We provide one-to-one care in labour which means the midwife who is caring for you is focused on you and is not juggling multiple clinical responsibilities. The midwife will be by your side as much as you need but also understands that time alone with your birth companion is beneficial and will give you space and privacy when you want it. We monitor the health and wellbeing of you and your baby and provide labour support to help you feel safe and able to cope with the hard work.
Midwives provide all the hands-on care for straightforward labours and births. We monitor your vital signs, the progress of labour, how your baby is coping, your need for rest, hydration, pain relief and emotional support, and we catch your baby as it comes into the world and repair damage to the birth canal.
Whether you choose to give birth at home or in the hospital, you will likely begin your labour at home. You will have discussed with your midwife the appropriate time to page and when you do, you and the midwife will discuss how things are going and make a plan together. When it is time to meet at the hospital or have a home labour assessment, the midwife will check your vital signs, see if your waters have broken, check the position of the baby, monitor the baby’s heart beat and assess the progress of labour (usually with a cervical exam) and how you are coping. Once active labour is diagnosed, a midwife will stay with you until the baby is born. A second midwife will come in time for the birth to be a second set of eyes and pair of hands.
Should your labour or birth become complicated and require the input of an obstetrician, we will discuss this with you and arrange a consultation. Sometimes care needs to be transferred to the OB team, such as for complicated labours or instrumental or surgical births. In these cases we remain your midwives. We will be in a supportive role until your risk has passed and then we resume your care. Usually we care for the baby immediately from birth and provide all the routine care for both parent and baby after hospital discharge. Some clients who had a transfer of care for birth will see the OB at 6 weeks for a follow up. Check out our sections on home birth and hospital birth at St Joe’s.