For various reasons, home birth may not be the best option available for some families. We understand and support these families as well to have options available to them for labor and birth.
A monitrice provides physical, emotional and informational support to the expectant family during labor, delivery & postpartum similar to a doula. A monitrice differs from a doula in that she also provides limited clinical expertise. This includes monitoring of the vital signs of the laboring mother, intermittently assessing fetal heart tones, and providing cervical exams as requested. As a monitrice, we help you to monitor your progress during labor and share that information with you so that you can make the best, most informed decisions during your labor and birth. We are not hired as a medical care providers and we assume no responsibility for your personal choices in labor and birth. If you may be planning to stay home longer before moving to your place of birth, hiring a monitrice can provide an important bridge between the benefits of laboring in the comfort of your own home without interruption and the resources of the hospital. As a monitrice our goal is always empowerment with information and comprehensive support of your decisions. I purpose to include your partner and family during this once in a lifetime event to strengthen your relationship, not be a wedge or hero.
There are not many paths of study for monitrices, and I am not familiar with any widely recognized certification for this type of service. Most monitrices are either midwives who do some doula work (like myself), or apprentice midwives who have learned some clinical skills. You will want to ask VERY specific questions about where your (potential) monitrice gained her clinical skills and what her practice guidelines are. For instance, many could say that they monitors fetal heart tones during labor, but do they know how to do it properly and what they're listening for?
I am fully aware that some women may seek out a monitrice who is also a midwife with the intention to downplay how far along in labor she is and get a midwife for a doula’s or monitrice's fee. My contract is very specific: if, as your monitrice, I am forced to assume the role of midwife due to a quick birth, you will be charged my full midwifery fee. While I am fully capable and skilled as a midwife to provide care should this situation arise, I have no intention of doing homebirths in this way without appropriate planning and preparation. I am honest and transparent and expect the exact same courtesy from the families that request my services.
Prenatally we will
Meet 2-5 times prior to birth if possible. During this time, we will have an opportunity to get to know one another, and prepare for your birth.
Provide you with education to prepare for your upcoming birth experience, birth planning, anticipating for your postpartum period, newborn care options, and tools for successful breastfeeding. I will then be present for your birthing time, and for approximately an hour after birth to attend to the families needs.
During labor and birth, I will
Provide physical, emotional and informational support at your home and your birthing location.
Monitor vital signs of mother, assess fetal heart tones, and provide cervical exams upon request while at your home.
Transition to your birthing location with you.
Explain and interpret information and requests from your care provider to be sure your understand both the pros and the cons of the decisions to be made.
Serve at your advocate and help your family navigate the new environment.
During your postpartum time, I will