Homebirth

Having a home birth is a big decision! A decision to take ownership of your body, your baby, and your birth. We hope to build a real, trusting relationship with our clients that leads to a positive and empowering birth, no matter what twists and turns the journey holds. We believe birth is natural, normal, and sacred and our care is aimed to nurture your body, mind, and spirit during this special time. 

Prenatal Care

 

Your sacred pregnancy

Regular prenatal care is important for the health of the birthing person and the baby. We believe that receiving prenatal care in a spiritual, community-centered context, benefits the birthing team and the world.

We offer community pregnancy support circles and ceremony at several metro area locations throughout the month. Vitals are checked in a private one on one with a midwife before or after support circles. (Everything that any other doctor or midwife would cover is still covered!) Please let your midwife know when and where you will be attending. These are based on the centering model of care, which is proven to improve outcomes for birthing people. (More about ceremonies below!) Pregnancy circles are your regular prenatal care! It is required for current clients to attend.

 
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Each pregnancy support circle has time for movement, meditation, teachings about pregnancy, birth, or parenting, conversation, expression, parent blessings, and prenatal care. Each one will be different, each one is created by the community present. Each prenatal is sacred. We encourage you to explore different techniques to connect to your divine body and your divine baby. We ask that you attend our pregnancy support circle at any location at least:

  • Once each month through 28 weeks,

  • Every two weeks from 28-36 weeks,

  • Every week after 36 weeks until birth.

If you are unable to attend, please contact your midwife to make alternate arrangements for an in home prenatal.

Healing Sessions: Once per trimester (including the 4th trimester) you will have a private one on one session with your midwife. Time to connect, to know one another on a soul level. These sessions will be designed by you- you can choose spirit medicine, birth art, body work, energy work, henna, ceremony, deeper education... whatever feels right to you. These sessions can be done at your home or before or after one of our pregnancy support circle and ceremony locations.

During our one-on-one times we will also

  • Discuss matters of importance, concern, or interest;

  • Review your family and medical history;

  • Assess for risk factors for homebirth;

  • Check vitals:  weight, blood pressure, urinalysis, temp and pulse as indicated;

  • Evaluate your nutrition, making recommendations where necessary;

  • Assess fetal growth activity and determine fetal position

  • Measure fundal height;

  • Listen to fetal heart beat;

  • Perform individualized laboratory tests as indicated

  • Pap smear or other vaginal cultures (Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, GBS), as indicated;

  • Laboratory testing of antibodies, CBC, Genetic Screenings, Quad Screens and a Glucose Tolerance Test will be offered.

Please contact us or see current schedule and locations for pregnancy support circles.

Water Birth Home birth Midwife Denver
 

Labor and Birth

Your sacred Birth

Birth is inherently sacred! We hold space for you to make this to look however you want it to look. Throughout your pregnancy we will give you resources to create the birth you want to have. Ultimately we have no control over how your birth goes… but we can create a sacred space and honor all members of this experience no matter what happens. We will discuss your plans and what your midwives’ roles are at  your 36 week visit and do all we can to ensure you have positive memories of your birth.

CALL AS SOON AS  YOUR LABOR BEGINS

During the birth our primary role is ensuring the health and safety of all members of the birth team (physical, mental, and spiritual health.) Some things we do include:

  • Physical, emotional, spiritual and informational assistance during labor;

  • Checking progress of labor (vaginal exams done only when necessary);

  • Assessing the position of baby in-utero;

  • Monitoring fetal well-being through intermittent fetal monitoring with a Doppler

  • Surveying the condition of the birthing person and checking in with their needs

  • Checking vital signs;

  • “Catching” the baby or assisting another member of the birth team to “catch”;

  • Helping with the delivery of the placenta & controlling bleeding;

  • Monitoring the uterus and bleeding;

  • Assessing for any perineal tears;

  • Performing a thorough examination of the baby;

  • Cord cutting;

  • Cleaning up the birth linens and preparing the postpartum bed;

  • Ensuring the birthing person has urinated, has food and drink, and is stable;

  • Offering Vitamin K and eye prophylaxis;

  • Assisting with nursing/breastfeeding as needed.

We remain with you at least 2-3 hours after birth (longer if necessary) until we ascertain that all is well and stable. We are always available by phone for any questions or concerns, and can return as necessary.

Though these are our more medical roles at the birth, it is our intention to keep the space sacred and we will always do what we can to ensure this happens according to your own personal wishes.

Postpartum Care

Your Sacred Baby, Your Sacred Body

The first few hours, days, weeks postpartum are an integral piece of your overall experience and we strive to make them sacred as well. In all cultures throughout history this time was honored. It is a necessary time of healing, bonding, and new beginnings. We will discuss ways to honor the birthing person and the baby and you will pick how you want this to look. It is required in our practice that sacred space is held in your home for at least a week. We visit you at home 24-36 hours after the birth, again after your milk has come in around 3-4 days and again at 7-10 days. Throughout the postpartum period we remain in phone contact with you and will have additional appointments with you at your home as needed. We offer a 3-4 week in home check up if desired and at 6 weeks postpartum a complete well woman exam and pap smear (if needed) and your final private healing session. We encourage you to continue attending support circles after the birth with your baby as long as you like. Community and ceremony are an important part of parenting and growing families.

We offer all mandatory newborn screenings and file a birth certificate with the state of Colorado.

 
Homebirth midwife and doula Denver, CO

Why Homebirth?

People choose to have homebirths for many different reasons. For most people, their home is the most sacred, peaceful place to be. Being in a place that feels like a sanctuary for you automatically lowers stress hormones, allows you to labor more naturally, and allows the entire birth team to feel more at ease. You get to eat, drink and move as you choose, wake up in your own bed, your other children can be there if you choose, you are surrounded by sights, sounds and smells that are comforting to you (even your own germs!) and that you have control over. You can even light candles, burn incense, sing, drum, dance, birth in the water, or in your backyard... anything you want! Plus you don't have to drive during labor! You get to choose which people will be at your birth, there will be no strangers. You will have a real relationship with your care team. This provides more intimacy and trust, and you will get true informed choice about decisions made during your care. Your baby will be born into a peaceful and loving space and will never leave your side. Postnatal care is done in your home. People who choose homebirth report feeling empowered, heard, and more in control. One small randomized trial has been done about birth satisfaction at home vs hospital: In ten low risk women who were randomly assigned to birth at home or hospital, 100% of the women who had home births were satisfied. (Only 33% of those who had hospital births were satisfied.)

Intervention rates are also lower at home. Among 16,924 women who planned home births at the onset of labor:

89.1% gave birth at home
5.2% gave birth by Cesarean
87% of attempted VBACs were successful
4.5% required oxytocin augmentation and/or epidural analgesia
1.5% of newborns had low Apgar scores (<7)
2.4% of mothers and babies required transport postpartum
86% of newborns were exclusively breastfeeding at 6 weeks of age

Home births in general are also less expensive than hospital or birth center. (Remember we work on a sliding scale at Sacred Birth, so if you are committed to a homebirth, we will work with you financially.) “Planned home births saved an average of $1756 compared to hospital births with a midwife.” And this is just the birth! It doesn’t even take into account that the price of a homebirth includes all your prenatal and postpartum care!

 

  • Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Planned Home Births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009, Cheyney, Bovbjerg, Everson, Gordon, Hannibal, Vedam, January 2014
  • Planned hospital birth versus planned home birth, Clausen and Olsen, September 2012
  • Costs of Planned Home vs. Hospital Birth in British Columbia… Janssen, Mitton, Aghajanian, July, 2015

What about emergencies?

It is true that homebirth is not for everyone! Only low risk, healthy people should consider giving birth at home. (Please contact us for a list of conditions which rule you out as a candidate for homebirth.) For those who are unable to birth at home, a doula or monitrice can help you maintain a sacred birth experience. You are also still invited to join any of our pregnancy support circles and ceremonies.
Homebirth midwives are trained extensively in out of hospital emergencies. We carry anti-hemorrhagic drugs, oxygen, IV fluids and more in case they are needed. However, in most cases emergencies don't happen without warning signs and if there are warning signs prenatally or in labor, we will act appropriately and consult with a physician or go to the hospital to try to prevent having an emergency at home. We stay with you and hold that sacred space for you and your baby no matter what.

In a review of 28,000 low-risk births, outcomes were essentially comparable between planned home births assisted by midwives or physicians, and hospital births. The slight differences in outcome were not in hospitals’ favor, either: babies born in hospitals were slightly more likely to require resuscitation, oxygen therapy or hospitalization after birth. True emergencies like cord prolapse and abruptio placenta each occurs in about 1 in 10,000 home births. ‘From a low-risk woman’s once-in-a-lifetime perspective, the risk of encountering such a complication is less than the risk of an average person being killed in a traffic accident during one year.’ Other complications, like shoulder dystocia, are more common, but could be handled at home by a suitably trained midwife.

  • Outcomes of planned home birth with registered midwife versus planned hospital birth with midwife or physician, Janssen, Lee, Liston, Saxell, Klein, Lee, Page  September 2009

What is ceremony?

According to Collins' Dictionary, ceremony refers to a formal, usually solemn, act established as proper to honor some occasion. In all cultures worldwide, birth has traditionally been one of the most important occasions in a person's life. It is seen as the entry of a new soul, a crossing over, a new beginning. As such, pregnancy and birth have been honored throughout time as sacred. Our goal is to return to this idea, give people time and space during their busy lives to focus on the miracle that is happening as a new person grows inside another person's body, and give them resources to connect with this new person, and to nourish everyone involved mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. In our ceremonies we take time to give gratitude to God, your own personal guides, or the universe itself. We learn about pregnancy and birth and babies. We explore our artistic sides through art, music, dance. We bless new parents through massage, affirmations, breathing. We talk. We eat. We get to know each other and support each other. And we do it all in ceremony so that our intention to honor this special occasion is held as sacred. So we stay focused on why we are together and on the importance and magic of what is happening during pregnancy. Partners, children, friends, people of all ages, genders, etc can all take part in ceremony. So relax! Join us! Dancing naked and howling at the moonlight aren't required!