What is Collective Care? The rhetoric in the midwifery community often focuses on one-on-one care. We go one step further, offering all-for-one care. Through both individual and collective visits and a schedule that benefits and preserves both you and your care provider – the entire staff at Authentic (from administrative staff to midwives to class instructors to postpartum attendants) is committed to providing you with high quality compassionate care. When you partner with me to be your midwife, you will have the unique opportunity to be primarily supported and cared for by me, while also receiving the benefits of collaboration with a family of midwives whom I am honored and privileged to serve along side of. We believe that one of the most significant aspects of midwifery care is the relationship that forms between the mother, her family, her midwives, and her community. When you choose me to walk alongside you in this journey, you will experience a truly education rich experience in which you become a partner and primary decision maker in the care of you, your baby, and your family.
Prenatal Care In addition to a thorough health assessment of you and your baby, I fully embrace the core values of the midwifery model of care and focus heavily on education during your prenatal visits. In stark contrast to the typical medical model where face-to-face time with your provider might be 5-10 minutes, I reserve an hour of time for each appointment, ensuring that you have an opportunity to share anything that is important to you and ask any questions that are on your mind. While what we MUST do in your appointment may only take about 5-10 minutes, what we CHOOSE to do in order to build a strong and trusting relationship (and have some fun!) takes much more time than that!
Your initial prenatal visit is typically scheduled at 12 weeks. During this visit, we explore and discuss your expectations for your pregnancy, birth and postpartum journey. This visit, and ALL prenatal visits will include the following components:
Vital signs including blood pressure, pulse and weight
Fundal height measurement following the growth of your baby
Listening to your baby’s heartbeat
Gently palpating and determining your baby’s position
Answering any questions you have and discussing any concerns
Discussing expectations for the upcoming days or weeks prior to your next visit
Schedule of Care We follow the guidelines set by the World Health Organization and schedule your prenatal visits every 4-6 weeks until 28 weeks of pregnancy, then every 2-3 weeks until the 36th week, followed by weekly visits until your baby arrives. Most lab work is done at the birth center during your individual visits, and we offer referrals for ultrasounds or additional testing as needed or requested.
Call the Midwife! If you are concerned, we are concerned. Rather than have you worry about a new symptom or stress about something that doesn’t seem right, or worse, diagnose a problem using the help of "Dr. Google", we have an on-call number that is available to you 24/7. Once you become an established client, you will have access to the On Call Midwife Line and be able to speak directly with a midwife about your urgent questions or concerns. You will also use this line to report signs and symptoms of labor.
The Nesting Tree Photography
Labor and Birth The process of labor and birth is truly a life changing event. It is full of intense emotions – joys, challenges and anticipation. It is the role of a midwife to be “with woman…” ensuring that she is physically, emotionally and spiritually prepared and supported. During your birth experience, we will provide gentle support, respectful reassurance and evidence-based clinical care. Recognizing that this is your birth experience, and it is our role to serve you, your family, and your baby well.
We believe wholeheartedly in promoting and facilitating natural, physiological birth through:
Familiar midwives and other care providers that are quiet and respectful of each woman’s individual labor process and journey
Encouraging the support and involvement of your partner, doula, or anyone important to you that you invite into your birth experience
A beautiful birthing suite with soft light, that mimics a comfortable home environment
Maximizing Mom’s comfort – position changes, freedom to eat and drink, and supportive birth tools (birth stool, rebozo, birth ball, etc.)
Use of water for comfort including a large walk-in shower and spa-like birth tub for labor and/or water birth
Personalized care and patience with the pace of each individual labor
We strive for the highest level of safety standards for Mom and Baby throughout labor and birth by:
Well-planned prenatal care, screenings and education
Always having two certified professional midwives at the birth of your baby
Monitoring Mom’s vital signs and and Baby’s fetal heart tones intermittently throughout labor (using a hand-held Doppler) according to national guidelines
Having emergency equipment and medications on site and available
Fostering a relationship with a local hospital and local emergency personnel to facilitate a smooth transport/transition of care if needed
The Nesting Tree Photography
Postpartum Care The immediate postpartum period is a time of immense joy, awe, and exploration. In the words of renowned French Obstetrician Dr. Michel Odent, “the hour following birth is undoubtedly one of the most critical phases in the life of human beings.” Therefore, we take pride in welcoming babies graciously with tenderness, honor, and love. We believe that the first moments after your baby joins us earthside are just as important as the moments that brought your baby into the world. We hold reverence for and have a continued respect for the natural process of the postpartum period.
It is during this “Golden Hour” after birth that a newborn has intense natural instincts to make eye contact, breastfeed and bond. Love hormones peak in both mother and baby during this time, allowing the pair to fall deeply in love. Both are extremely impressionable, and this initial bonding experience creates a foundation for the continuing mother-baby relationship. Respect for this bonding time is of the utmost importance to us.
Even beyond the initial Golden Hour, we are honored to perform baby’s initial assessments in your arms. After you and your baby have nursed, we will do a full physical examination of your little one right on your chest and on the bed next to you. There is no nursery and no warmers here at our facility . . . we believe that skin to skin contact with Mom is the best place for Baby to transition to life outside the womb; therefore, your baby will never leave your care during your postpartum stay at Authentic.
We will remain with you for the first 2-3 hours post birth, until you are ready to be on your own with your family. During these first few hours, you and your baby are closely monitored for continued health and wellness. Once we are assured that all is well with Mom and Baby, and that all are tucked in for some bonding and rest, we leave you in the care of Authentic’s amazing postpartum staff who will pamper and serve you during your 24 hour stay at the center. These amazing women are committed to anything you might need . . . from assisting with breastfeeding, answering questions, monitoring guests, preparing tea, or drawing a relaxing postpartum bath. Ultimately, it is their goal to make your postpartum experience as comfortable as possible as you bond with your new baby. And if you just want to rest without interruption, they are committed to protecting that space for you and your family as well.
At your discharge, typically 24 hours after your baby is born, we will offer the following newborn screenings for your baby:
Newborn Metabolic Screening (sent to the WI State Lab of Hygiene)
Critical Congenital Cardiac Defect Screening
We will do a thorough assessment of both Mom and Baby to ensure total health and wellness before sending your family home. It is our hope that at this time, you will feel rested, confident and empowered to embark on the next steps of your journey at home. Following your discharge, in addition to continued access 24/7 to an on call midwife, you will have a few postpartum follow up visits:
A phone call check-in at 24 hours
A two-week postpartum office visit
A six-week postpartum office visit
During each of these visits, we will do a physical assessment of Baby, as well as a physical and emotional assessment on Mom and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We also encourage ongoing conversation to go over any thoughts or questions you have about your birth experience.
Investment & Insurance With very few exceptions, my services are covered by nearly all insurance companies at the out of network level. I also accept Wisconsin's ForwardHealth Badgercare plan. Contact me with questions regarding a verification of benefits and out of pocket estimated costs. I provide professional billing services at no charge to you, in order to properly bill your claims for the best possible chances of insurance reimbursement.