BIRTH ASSISTANT SERVICES
Birth assistant services are often coupled with midwifery services for home births (water or land births), at a birthing center, or in assistance with the conventional labor and birth process in hospitals. The first step when choosing a birth assistant is usually to choose your midwife first or to get those you want on your birth team connected together by forming your birth plan. Your birth plan is usually created early in your pregnancy and has a plan for how you want to give birth (in water, in a specialized birth center room, at home, or in the hospital) and who you want to be in the labor and delivery process with you. It also details if you want to specifically give birth with a midwife guiding the process with you or if you would like OB/GYNs or other doctors involved. Many births are integrative, where the new mother or veteran mother to be is both working with OB/GYN doctors, the conventional health system, and a blend of midwives, doulas, birth assistants, and and family members to make choices about the birth process that is healthiest for the mother to be and the baby.
Jennifer Coomes offers her birth assistant services in connection with a midwife, and she is happy to be apart of a birth team that needs a blend of medical charting skills, intuitive teamwork skills, listening skills, medical and women's medicine education, nutrition knowledge, and female/feminine support. To reach out to ask Jennifer more about her services, you can reach her by clicking here, calling her at 425.505.3090, or emailing her at .
It is vitally important that the new/veteran pregnant woman have the knowledge and empowerment to make the choices that most reflect what she wants and needs for her labor and birth process. For many women, experiencing labor and giving birth is a deep and emotional experience, and having certain readiness is essential, especially if considering home birth, water birthing, or a birth center as a first time experience. Pregnant women who have had previous C-sections and are trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) tend to have a few complicated hurdles where midwives can help pregnant women navigate this process with more confidence. When you consider having a birth assistant on your birth team, you are choosing to have a level of support that is designed to help the midwife perform those duties in the best way possible to help support the labor and birth process.
ABOUT THE BIRTH TEAM
The lead practitioner in a home (land) birth, water birth (in a birth tub or a large bath tub), or specialized birth center designed for a less stressful environment and less hospital or conventional medicine intervention in the labor process. Midwives can also be assistants in a hospital birth but they are typically secondary in decision making behind the lead doctor over the pregnant woman's labor.
The birth assistant is usually the lead assistant to the midwife in charge of the birth process with a pregnant woman. She helps with equipment handling and readiness, medical charting of the birth, comforting and assisting the mother to be and family members, and generally is a key support to the midwife on the birth team.
The doula is the key assistant to the laboring and pregnant mother to be. The doula provides touch and care usually in the form of massage, helping to bring the laboring mother to be any liquid or food needed, helps her move from place to place while in active labor, and assists in communication with the midwife about the labor process.
The lactation consultant helps the new mother after delivery with breast feeding. This could include helping to teach the new mom about how to get her new baby to latch on to the breast and feed, helpful ways to improve and stimulate the milk production process, how to prevent or work through mastitis, how to work a breast pump and other equipment, and how to help the new/veteran mom to work through feelings and frustrations with the breast feeding process. Sometimes, the lactation consultant can be also be the midwife, birth assistant or the doula.
ABOUT THE BIRTH PLAN PROCESS
The birth planning process typically starts early in the pregnancy after the pregnant woman has chosen her midwife. Meetings between the pregnant client (and family) and midwife along with birth assistants, doulas, and lactation consultants may happen in a full birth team environment or one on one as needed. It is vitally important that the pregnant client (and family as needed) show up to these meetings and assessments to help work with information from conventional medical members on the birth team, to interpret and gather information from lab tests, ultrasounds, or other evaluations. Documentation of these meetings are taken and usually kept as part of the client's medical file. These meetings are also very important to discuss risks and contingency plans in case the pregnant/laboring mother to be has to change her birth plan due to needing to be transferred to the hospital. It is vitally important that awareness, knowledge, and communication is transparent, honest, and healthy during this process so that the labor and delivery process as well as the mother and baby are healthy and safe. Listening is paramount and committing to any needed tasks, activities, communication, or needs during this time is a team effort. The goal is always a healthy and successful labor and delivery for both the mother and baby, and being an active member of the birth team can make the pregnant woman's desired birth plan as successful as possible!
For more information about Jennifer Coomes and her training and background, please click here. Jennifer also offers nutrition consultation and pregnancy yoga services, please click here & here for those services. To purchase any of these services, please check out the Essence Health and Research Online Store!