Prenatal care is centered around the goals of optimizing health and wellness during pregnancy, and establishing a relationship with the family. Throughout care we are assessing, tracking and assisting with any problems small and large, and identifying complications that may require consultation or referral. Hour-long appointments take place at our office with a few visits in the family's home, and the prenatal care process also includes ongoing pregnancy, birth and postpartum education. During pregnancy, we hold three "community care" visits where families due in the same month come for a group visit and share knowledge and wisdom with each other.
Each person is offered information about the full range of tests and care options at each stage of pregnancy and birth. Families will have the opportunity to opt for or decline any and all of the options available, according to their preferences. Certain tests or care options may require appropriate referral to an outside provider, and that information will be offered as needed.
Deanna builds strong relationships with the families she supports, so that care during birth can be tailored. She is always accompanied by a second trained set of hands, either a student midwife or an experienced birth assistant. The approach is that of undisturbed birth, with the idea that the less a person's birth process is interrupted, the more smoothly it will proceed. That means that fetal heart monitoring and getting vitals take place in the most unobtrusive fashion possible, at moments that are convenient for the laboring person. We limit vaginal exams (usually we don't do any) and use encouragement rather than authoritative or directive instruction. We also give nurturing, doula-style continuous labor support.
We provide tubs to all our clients making water birth central to our practice, with many of our clients choosing to labor or birth in the tub. Partners also play an active role in the birth process, often choosing to help catch the baby.
After the baby comes we encourage parent-baby bonding and breastfeeding, and let the cord finish pulsing before cutting it. We also perform a full newborn exam on the new baby before we leave.
At the birth we are equipped to handle the most common emergencies that could arise at home. We bring the same equipment available in a birth center to the home, setting up quietly and cleaning up when we leave. When medical care is needed we facilitate a seamless transfer to the hospital, staying by the family's side, transferring over medical records, and helping ensure the best possible outcome for the family. After a transfer we continue caring for the family in the postpartum period. We have positive working relationships with several area hospitals, and maintain a hospital transfer rate of less than 5%.
Within 48 hours after birth we come back to the home to check on parents and baby. We offer support for breastfeeding and make sure the whole family is recovering well. At this and further postpartum checkups at two weeks and six weeks we also process the birth, creating a space for the new parents to work through their experiences.