I spoke to Deanna from Birthwise Midwifery to find out more about the practice and what role a midwife plays in an expecting moms pregnancy.
I’m a holistic home birth midwife who believes birthing people are in charge of their bodies and can make decisions for themselves regarding their care. I’m a licensed Certified Professional Midwife.
I can only care for low risk people, which means someone can’t have hypertension, existing diabetes or other conditions that would make someone high risk for complications during birth. I also can’t care for anyone who is pregnant with twins and if we knew a baby was breech at 37 weeks and we couldn’t get the baby to turn head down, that person would risk out of my care as well. I can, however, order labs and ultrasounds. We provide full informed consent in that we offer all the same tests that an OB would offer, but we discuss the risks and benefits, what the testing can and can’t tell us, and then we let the parents decide whether or not they want to do it.
We allow an hour for every prenatal visit. We discuss diet, exercise, sleep, emotional wellness and any symptoms a client might have. We also check blood pressure and do a belly check at every visit, which means we listen to the baby’s heartbeat, measure the size of the uterus and check baby’s position.
We fully believe in the physiological process of birth. That means we aren’t doing a lot of things to make things happen. We want to hold the space for the birthing person to feel safe so that their body can do its thing. We don’t do a lot of internal exams, we don’t to coached pushing and we leave the cord attached until it stops pulsing. We do offer more guidance when necessary, for instance with a posterior baby we can help with maternal position changes or spinning babies exercises to help baby get in a better position. We are checking the baby’s heartbeat intermittently throughout labor and also monitoring the birthing person’s vital signs. We are certified in CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation and bring that equipment with us to the birth. We also carry medications for hemorrhage. We help get breastfeeding established and do a full newborn exam before we leave.
Then we come back around 24 hours postpartum to check on mom and baby. We care for people throughout the pregnancy, labor and through 6 weeks postpartum.
A lot of insurance companies don’t cover my care, unfortunately, so most clients pay out of pocket. Some clients receive partial reimbursement if they have out of network coverage.
These clients deliver in February 2022 and October 2021
Person A : 8 weeks
Person B: Almost through my first trimester
Person A: I was hoping for a home birth
Person B: I’ve never wanted to birth in a hospital (unless medically necessary) because of the way I’m which institutionalized births often deny the birthing person agency. I also wanted to keep myself open to the possibility of a water birth, which is exactly how I ended up delivering my child.
Person A: I had met the midwife before and I felt like she would be a great presence for a home birth.
Person B: Deanna and her student Martie
Person A: Everything! The attentiveness in care. The options that were available regarding my pregnancy and birth choices.
Person B: I felt empowered after each of my appointments, they did not operate from a fear based perspective, they truly got to know me, my experience was trusted throughout my pregnancy, my anxieties were heard and responded to with empathy and facts (to help calm/ground me), and I wasn’t their first nonbinary client.
Person A: Nothing
Person B: Paperwork is still quite gendered, I wasn’t thrilled about traveling so far out of Baltimore City to Deanna’s office, and I can’t keep using her as a practitioner because I’m no longer pregnant.
Person A: I will definitely use Birthwise again if there are future pregnancies.
Person B: I worked with Kate Anderson as my birth doula. She was my rock during labor (I’m a solo parent) and has been an ongoing source of guidance and support.
How easy was it to get an appointment? Both clients scored 10/10
How happy were you with the overall care? Both clients scored 10/10
How satisfied were you with the prenatal care? Both clients scored 10/10
How happy were you with the support received while in labor? Both clients scored 10/10
How happy were you with the support received postpartum? Both clients scored 10/10
Did you feel listened to and like your concerns and needs were a priority throughout your care? Both clients scored 10/10
Wow, great reviews for Birthwise Midwifery! To find out how they can help you get the pregnancy you are hoping for reach out to Deanna here.