When your labor starts, you are encouraged to call your midwife! Typically, women come in to the birth center when they are in active labor. The Luna Care Team supports the natural unfolding of labor by encouraging eating and drinking in labor, freedom of movement, privacy, and low lighting as desired by the mother. During the birth of your baby, our birth team will provide loving support, grounded reassurance, and professional, evidence-based clinical care. Every woman is different in the amount of emotional support, comfort measures, and specific guidance that she needs during her birth, and every birth is different. There is no right way to give birth, there is only the way that works best for you. Your Luna Birth Team will make suggestions for comfort measures and position changes if there is a need. These comfort measures may include, heat, cold, herbs, aromatherapy, homeopathy, massage, water, movement, music, food, beverages, time alone with your partner, prayer, rituals, hugs, empathy, or other things.
You may labor and deliver in whatever room you like, in or out of the bed or tub. You may also assume whatever positions you like; women in labor instinctively know how to move their bodies and what positions to assume to let their babies out.
Once born, the baby is handed directly to you, where he/she will stay as long as you like. There is no routine mother-baby separation. He/she will be suctioned only if absolutely necessary, not on a routine basis; most babies do not need any suctioning at all. Baby is placed on your belly, skin-to-skin with you, dried off with warm towels, and then you are both covered with a warm blanket. The cord is not cut until it stops pulsing, usually after the placenta has been delivered. The placenta is delivered in a gentle and unhurried manner, inspected for normalcy, and disposed of according to the family’s wishes. Apgar scores are assessed and documented, and all information is shared with you. Finally, when both mother and baby are stable, the family is left alone for private bonding time.
What if you need to go to the hospital?
Occasionally, complications of labor or delivery may occur that indicate that transport to the hospital would be wise. They don’t occur frequently, and if they do, we accompany you to the hospital, make all of your prenatal and labor records available to the hospital staff, and facilitate a smooth transition. Most often, transfer to the hospital is not an emergency and occurs in our own vehicles rather than in an ambulance. Once in the hospital, our roles become that of labor support people rather than midwives. Complications which MAY require transport to hospital during labor, birth or postpartum:
- Irregular, depressed, or accelerated fetal heart rate
- Thick meconium staining
- Prolonged lack of progress in labor
- Elevated maternal temperature
- Poor infant response after birth
- Infant abnormalities
- Retained placenta
- Extensive perineal or cervical lacerations
- Maternal hemorrhage
Options at the Birth Center
Water Birth and Hydrotherapy
Our birth rooms are equipped with spacious built-in birth tubs. For women who desire an unmedicated birth, warm water is one of the most powerful tools for management of pain. It also improves mobility, reduces anxiety, and promotes woman guided movement. A birth tub is a wonderful tool to have available in labor.
Pain Relief Via Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous Oxide takes effect in seconds and offers a reduction in pain and anxiety during labor and childbirth. It is patient controlled, via inhalation (using a mask), which means the mother is in charge of when a dose is administered. It is safe for both mom and baby, and dissipates rapidly. Nitrous oxide allows the mother to be upright and actively participating in her labor and makes the peak of contractions more tolerable. Women with known MTHFR mutations should not use nitrous oxide.
Luna offers VBAC to clients that meet our guidelines. Please call to schedule a no charge consult to determine if birthing at Luna is the right choice for you and your family.