Sunday, January 20, 2019

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Birth and Labor Support

If pregnancy is a special time for families, the birth day is the crowning moment. We understand the needs of women in labor and strive to provide a safe, comfortable, and relaxed environment where mothers and families can enjoy the birth that they have spent many months anticipating. Laboring women are encouraged to soak in our large spa tub for pain relief, to walk, eat, drink, or otherwise move freely, and to generally be themselves in whatever way seems right in the moment. We are here to support your best birth as an individual, not to manage or control it for you. Births are typically attended by one Licensed Midwife and her Birth Assistants to provide support in labor, birth, postpartum until you are discharged to home.

What we do:

  • Intermittent monitoring of baby (heartbeat) and mother (blood pressure and temperature)
  • Minimal cervical checks
  • Provide doula contacts, if desired
  • Discuss progress openly with mother and/or family as desired
  • Suggest options for positioning to facilitate easier birth
  • Offer comfort measures such as water immersion, aromatherapy, music, food/drink, etc
  • Provide emotional support during difficult moments
  • Provide a quiet, peaceful environment into which baby can be calmly born
  • Delay cord cutting and allow ample family bonding time

What we do not do:

  • Constant fetal monitoring (internal or external)
  • Frequent cervical checks by several attendants
  • Augment labor with drugs such as pitocin or cervidil
  • Deny family participation in birth
  • Withhold food or drinks
  • Confine laboring women to bed
  • Provide narcotic pain relief or epidurals
  • Caesarean sections, use of forceps, or vacuum-assisted delivery
  • Routine use of medical machinery, presence bright lights, or high-traffic environments
  • Separation of mother and baby or nursery stays

Our well-trained midwives will monitor the safety of mother and baby so that your birth can be experienced without stress. Should transfer to the hospital during labor become necessary, the family is accompanied to UF Health Hospital for additional care .

After birth, baby is immediately placed in the hands of the mother for uninterrupted bonding for at least one hour and unlimited skin-to-skin contact. During this time, breastfeeding is encouraged and assistance is given as needed, and baby is given a full newborn assessment within two hours of birth in the presence of the parents. Families then remain in the care of the midwives until they are ready to go home, with a minimum stay of 2 hours.

Midwives at Gentle Journey Midwifery & Birth Center also attend home births for clients who live no more than 30 minutes from UF Health Hospital on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in a home birth, please contact us. For more information, please see our Questions & Answers section.