Having a baby during the COVID-19 outbreak is stressful for new parents. What is the best way to stay healthy as the big day approaches? We are recommending that all expectant women self isolate in the last 2-4 weeks of pregnancy, to ensure that they start labor as healthy as possible for themselves, their newborn, and their care team. This means no outings except to see your midwife, and to enjoy some exercise and fresh air in an area where you can stay away from other people. This also means no visitors, except us if we come for a home visit. All family members who live in your home should stay home as much as possible, and practice good hygiene and hand washing as well as strict social distancing if they need to be out for any essential reason. Ideally, this is continued through the first 2 weeks postpartum. This can require some planning. Tell friends and family well ahead of time that you will have no visitors. Place a sign on your door reminding people of your house rules. Put aside staples for your pantry, and set up a "meal train" of people willing to bring you groceries. Groceries can be left on a porch or cooler, with a sign thanking people for their help. Although postpartum is usually a time we welcome extra support, during COVID-19 we recommend no friends or family come inside your home. Grandparents can meet baby through a window or with FaceTime. We realize this is a difficult time, but also a time to feel safe and secure in your own private "nest" that will welcome the baby.
What are affirmations? They are messages you give yourself in pregnancy and labor to remind yourself how strong, healthy and capable you are! They can help give you a positive focus throughout the labor process. Candles, notes placed throughout the labor space, and coloring books are a few of the creative ways we have seen women use affirmations to help guide them through pregnancy and birth.
One year ago, photographer Hillary Dubie joined us for the birth of our 2019 New Year's baby! This month, she wrote a lovely blog reflecting on this birth, and her journey back to photography full time. We love her photos, and her unique story. If you are interested in birth photography, check out Hillary's website: https://www.hdubiephoto.com. And for the whole story of baby Hudson's birth, check out her blog post: https://www.hdubiephoto.com/post/hudson-s-birth-story
(photo credits for this post: Hillary Dubie Photography)
2020 is the Year of the Midwife! We started the New Year by going to the Vermont State House and talking with our Representative about the importance of midwives, both in Vermont and around the world. At the end of the morning, we were recognized on the House floor for the important role we play in the healthcare of Vermont. We will continue meeting with our elected officials throughout the year, working to pass important legislation such as expanding birth options to include freestanding birth centers in Vermont and Medicaid coverage for doula care.
Sometimes things don't go as you planned. This family had to spend some time in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) after delivering their baby early. When your pregnancy takes an unexpected course, we are still there for you. This includes labor support in the hospital, breastfeeding and emotional support, and home visits tailored to your unique postpartum recovery. This couple is very happy to finally be heading home with their little one!
Many folks ask us about exercise in pregnancy. We love this topic! A pregnant body loves to stay active, especially after the first trimester nausea has passed. Pregnancy is a time to keep doing what you love, whether that's yoga, hiking, swimming, or just about any other physical activity. This mama is doing her usual prenatal yoga on her due date. A few days later, she had her baby girl smoothly and gently at home. After some time to rest and heal, she will be back to doing yoga to build flexibility, focus and strength-- all good qualities for motherhood!
Wondering if your house is a good place to have a baby? As long as it's warm and cozy, and has easy access with a plowed road, then it's the perfect place! This family recently had their second child in a tiny house. This tiny baby just needs a warm space and his family's love to feel right at home.
One of the great things about being able to labor at home is being near all your loved ones, including your furry family members! This kitty considered himself an important part of the labor support team, and followed his mama everywhere. He even tried to join her in the tub once! Through a long labor, he offered his support. He is now very pleased with his new baby brother.
We often find that pets like to observe their family during the labor process, although usually from more of a distance than this kitty!
What do we do at our home visits? Lots of things! About a month before your due date, we visit your home to help you make sure you have everything ready for your birth. After the baby is born, we come to your house for several postpartum home visits. We check on you and the baby, help with any breastfeeding concerns, and answer questions. We make sure you are eating well and recovering, and help arrange more support if needed. We also offer all the routine baby tests that would be done if you were at the hospital, such as the newborn screen, hearing screen and weight checks. In this picture, Shari is doing a simple test to check for rare heart defects, using an oxygen sensor. Baby is sleeping right through it, while big sister enjoys a snack! The best part-- the new mama can stay in PJs for this well baby check!
Four of Vermont's midwives got together to chat for an hour with David Goodman at WDEV in Waterbury. We talked about all kinds of midwifery care, from gynecology to home birth. Feel free to listen up here: https://vermontconversation.com/2019/10/28/from-birth-to-menopause-the-many-roles-of-midwives/
Hello! I am one of the midwives at Full Spectrum. I am happy to share the joys of our midwifery journey with you.