The day your labor begins will, no doubt, be an exciting one. Prior to this day, you and your midwife will have discussed at length the signs and symptoms of labor and when to call. Your midwife will be available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Together, you and the midwife will decide when it is best for her to arrive at your home for labor support. At your home she will monitor your vital signs and the progress of labor as well as the baby's heart beat and general well-being. Your midwife will ensure that you receive adequate nourishment and hydration throughout your labor. She will also recommend a variety of positions for you to try as well as provide support, guidance, respect, reassurance and encouragement. She will set up all the necessary supplies for the delivery of your baby. Debbie will often have one student apprentice and one additional fully licensed midwife assist her at all births.
When you begin feeling the urge to push and the baby is ready to come down, you will be encouraged to follow your own body's cues on when and how to push. The mother and/or partner are often encouraged to catch the baby or otherwise assist in the birth process. Being involved in this process can be a very empowering experience. Although partners do not experience the birth on a physical level, they have their own emotional or mind-body experiences.
While your midwife is there to provide support and ensure the safety of your baby, she does not labor for the mother nor deliver the baby – the mother does this critical work!
After the delivery of your baby, he or she will be gently placed on your chest. Your newborn will be discreetly assessed, taking great care to not interfere with the initial bonding between mother, baby and other family members.