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Complete Prenatal Care

Prenatal care begins with a 60 to 90-minute initial prenatal visit.  This includes history taking, review of completed forms and records (if applicable), lab work, diet review and nutritional goal setting, and of course, a prenatal exam. We’ll also spend some more time talking about your goals for this childbearing experience, as well as your previous pregnancies and births.

The standard prenatal schedule is followed.  Visits take place monthly until the 28th week, every two weeks from 28 to 36 weeks, and weekly after 36 weeks until the birth.   Plenty of time is allotted for each visit in order to help families to make informed choices about their care, to answer questions, and to provide information/guidance about the various aspects of pregnancy that are on your mind at the time.  This may include emotional and social aspects, nutrition, exercise, fetal development, or preparing for the birth and postpartum period.  


Prenatal care includes:

  • Initial lab work, and other lab work as needed and desired, based on informed choice.  This happens in my office, no need to make a trip to another location.  Office hours are available in Millheim and Boalsburg.

  • Monitoring of maternal vital signs, general health, uterine growth, the position of the baby, and fetal heart rate

  • Nutritional education and goal setting

  • Birth, postpartum, and newborn care education

  • Home visit at 36 to 37 weeks to review preparing the home for the birth, with office hours available in Millheim and Boalsburg for the rest of your prenatal visits.

  • 24 hour on-call phone availability for emergency situations

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Care during a homebirth focuses on active labor, the birth, and the immediate postpartum period.  Once labor is well-established, a midwife and assistant typically will be present until everyone is stable and comfortable after birth.  This is when the hours spent together at prenatal visits, crafting your birth plan, and developing tools to meet the challenges of labor come to fruition. 


Since most families choosing home birth use their own residence, there is no need to transition to a new environment.  This allows the mother to relax and focus on her experience without interruption.  Continuity of care means that we know each other and there is no need for introductions or history taking.  Labor is assumed to be normal, but not approached as routine.  A client’s unique needs, desires, and experience are always taken into account. 


The roles of the midwife and her assistant are very fluid, changing to accommodate the person in labor.  Some people find they prefer a very hands-on approach, while others labor behind a closed door, finding that the unobtrusive presence of a midwife, alert to their needs and checking in intermittently, to be all the support they need. One aspect of the role of the midwife does not change, however; the midwife is responsible for making clinical assessments of maternal and fetal/newborn well-being, of labor progress, and of postpartum recovery.

Homebirth services include:

  • Labor support

  • Labor assessment

  • Fetal monitoring

  • Assisting the birth of baby and placenta

  • Supporting the mother and baby during the first breastfeeding experience

  • Newborn exam

  • Monitoring condition of mother and baby until stable


Laboring and/or birthing in water is an option you may wish to explore. One can consider a birth tub as a tool for labor without committing to giving birth in the water. Many women find that water immersion is relaxing, offers a welcome feeling of buoyancy, eases contractions, and creates a private space for laboring.  This can allow labor to progress smoothly. Waterbirth is safe and gentle for babies whom emerge from the warm water of the womb into the warm water of the birthing pool, taking their first breaths as they are lifted out of the water and into the arms of their parents.

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Postpartum Care & Newborn Care​

Postpartum and newborn care continues until six weeks post-partum, supporting mother/baby’s physical and emotional wellbeing.  Plenty of time is allotted to discuss the mother’s physical and emotional changes, as well as newborn care and development.  Our culture and healthcare system typically undervalue this important time. There is evidence that compassionate and informed support reduces postpartum mood disorders and increases breastfeeding success. Visits are generally scheduled at one day, three days, one week, two weeks, four weeks (as needed), and six weeks, or as needed. On-call support continues for six weeks postpartum.

Newborn and Post-partum care include:

  • Home visits for the first two weeks

  • Monitoring the client’s recovery from birth.

  • Newborn weight checks

  • Breastfeeding support

  • Newborn Metabolic Screen

  • Newborn Hearing Screening

  • Newborn Critical Congenital Heart Defect Screening

  • Birth certificate filing

  • Family planning education

  • PAP test if desired

Adjunct Care

Some people know that they wish to give birth in the hospital, but still desire the more personal and holistic approach to prenatal and/or postpartum care that the midwifery model can provide.  Anyone who is interested is welcome to schedule a consultation visit to discuss the possibility of standalone prenatal and postpartum care.  These visits may happen concurrently, as a compliment to your regular appointments.  They may also, in some circumstances, happen instead of some portion of appointments with your chosen birth care provider.

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Wellbody Care​

Midwifery care isn’t only for the childbearing year.  Annual exams are available as well.  These exams cover the basics in a safe, non-threatening, and non-judgmental environment and can include any or all of the following:

  • PAP test (cervical cancer screening) and bimanual exam

  • Screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections

  • Other lab work as indicated

  • Family planning education

  • Fertility awareness education

  • Pre-conception counseling

  • Time to freely discuss menstrual, reproductive and sexual health

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