to you in a timely manner. No wondering if your lab work came back yet and whether or not you will get a call from someone to discuss your results. We treat our clients as we would wish to be treated and will always respond to our client's needs and concerns in a timely manner.

We Are There For You In Labor

When our clients start the labor process, we are almost as excited as they are! We often perform home visits in early labor to ensure that mom and baby are doing well and to offer gentle support and advice. In addition, we maintain close contact with our clients via telephone, as we all patiently await a strong labor pattern. We then provide continuous support once active labor begins or once our client requests our support.

Once we all arrive at a client's home, we spring into action, listening to baby and performing vitals. We quietly set up our medical supplies and start filling the birth tub with warm water. We hold your hand or breathe through contractions with you. We offer gentle words of encouragement and intuitive touch to help alleviate discomfort and move baby into an optimal position. We check on your partner, other children, parents, and whoever else you have invited to the "birthday party", offering them information and reassurance as they also eagerly await the baby. As we have developed strong relationships during prenatal care, we are often greeted at a birth with hugs and faces of joy and relief that the midwives have arrived! 

We practice intermittent auscultation (listening) of the baby every 15-30 minutes in active labor and after every other push during the pushing phase. Safety is our top priority at each birth we attend and at 36 weeks of pregnancy, we create a custom hospital transport plan with each of our clients, should we require hospital services during labor. 

What safety equipment do we bring to births?

  • Handheld doppler to carefully monitor fetal heart tones
  • Vitals equipment  to monitor blood pressure and temperature
  • IV fluids and equipment with ability to administer IV penicillin for Group Beta Strep prophylaxis (the medical standard of care)
  • Medications to control postpartum bleeding or manage placental delivery
  • Oxygen with masks
  • Newborn resuscitation equipment
  • Suturing equipment

We Believe In The Birth Process

The Rose City midwives view the labor process as completely unique for each client and each baby. While we offer many years of insight and countless tools and ideas to facilitate a positive and healthy birth for our clients, we also approach each experience with humility as we learn so much from each birth we attend. 
We practice within the biodynamic model of midwifery care, which is based upon the notion that birth is a natural process which can be greatly impacted by the environment in which we birth. We see that birth progresses much more smoothly when women are given freedom of movement, freedom to eat and drink as they please, freedom to surround themselves with many trusted support people or to seek solitude, and freedom over their own bodies--that they will only be touched after consent has been given, that their bodies will be treated with the deepest of respect, and that they will remain in control over what happens to their bodies. Our hope is that our client's birth experiences can translate into a more empowered life for themselves as they enter parenthood and beyond. We strongly believe that positive and respectful birth experiences will be the foundation for a better world.  

Home birth with midwife Liz

Home birth with midwife Liz

We Love Water Birth

At Rose City Midwifery, we offer water birth to all interested clients. We know water birth to be a very safe alternative to birthing your baby "on land". Nearly all of our clients find themselves in the water at some point in their labor and many birth their sweet babies there. 
You can read more about the latest evidence on the safety of water birth here: https://mana.org/research/current-research-projects/waterbirth

Benefits of water birth include:

  • Relaxation
  • Pain relief--thereby decreasing the need for drugs and interventions in labor
  • Offers the mother a private and protected space
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • May reduce vaginal tearing

We Don't Forget The Postpartum

Aside from the amazing prenatal and labor support that the Rose City midwives offer, we also practice well baby and well mama care for 6-8 weeks postpartum! The first three postpartum visits occur in the comfort of your own home at 24-36 hours, 3-4 days, and 1 week postpartum. We believe in the importance of coming to you during this time of necessary rest and healing for you and your baby. The next three postpartum visits take place in our office at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 6-8 weeks postpartum. In addition, we remain on-call for our clients 24/7 during this time, as we know questions and concerns are bound to come up. We utilize and recommend a wide variety of resources during the postpartum period to provide our clients with the tools to feel confident in parenting. 

 
Postpartum home visit with midwife Melissa

Postpartum home visit with midwife Melissa

 
Gentle newborn exam

Gentle newborn exam

Weighing the baby after birth

Weighing the baby after birth

We Support Breastfeeding

The midwives at Rose City Midwifery are highly skilled and experienced in supporting the breastfeeding relationship between mom and baby. Once your baby is born, we will keep the room quiet and calm as you enjoy skin-to-skin time with your new little one. We will help you notice when your baby is showing hunger cues and may be looking for something to eat! We build a good foundation for breastfeeding by honoring these precious early hours and helping you and the baby learn how to work together as a team. 

At each subsequent check-in and visit during the first six weeks postpartum, we focus many of our conversations around the breastfeeding relationship. We want to ensure that the baby is gaining enough weight and that breastfeeding is comfortable for the mother. We are able to provide advice and recommendations if common breastfeeding difficulties arise. In these situations, we are happy to offer more home visits to weigh your baby and make sure things are improving. If a situation presents that is more complicated, we have access to wonderful lactation consultants (IBCLCs) who can offer lactation help in your home for an additional fee. 

We are also happy to brainstorm options for pumping, returning to work, the pros and cons of pacifiers, and so much more. We are honored to be a support system for you as you laugh, cry, compromise, and triumph through your breastfeeding journey. 

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The Rose City midwives are proud to serve communities in the Portland metro area and Vancouver, WA. We travel to further out areas such as St. Helens and the Gorge on a case-by-case basis. Curious if we serve your area? Contact us today!