If you have experienced the medical model during a pregnancy, you understand the drill. The mother goes to the office once a month (or more), sits in the waiting room for an hour, pees in a cup, steps on a scale, and goes to the exam room. In the exam room she’s asked a few questions, blood pressure taken, sit for another 30 minutes or so, and the finally the doctor......The doctor measures the mother’s fundus, listens to heart tones, asks about any questions and then their gone (unless there is another test or vaginal exam). Total time with the doctor is, maybe 15 minutes. Wait..... that’s it? Oh and don’t forget to schedule the next appointment.....
This is not to put down the medical system, it is the way is it is. However, what if there were more to prenatal care? There is! First, those appointments are not prenatal care, they are visits. Prenatal care starts and ends with you as the mother. That’s right moms! You are completely responsible for the care and well-being of yourself during this time of growth. When I talk about your care, I’m not talking pedicures and facials although those these things can be a part of it. I’m talking about discovering what nourishes you and makes you feel whole. This includes spending quality time alone in prayer or meditation to connect with yourself and your baby, learning about your baby’s personality and patterns. Part of care means getting adequate movement and eating nourishing foods. This should also include searching yourself for any fears, concerns, and past traumas that need to heal. And of course, prenatal care doesn’t just have to be you. You also choose others to pour into you and nourish you.
What does it look like to choose a trusted birth keeper to nurture you? What does it look like to build community, learn and grow together? At Nebraska Birth Keeper we strive to provide options to help you with prenatal well-being.
In November, we started what is called Inspira Community Visits. The second Saturday of the month, any member and family of Nebraska Birth Keeper’s private membership association is welcome to come for a time of learning, foods, conversation, and an optional private short session with me. Members may be currently pregnant or in their postpartum time. This is a time for meeting and sharing with others, who are like-minded in homebirth. We usually start together discussing a topic or doing an activity. These topics change every month and may include: Art Therapy, Prenatal Yoga, Belly Dancing, Preparing for the Postpartum time, etc. Afterward, we eat and families get to know each other. During the conversation time, out-of-town members, who schedule a short private visit will come back to my office one family at a time. During the short private sessions, we can provide clinical skills wanted and discuss any questions. These short prenatal visits last only 20-30 minutes.
However, these shorter visits can leave little room for relationship building with the families. For that reason, another prenatal option is to schedule a full prenatal visit. If families would rather have a longer time, they’re welcome to still schedule a full appointment. During our full prenatal appointment, we spend an hour and half building relationship, addressing trauma and fear, and share ideas on how to better nourish the mother physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We also can provide clinical skills, like the short visits. Sometimes we share a meal and tea.
What I love most about these options is that families can choose what works for them. Many families chose to mix it up. Some months they will come to Inspira and some months they will choose a full visit. I cherish both of these times with families I serve.
Remember, you are the one caring for yourself, but I love to come alongside and be part of your journey.
Here is an inside look at both Inspira and a private prenatal.
Photo credit James Morgan at www.matophotos.com