Home Birth and Birth Center Birth with our Midwives
Birth House midwives provide competent, knowledgable support for women giving birth at home or in our free-standing birth center. Some clients come to care very early in their pregnancy, while others transfer care later in pregnancy. We offer free consultation visits with our midwives. This is a great way to explore your options, meet the midwives, ask questions, and tour our facilities.
During your pregnancy, birth and postpartum…
Prenatal appointments at The Birth House are relaxed in nature and last about an hour. During appointments we have ample time to get to know one another and build a relationship based on trust and shared decision making. We encourage you to ask questions, and take an active role as an equal participant as we discuss relevant health care testing options. This process of shared decision making is of utmost importance in our practice. Throughout your course of care we will provide you with evidenced based information regarding a test, procedure or medical option. During our prenatal appointments we have ample time to discuss the risks, benefits and indications for the topic at hand and encourage you to do your own research.
At each visit we use our hand skills of palpation to feel your baby’s position, estimate the size of your baby, and amount of amniotic fluid present. We use a specialized stethoscope called a fetoscope to listen to your babes heartbeat and occasionally (or upon request) use a hand held Doppler. Each visit we monitor your blood pressure, pulse, and test your urine for the presence of excess protein or sugar. Occasionally other assessments made during appointments such as drawing bloodwork to be sent to the lab, and checking your blood sugar or iron levels.
Our schedule of care
We see clients once a month until 28 weeks of pregnancy, every two weeks until 36 weeks, and then every week until you give birth.Occasionally extra visits are schedule during the end of pregnancy, in particular if you carry your baby past your estimated due date.We provide postpartum care for clients at their homes at day 1 and day 3 postpartum. There are additional postpartum visits at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 6 weeks postpartum at The Birth House.
Labor and birth
Birth is a transformative experience. We honor that this day will be one of the most memorable days of your life. In early labor, you will be in close contact with your midwifery team. Together we will make a decision regarding the best time for you to come to the birth center or for our team to travel to you (home birth), generally speaking this is when you are in a good active labor pattern. You will have ample time to come to know your birth team consisting of one fully trained midwife, one advanced student, and a third attendant who is currently studying at Birthwise Midwifery School.
We require all first time families to complete a comprehensive childbirth education series and encourage doula support as well. Doulas can dramatically improve outcomes, reduce the likelihood of the need for transfer to hospital for pain relief and improve the birthing parents experience of labor and birth.
During labor and birth we monitor the safety of you and your baby using evidenced-based standards, with an eye toward minimal intervention. We encourage you to eat and drink and move around during labor. We have large birth tubs available for rent and a large soaking tub at our birth center as well as birth balls and a birth stool. Being active during labor is a key ingredient to supporting normal birth!.
We continue to monitor you and your newborn for several hours after birth, until you are stable and ready to go home. Most often around 3 to 6 hours postpartum. Before you leave (or before we leave your home) we will perform a complete newborn examination and explain comprehensive instructions on how to monitor your baby for the first few days of life. We will also provide instructions on monitoring your own wellbeing in the first 24 hours postpartum. Your birth team will come visit you in your home between 24-48 hours postpartum.
Our homey freestanding birth center, located just one mile from Bridgton Hospital, includes a private birthing suite and a tub for gentle water birth. If you are giving birth in our birth center, we encourage you to bring items that make you feel most at home, a change of clothes, toiletries, music, camera and food.
Our practice offers a sliding scale fee ranging from $1,600-$3,200 depending on your household income. We are happy to work together to develop a payment plan that works best for your families needs. Learn more about paying for your birth.