PRENATAL AND BIRTH SERVICES
Pregnancy and birth is a rite of passage that brings new people and new parents into the world. This special time deserves respectful, compassionate, and informed care. You can expect the needs and preferences of your family to be honored, including respect for your cultural, social, and spiritual values. We support this process from the first plans to conceive, all the way through to caring for your newborn.
Each of the hour-long prenatal visits will provide you with individualized information and support for your pregnancy. Topics that are often discussed include diet, exercise, relaxation, natural childbirth, early parenting and breastfeeding. Should any common discomforts or issues arise during your pregnancy, you will be offered nutritional and natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals if appropriate and desired. Access to a midwife 24/7 for emergencies is included in all of our birth packages. As your primary health provider during pregnancy, we offer laboratory tests and screenings. We will take time to explain options of tests or interventions and will strive to ensure that you have the necessary information to make informed choices. In the unlikely event that the pregnancy deviates from low risk, we will consult or refer to a more appropriate health care provider while continuing to offer support and additional information. We work with you as a team and recognize you as the central decision maker.
Home Birth is rapidly gaining popularity as parents learn that it is a safe and reasonable option for low risk pregnancies with trained midwives. We carefully screen families to ensure home birth is appropriate for them, and provide collaborative care with a team of practitioners to support families in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Home birth families enjoy the benefits of the Physiologic Model of Care in the comfort of their own home where their labor is most likely to progress normally. We come prepared with all of the equipment you will find at our Birth Center, including a birth pool, tools to monitor you and your baby, as well as equipment for medical support should it become necessary like IVs, oxygen, nitrous oxide, antibiotics, anti-hemorrhage medications, and more. We believe birth is normal and healthy, but we are prepared when more support is needed. In the home setting, babies are welcomed with joy and respect, and parents receive personal, individualized support.
The Birth Center
The Monterey Birth & Family Wellness Center is Monterey County's first and only freestanding birth center! At The Center families enjoy all of the benefits of receiving the highest quality, evidence-based care in an environment that respects the physiologic process of childbirth as normal and healthy. Parents can come to The Center for midwifery prenatal, birth and postpartum care, gynecological and pre-conception services, as well as childbirth education (for hospital and out-of-hospital birthing families), acupuncture, massage therapy, and yoga classes. Parents can labor and birth their babies in our beautiful home-like birthing rooms which all come equipped with large labor and birth tubs, private bathrooms, and a comfortable family bed where the new family can cuddle, breastfeed, and bond.
See our Birth Center page for more info!
We offer and specialize in water birth for those who desire it. Laboring and birthing in the water can shorten labor, provide comfort during contractions, and reduce the chances of tearing. Water birth is a part of all our birth center and home birth packages and as such, we provide the tub, set it up, and take it down after your baby arrives. For home birth, you will provide some additional supplies necessary for your home (towels, hose, etc) but we provide everything else.
Every woman can benefit from care with a midwife, including those that are planning a hospital birth. The medical model of care leaves little space for individualized support. We take the time to offer truly comprehensive, evidence-based prenatal care to fill that fills in the emotional and informational gaps common in traditional obstetric care. We can also address psychological and social aspects of pregnancy that are often left unaddressed by the medical model of care. We will not only cover practical, medical information but also include information about your own innate ability to birth and ways to support it.
If you are planning a hospital birth, we can help you to navigate the medical system and how to communicate with hospital staff. This will give you the confidence to have an empowering birth experience within the hospital setting. We welcome the opportunity to share the knowledge of midwifery care with you; we can meet just one time or on a regular basis.
You may also wish to have additional postpartum care for you and your baby. Once you leave the hospital you generally do not see your OB again until 6 weeks postpartum. In other countries, such as Germany, a midwife comes to your home once you return from the hospital to provide you and your newborn with additional support. This is a great opportunity to receive breastfeeding assistance, assess weight and health of your newborn, and check in on you (vitals, vaginal/perineal stitches, cesarean scar).
Postpartum and Newborn Care
Our holistic intimate model of care and support continues after birth with quality postpartum support for the whole family. Our standard is to provide two home visits within the first week of your newborn’s life, two follow up office visits within the first 6 – 8 weeks that includes new family support, breastfeeding support, natural family planning and a pap smear if appropriate. Since our care is intimate, we have found that many clients do not feel “done” with their care after the 6-8 week visit, so we offer a “tea visit” that can be scheduled anytime in the first two years of your child’s life.