During your pregnancy, you are expected to receive regular prenatal care. This is extremely important to the outcome of your birth. There are many situations that potential problems, if dealt with in a timely fashion, never become true complications. At this time there are very few doctors in the Tulsa area (that we are aware of) offering prenatal care and emergency back up to home birth parents (primarily due to liability issues and disapproval of home birth). If we have to transport to the hospital, we will go to the nearest emergency room and take the doctor on call. A midwife will stay with you through that process as well. Our midwives provide prenatal care. We will see you monthly until your eighth month of pregnancy, after that time a midwife will see you more often. If you are having problems, we will see you more frequently. If you go past your due date, a midwife will see you weekly to keep a closer watch on you and your baby.
Each prenatal visit will include: checking your urine for glucose and protein if you are having problems, taking your blood pressure/pulse, weight gain, listening to the baby’s heartbeat, and feeling the baby’s size and position. We will discuss your diet, vitamins, problems, questions, birth preparation, tests, etc. We will discuss with you at the appropriate time in your pregnancy, tests, and procedures routinely done with pregnancy. Such as, at 15-19 weeks you would be offered testing for the AFP test (a blood test for birth defects) and at 18-24 weeks you would be given the option for an ultrasound, Glucose Tolerance test, etc. A midwife will give you the information on what the test is, what it checks for if you have indications for it, etc.
You will be required to have regular prenatal blood work, which may include a complete blood count, antibody screen, blood typing, Rh factor, syphilis, and hepatitis. At 28 weeks testing for gestation diabetes and anemia screening is routinely done. Last, but not least would be a culture for Group B strep (GBS), routinely done at 35-38 weeks. Approximately 2 to 3 weeks before your due date, the midwife may offer an internal exam to determine dilation, effacement, position, and station of the baby’s head. If you go past your due date by 1-2 weeks, you will be asked to have a Non-Stress Test and/or ultrasound to evaluate the health of the baby, and status of the placenta, amniotic fluid, etc.