Thursday, December 29, 2016

Midwife or Doula?

Midwife or Doula? That is the million dollar question.. As a Midwife, I get this question all of the time.. “What's the difference?” In the past I just never understood why people didn't know, but obviously because I knew and everyone around me knew too. The problem is a good majority of people don’t really know and this includes some health care professionals. Well, let me break it down in easy terms. Here is what Google says, A midwife is a health care provider while a doula is more of a childbirth coach. You might choose to have a midwife instead of an OB for prenatal care and to deliver your baby —midwives can deliver babies in hospitals, birthing centers or even in your home. Thank you Google, that clears it up! Even then people still don't understand why they need one over the other.. It’s not that difficult to understand when you know our backgrounds and what we can do. As a midwife, we specialize in prenatal care, childbirth education, labor birth and postpartum care. We are the health care provider for mom and baby. We do support and comfort mothers throughout the process and of course we will rub your back in labor but, we at some point need to take a step back to make important health related decisions. Imagine this, you're in labor and your midwife is coaching you through every contraction, rubbing your back, taking your vital signs, listening to baby's heart tones, charting and making sure not only you but your family is doing well throughout the process too. Let's say this goes on for 20 hours. Lets also say something unplanned starts to present, like your blood pressure starts to rise or you're running a temperature. If we are managing all of those other things and we need to make a medical decision it may be very difficult to do while also being emotionally in the moment. I always tell moms, at some point we need to step away so that we can look at the scenario from the outside and make a clear  responsible decision. If you’ve ever been to a birth in the hospital, the Doctors are usually making decisions from everywhere else but there. The nurses are reporting everything and they are giving orders based on that. Now, we are not like doctors and do not like to be compared in no way, but it’s just an example. Now on the other hand, A doula, also known as a birth companion and post-birth supporter, is a non-medical person who assists a person before, during, and/or after childbirth, as well as her spouse and/or family, by providing physical assistance and emotional support. The word doula is a Greek word meaning women's servant. Women have been serving others in childbirth for many centuries and have proven that support from another woman has a positive impact during the process .This means, they will rub your back, breathe with you through every contraction, make sure your family is doing well through the process and the list goes on. When Midwives work with Doulas, it’s like the mom has her own Justice League! Defenders of Natural Childbirth!! ( I have boys so I think in Superhero terms)  The Doula is comforting her while we are using our Midwife skills to encourage a smoother and hopefully faster delivery. If the Doula needs a break, we are there to take over so that mom always has her team supporting and encouraging her. It’s what we like to call “a win win”!! Evidence shows that having both a Midwife and a Doula present at a birth GREATLY reduces the need of unnecessary interventions and c sections.  When the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) released their groundbreaking "Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery" Obstetric Care Consensus Statement in February 2014, one of their key recommendations to reduce the primary cesarean rate in the USA was the continuous presence of a doula at a birth. (Caughey, 2014) Having a doula present at a home birth often means that two heads are better than one when it comes to suggesting coping techniques and offering comfort  that allow the labor to progress. So, now that we’ve cleared that up, I hope you’ll have your own Justice League at your birth.. We’ll be here waiting for the call to defend Natural Childbirth!!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Knowing the facts on inducing labor...

More and more births are being induced lately and a good majority for no medical reason. Some reasons are because of the holidays some maybe because of vacation’s that have already been scheduled. In some cases the mother wants to be induced because she has family that came from out of town to see the baby. I have even heard of trying to have the baby before the end of the year for taxes!! In any case, still not a good enough reason to be induced. Experts are learning that this can cause problems for both mom and baby. Some problems include, the induction not working because mom's body doesn't respond or may not be ready and in turn can lead to an infection and possibly a c-section. Babies born vaginally have an edge over those born via cesarean section. They pick up bacteria from their mother's birth canal, which scientists believe helps protect them from asthma, obesity, and other health issues as they grow older. This is called the microbiome and it helps baby develop an immune system that will aid in their overall health. Squeezing through the birth canal also helps drain all the fluid from their lungs. Another thing to consider is how baby will handle the induction. Some are fully developed and are ready for the outside world but some may not be. If the estimated due date is a little off and lets say baby is younger than 39 weeks, studies show that a few things might not be fully developed for outside the womb. Important organs, like his brain, lungs and liver, get the time they need to develop. Baby has time to gain more weight.  This is important because Babies born at a healthy weight have an easier time staying warm than babies born too small. Babies can suck and swallow and stay awake long enough to eat after they’re born when they are full term. So if your provider is talking about inducing and especially before 39 weeks, you can discuss the importance of vaginal birth and ask them is there is a medical reason that would require an induction. We all know how exciting it is to want to meet your baby and how anxiety takes over those last few weeks. Just think, a few more weeks of waiting is nothing to a lifetime of love and joy your new baby will bring.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Opening of the birth center!

For Immediate Release:

Natural Birthworks Opens First Free-Standing Birth Center In Margate/Coral Springs Area

Natural Birthworks, September 21, 2016 In keeping with the commitment to provide more birthing options and holistic alternative services for the community Natural BirthWorks, Margate's first Free standing Birth Center, has officially opened The Birthing Cottage.

The Birthing Cottage is brand new and features some amazing details that will enhance your birthing experience. The center has a very comfortable and cozy community room where they hold their childbirth classes, workshops, meet-ups, and support groups. There are two prenatal rooms that welcome your family in for the prenatal appointment. The highlight is obviously the birth rooms and no detail was left out. The newly designed birthing suites come equipped with a lovely soaking tub (designed by 50 midwives) hue lighting to allow  you to set the lighting mood of choice, a birth stool, birth ball, and a birthing rope which just happens to have massage stones for your feet. The tub has a secluded round wall so you feel your birthing in your own private cove yet allows the Midwives plenty of space to assist. Each birth room also has its own bathroom with dim lighting and a supplies closet for the Midwives to hold their birth supplies and equipment.

During labor mothers have access to aromatherapy and 24 hour on call Doula support . A mini kitchen that includes a refrigerator to store snacks and food for labor and the postpartum time and a coffee maker.

Mothers have full personalized prenatal care and education every step of the way. Working with a Licensed Midwife is a specialized and intimate part of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Midwifery care allows you to see and enjoy the magic that birth is when left to progress naturally and with limited intervention. Low-risk women statistically have a better outcome when receiving care from a Licensed Midwife.

Go to their website or call to set up a meet and greet today!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Natural Birth Community

Natural BirthWorks is an amazing community for new families, families to be, and those interested in learning all birthing options.
The Midwives at this facility eagerly wanted women to have a place where they could learn ancient techniques for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care. They also wanted a place where families could join together and support each other with breastfeeding, babywearing, motherhood, and more.
Here are some of the wonderful services and meet ups offered at Natural BirthWorks:

Birth Center Births- In their brand new, state of the art, facility with an amazing tub for waterbirths
Childbirth Classes- They offer a complete series and a free sample series
Lactation Services- One of the partners is also a IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant)
Home Births- Their sister company, Peaceful Pregnancy Pathways, offers homebirths
Doulas- They offer different range of doulas to choose from
Breastfeeding Support Group- Once a month they offer a mother-led support group for breastfeeders
Mindful Mamas Meet up- Also held monthly, this is for SAHMs, Homeschoolers, and new moms
Cloth Diaper Workshops, Babywearing 101, and more

They also host different events geared toward empowering and education families in the community. Give them a call 954 960 3213, check out their website , or drop in 513 Melaleuca Drive Margate FL 33063.

Monday, August 29, 2016

New Birth Center in South Florida!!

We are excited to announce the birth of our birthing center! Natural BirthWorks is the first birth center in Margate and the surrounding area.
We at Natural BirthWorks saw the lack of birthing options in Margate, Coral Springs, and the surrounding cities and felt moms deserved more options to receive the birth of their choice.
We welcome you to come and meet our Midwives, tour the center, and learn the benefits of natural birth. We are currently accepting all private insurance for either "in-network", "out of network", or GAP billing options, our insurance coordinator will walk you through the process.
Call to set up your free meet and greet today, 954.960.3213

Friday, July 15, 2016

Normalizing homebirths

Why home? Why not?
Homebirths with Licensed Midwives have statistically been shown to have better birth outcomes. Typically you will find the transfer rate low, and in turn lower c/section rates.
I'm sure you can google millions of articles but here's some great videos of what it actually looks like when birth is left to occur on its own. Surrounded by love and support, your birth can be beautiful.

more videos can be viewed here

Monday, July 4, 2016

Insurance giving you a hard time with your homebirth?

Did you know Florida law states: “(1) Any group, blanket, or franchise policy of health insurance that provides coverage for maternity care must also cover the services of certified nurse-midwives and midwives licensed pursuant to chapter 467, and the services of birth centers licensed under ss. 383.30-383.335.”

Here is the link to the Florida law that should help you when speaking to your insurance about a GAP exemption for complete coverage of our services. It may be necessary for you to refer to this law, print it out, or fax to your insurance provider if denied for authorization. 

Here are some great statistics on the safety and benefits of a homebirth from on of the larger Midwifery organizations Midwives Alliance of North America, MANA.

Know your options, explore your options, and have the birth you deserve and want! 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Natural BirthWorks: Bringing back the lost art of womanly care

 As Midwives, our training was always with the philosophy that woman were meant to have babies. There bodies are more than capable of nurturing, birthing, and feeding children. We also were taught how Mother Earth provides us with what we need to help and heal during this process.
Somewhere along the line much of our deep rooted knowledge that connected the earth and the beings on it got lost. The trust in ourselves, the trust in herbs, and the trust in the process became questionable. Midwives are few providers that still come from the past down knowledge that what we have is what we need. We restore the woman's faith her in her body that she is more than capable and she deserves this right of passage to motherhood. Honoring and celebrating such a magnificent transition is nothing to be ashamed but instead something to look forward to.
Natural BirthWorks is a birthing cottage that brings back the lost art of womanly care. We start by honoring the pregnancy by education women during the prenatal period. Spending time with them on whats normal, how to tend to the growing fetus, and what to be aware of. When labor arrives, we honor and hold the space for the mom so she can move, moan, sway, and move into transition with her new arriving baby. The postpartum period is usually one of rush rush, and mother must get back to doing her daily stuff, not in our philosophy. We encourage the mom to enjoy her babymoon, sit back during her healing time, enjoy the cleanse of healing herbs, nourishing meals, and her baby feeding on her breast.
Natural BirthWorks makes sure each mother is aware of all of these amazing options that are designed for her. We discuss the benefits of:

Doulas, and how their support in labor is essential for the focused mom
Lactation services, its great to know this natural process is supported by woman who know how to help
Placenta encapsulation, understand and receive the benefits of taking your placenta
Birthing tub rentals, we are there for you when you want to experience a waterbirth
Meet ups, we offer meet ups for the new mom, stay at home mom, natural minded mom and the breastfeeding mom
Babywearing/cloth diapering, learn how these benefit you, baby, and the environment
Sacred blessings/belly binding, herbs and traditions carried down from our ancestors on how to heal after birth

and so much more. Check out to learn more