We staff certified direct-entry midwives who work together to provide comprehensive care to healthy families during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period.
Midwifery care is based on promoting health and providing preventative care to avoid or minimize complications. Women being cared for by midwives are active participants in their own health care. Our clients employ a number of methods to achieve an optimal pregnancy including working with massage therapists, chiropractors, and naturopaths. We offer:
Our midwives work within a scope of practice governed by the state of Alaska and consult with other health care providers when appropriate. Midwives provide care for clients anticipating normal, low risk pregnancy and birth. Licensed midwives can order routine pregnancy laboratory tests, such as blood work. We also do ongoing screening of the well-being of our clients and newborns.
Midwifery visits begin when pregnancy is confirmed and end about six to eight weeks postpartum. Visits occur regularly throughout pregnancy, rotating between the staffed midwives so you will have the opportunity to form a relationship with all members of our birth team. Appointments are approximately 45 minutes and include physical assessment of mother and baby (vital signs, urinalysis, and fetal growth etc.) as well as emotional support, and education, as your family prepares for the addition of a new baby.
Our midwives are on-call and available 24 hours a day by phone. During early labor a midwife will be in contact with you by phone. Once active labor is established, or when you feel the need for more support, the midwife on call will make a plan to meet you at the birth center. A second midwife will attend the birth, and arrive at the birth center when labor has advanced.
For your comfort birth rooms are equipped with:
We encourage you to bring any comfort measures that will help your birth experience. Clients should consider bringing music, candles, clothes for before and after birth, and light snacks to enjoy during their labor.
Clinical aspects of care during labor and birth include:
Midwives provide skilled clinical, physical, and emotional support during labor and birth. The most important emotional support is that provided by your partner, family and/or friends. You are welcome to have whomever you wish present at your birth. It is very important during prenatal appointments that your midwives meet the person (or persons) whom you plan to have with you during your labor and birth. In the first few hours following the birth we arrange to keep you and your baby together in a quiet and respectful environment with the people of your choice supporting you. We will help you to breastfeed within the first hour after birth. We will continue to provide clinical monitoring, support, information and guidance throughout the first six weeks.
What if there is an emergency?
True emergencies are rare. However, JFHBC has emergency equipment and our midwives are trained to handle complications. All midwives are trained in Neonatal Resuscitation and CPR. The birth center has anti-hemorrhagic medications, oxygen and other resuscitation equipment on hand. In the event of a transport to the hospital, your midwives will accompany you as your advocate and labor support. The birth center is located less than a mile away from the hospital, and our midwives have an excellent relationship with the doctors at Bartlett Regional Hospital.
Your postpartum care will begin 24 hours after your birth, with a home visit to check on you and your baby. At every postpartum visit we will assess your health, the baby’s health and ensure that breast feeding and bonding are going well. Creating a positive breast feeding relationship is one of our top priorities and we will work with you as much as necessary to help that happen. After your final postpartum visit, we are happy to refer women to another local provider for birth control or other general wellness services.