First, schedule a free in-person appointment to ask any questions and make sure you feel comfortable with us and our services. (If you’re not sure you want an appointment just yet, call us to ask questions and get any information you need.)
During our interview we will fill out a History Form. This helps us determine whether you have any conditions that would make it unwise for you to deliver out-of-hospital, and to ensure you are an appropriate candidate for the services we provide. Once we’re all comfortable we’ll schedule your first regular prenatal appointment and you’re in!
If you are not sure out-of-hospital birth with Dar a Luz Women’s Care, LLC is for you, we suggest you keep learning, thinking, exploring. If safety is a concern, check our link section and search the internet on your own for more information. Discuss your options with your partner if you have one, or if not, with a close friend or relative you trust. It is important you feel comfortable with your birth choices. You only get to have this baby once, and we want you to have the very best birth you possibly can, whether or not we are a part of it. If we can help you, please call me, e-mail, or schedule a free appointment. We welcome all your questions and will help you find the answer that works for you.
Your family members are welcome to come with you to your appointments and talk over any concerns with the midwife. This is often enough to put those fears to rest. You can check out books and videos from our library if you think they are open to reading about birth and midwifery. Some clients choose not to tell their family or friends the specifics about their birth plans until after the birth is done. In the end, you know your family and what will best communicate your wishes to them.
Yes. Together with you we will file a birth certificate with the State just like any hospital or other provider. You will receive a copy in the mail as well as a Social Security card just as though your baby was born in any other birth facility!
Yes, midwives provide routine prenatal and postpartum care as a regular part of our services. In the event you have a complication during your pregnancy for which your team feels you need consultation or which they know they cannot handle themselves, your midwives will refer you to another appropriate provider. Generally, however, your team can provide all the care you need.
What if I need RhoGam?
Your midwife will have the antenatal (after the birth) RhoGam injection immediately available via prescription if you need it.
What if my baby is jaundiced or needs special care after he is born?
We work closely with many wonderful pediatricians both locally and at Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City. A billiblanket is available as well as other options if your baby becomes too jaundiced. We can check his bili levels in your home and help you make any decisions necessary for further treatment if needed.
Many providers do not want to see you until you have completed your first trimester at about 12 weeks. We’re not sure why that is. There are many questions and problems we can help with during those early weeks, and we encourage you to come in whenever you are ready. Some of our clients come in the first day they miss their period, and that’s fine by us.
Unless you have complications that would require more frequent visits, our prenatal schedule is every 4 weeks until you are 28 weeks along, then every 2 weeks until you are 36 weeks along, then every week until you have the baby.
Can I have an ultrasound?
Yes. We work with a variety of other care providers, including sonographers. Our preferred radiologist operates in a private clinic and provides 3D ultrasounds with complete diagnostics. We do not require any ultrasounds during your pregnancy. If we suspect a complication and feel an ultrasound may be helpful, we might recommend one. Many of our clients feel more comfortable with their plan for an out-of-hospital birth if they have an ultrasound to make sure the baby is all right and we are happy to support you in that approach. Some parents just want to see gender, and that’s ok too. We can make arrangements for your ultrasound, schedule your appointment for you, and a midwife will attend as long as her schedule permits it.
Childbirth classes are included in our full fee by our friend the LOVELY independent educator Tiffany Kinnaman of Gratifying Birth. If you would like private, in your home, childbirth classes they are available for an extra fee.
At these visits we will check your vital signs, weight, and urine. As it becomes possible to do so, we will check the baby’s heart rate and the position and growth of the baby. We do not normally do vaginal or pelvic exams at these visits because they yield little useful information, although if there is a need or you want us to, we will. We talk about your nutrition and help you with any challenges you are facing, your emotional state and any concerns or questions you have. After your first visit (which lasts an hour or longer), subsequent visits are scheduled for 60 minutes so there is plenty of time to ask questions and discuss any concerns. If you would like more time, just let us know and we’ll schedule it.
The first postpartum visit occurs between 24 and 72 hours after delivery. Subsequent visits are usually at two weeks and six weeks after delivery. We will check both you and the baby to be sure you are recovering normally. You’ll also have a chance to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. If we are doing the Newborn Metabolic Screening for you, we will typically do it on the 3rd day postpartum visit.
Do you provide non-pregnancy related gynecologic care such as pap smears, STD testing and birth control?
We do perform routine pap smears, and we provide counseling regarding various methods of birth control. We do not prescribe hormonal birth control methods, place IUDs or perform premarital exams, although we are happy to refer you to other providers for these services. We can also fit you for a cervical cap and educate you on it’s use. We will be offering Natural Family Planning classes in the very near future. We do have a collaborative relationship with practitioners who can prescribe birth control if that is your choice.
YES! Though we do not offer pharmacological (drug) pain relief (such as the epidural) we do offer extremely effective natural (non-drug) pain relieving techniques. For example, water labor and waterbirth are often called “the midwife’s epidural” because they feel so good. There are many other techniques we use to make the discomfort of labor manageable for you including reflexology, massage, heat therapy and aromatherapy.
A doula is a professional labor support person. We highly recommend you hire a doula if you are planning a hosptial birth, the type of labor support offered by a doula is an inherent part of the services you will be provided by Dar a Luz Women’s Care. So it is not necessary to hire a separate doula. However, this is YOUR birth and if you prefer to have someone specifically focusing on that role, or if you have a special person you want to be your doula at your birth, we welcome her as part of your chosen care providers!
Is home birth safe?
Yes. There have been scores of studies from around the world which have shown home birth with a competent midwife to be as safe as, or safer than, hospital birth for normal pregnant women. See our links in the Resource tab for more references to safety studies.
What geographical areas do you serve?
We generally serve any mother within a maximum 2 hour drive from our office. We do occasionally make arrangements to serve women outside of our area but we can also recommend many wonderful midwives closer to your home!
Is it messy?
There isn’t much to clean up from a birth, and certainly NOTHING is left for you to do! When your midwife leaves after the birth, the BABY will be the only sign of a birth having just taken place! Right down to starting a small load of laundry (sheets, towels, etc) we tidy up before we leave.
Can I do a waterbirth at home?
Yes! We have portable tubs available for your use at home, or if you have a nice garden or jacuzzi tub, you are welcome to use that.
How much space do I need for the birth tub?
Our portable birth tubs measure 5 feet in diameter, so you’ll need a 6′ x 6′ square area to allow us room to move around it. This can be a carpeted area if you wish, or any other floor surface as the tub does not leak, and we will put plastic down to catch any drips. Most families can shift furniture around to make this much space somewhere in their home.