Starting prenatal care with us begins with an initial prenatal visit that includes an exchange of signed paperwork, a review of your health history and dietary habits, a physical exam in addition to the regular prenatal. This is usually a 2 hour appointment in which we also discuss any thoughts or concerns and gain a basic knowledge of your obstetric, physical, and medical history.
Subsequent prenatal visits are approximately an hour in length, which allows time for your individual needs, as well as questions or concerns to be addressed and answered. We believe pregnancy and birth are events in a woman’s life which are spiritual and emotional as much as they are physical. We have found a direct correlation between time spent prenatally addressing fears, misconceptions and emotional upsets, and the ease and ability with which a woman enters labor and welcomes her little one with joy during her birth.
Our prenatal appointments during your pregnancy will be as follows:
- 4 – 28 weeks: prenatal exam every 4 weeks
- 28 – 36 weeks: prenatal exam every 2 weeks
- 36 weeks: Discussion of your desired birth plan and preferences in labor
- 36 weeks – birth: prenatal exam every week
We perform all lab work at the birth center, including an “OB Panel” at your initial visit, which gives a general picture of your health, as well as repeat tests at certain bench marks throughout your pregnancy. We are also equipped to help you monitor progesterone levels in early pregnancy if indicated by your history. We are unable to offer ultrasounds at our facility, but will be happy to schedule and attend your ultrasound with you.
Labor and Birth
During the last weeks of your pregnancy, you will be in touch with your midwife communicating any changes in your body or signs of early labor. When your labor begins, and you are ready for us to join you, our midwives will be on hand to support and guide you through the journey of birth, whether in your home or at the birth center. Our midwife team is ready to provide alternative measures for relief during labor including relaxation, counter pressure, and massage. Our clients are encouraged to eat and drink throughout labor and use movement and re-positioning to aid in the progressive descent of the baby in labor.
If, for some unforeseen reason you need to go to the hospital, we will accompany you throughout the duration of your stay, offering supports as much as possible.
After birth, we will set up a schedule of visits throughout the first 6 weeks postpartum, ending with a final visit which typically includes a pap smear and well woman exam.
Your postpartum care begins directly after your baby is born. Your midwife will stay with you after the birth, monitoring the well-being of both you and your baby, and providing basic postpartum education and newborn care. After you go home (or when your midwife leaves, in the case of a homebirth), your midwife is only ever a phone call away. Within 24 – 48 hours after birth, your midwife will meet with you for a check-up, including the first newborn screening. We will then set up a schedule of 2 – 4 postpartum visits, depending on you and your baby’s needs. The final visit, held around 6 weeks after birth includes a pap smear and well woman exam.
We have plenty of resources to share as you adjust to life with one more person in your family. We encourage you to take advantage of the available resources both at the birth center and in your community, including a lending library, various support and play groups, and more! The birth center support staffs include a chiropractor and lactation consultant in Fort Worth, TX who are eager to help through appointments and phone consultation.