The Midwifery Model of Care is centered around nurturing, individualized, hands-on care of clients before, during, and after birth. Midwives are trained healthcare professionals who offer services including pregnancy tests, prenatal care, education in nutrition, exercise, labor, breastfeeding, and infant care, monitoring and care during labor and birth, and extensive care in the weeks following the birth. Midwives view childbearing as a normal life process, rather than a condition to be treated and managed. With this viewpoint, we can more effectively reach our goal in supporting women and their families in the process of birthing their babies safely, with support and confidence.
Every woman deserves access to the high quality, safe, personalized, attentive, affordable, and respectful care of a midwife. The midwifery model is a low-tech, high-caring model that produces excellent outcomes not only for low risk women, but for vulnerable and at-risk women as well.
Women cared for by midwives are seen as a valuable member of their care team and are included in medical decision making. “The midwifery model has advantages for many women because it avoids unnecessary interventions during labor, thus helping the process remain normal, and because it addresses needs that are often not adequately met by the medical management model.” (J Nurse Midwifery 1999 Jul-Aug)
Care with the Juneau Family Health and Birth Center begins with a consultation appointment with midwifery staff to tour the facility, discuss our services, and answer all questions that the family may have. Should clients choose to begin care with us, they are scheduled with a midwife for a two hour initial visit. This time give the midwife and client ample time to discuss the client’s medical history, adjustment to pregnancy, and to complete early pregnancy teaching and lab work. All prenatal appointments following the initial are scheduled for an hour, rotating through meeting with all our staffed midwives so the client and their family are familiar with all the people who may attend their birth.
Once labor has started, the on-call midwife will meet the client at the birth center or home, and remain with the client for the duration of her labor, birth, and postpartum time. After the family is discharged to home, midwives provide home visits on days 1, 3, and 5, followed by office visits weekly through 6 weeks postpartum. This enhanced postpartum care is invaluable in supporting the family through the transition of adding another family member, including supporting the healing of the mother, the initiation of a healthy breastfeeding relationship, and education to the whole family about the weeks following the birth.