Midwifery care is preventative and holistic in nature. Many conditions that develop during pregnancy in an otherwise healthy mother can be reversed with good nutrition, exercise, rest and emotional support. Midwifery care, more often than not prevents problems from developing during pregnancy in the first place. Healthy women who take care of themselves during pregnancy, and receive their prenatal care with midwives are highly likely to stay healthy and have healthy babies.
Some conditions that are common in early or mid pregnancy can be resolved before birth such as low-lying placenta, breech presentation and anemia. We do not consider maternal age or weight to be significant risk factors unless they are accompanied by other complications such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Vaginal birth after cesarean is often a better option than a repeat cesarean section.
A history of complications with a previous pregnancy does not necessarily mean you will develop the same condition in your next pregnancy. Some of these complications are breech presentation, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, beta strep infection, preterm birth, placenta previa, cephalopelvic disproportion and low amniotic fluid. Although some of these conditions could potentially reoccur, with proactive care these complications can often be avoided in a subsequent pregnancy.
It is within our scope of practice to attend births with women who are considered “low-risk.” We have identified what constitutes a high-risk pregnancy below. And, one of the best ways to learn if you are a candidate to give birth and our birth center is to schedule a personal tour and discuss your options with us.
Heart Disease: Most women who have heart disease—including heart valve disorders and some birth defects of the heart—can safely give birth to healthy children, without any permanent ill effects on heart function or life span. However, women who have heart failure before pregnancy are at considerable risk of problems during labor. Most women with heart problems should give birth in hospital with the exception of mitral valve prolapse.
High Blood Pressure: Women who have high blood pressure (chronic hypertension) before they become pregnant are more likely to have potentially serious problems during pregnancy.
Kidney Disorders: Women with a severe kidney disorder before pregnancy are more likely to have problems during pregnancy. Kidney function may rapidly decline during pregnancy. High blood pressure, which often accompanies a kidney disorder, may also worsen, and preeclampsia (a type of high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy) may develop.
Seizure Disorders: For most women who take anticonvulsants to treat a seizure disorder, the frequency of seizures does not change during pregnancy. Because we are not able to monitor or treat seizures during the laboring process, it would not be prudent to deliver out of a hospital.
Diabetes: For women who have diabetes before they become pregnant, the risks of complications during pregnancy depend on how long diabetes has been present and whether complications of diabetes, such as high blood pressure and kidney damage, are present.
Other Conditions: HIV, Hepatitis, certain anemias, certain autoimmune disorders, and any health condition that is potentially life threatening and might require immediate medical intervention.
For mothers who have higher risk pregnancies requiring a hospital delivery we offer concurrent prenatal and postpartum care with our midwives, so you can be monitored by an OB/GYN and also receive the nurturing holistic care our midwives and other service providers.
Our doulas are available to support you during your pregnancy and attend your hospital delivery to provide you with the support and advocacy you’ll need to have an empowering birth experience.
We offer complimentary birth consultations for expectant families. During the consultation we can discuss any conditions not mentioned above as well as any specific concerns you might have. Please feel free to contact us with further questions. We look forward to hearing from you.