Prenatal visits are scheduled every four weeks up to twenty-eight weeks gestation; every two weeks up to thirty-six weeks gestation; and every week thereafter until the birth. Your pregnancy due date is approximately forty weeks; however, your birth may occur any time between thirty-seven and forty-two weeks.
The first prenatal visit includes a complete review of individual and family health histories, laboratory testing and nutritional assessment. During your prenatal visits we will listen to your baby's heart rate and monitor your baby’s growth. All of your questions and concerns will be addressed during your visits.
Women are allowed to experience labor naturally. There are no mandatory positions for birth, stirrups or restraints will not be used, and procedures such as an episiotomy are not routine. Medications for pain are not available during labor because pain medication can have an unpredictable effect on your baby. We encourage other methods of pain relief which provide effective and adequate ways to manage and cope with pain, such as: massage, heating pads, warm shower or tub baths, cold applications, nourishment, varying positions, emotional support, relaxation, and breathing techniques. Relaxation and breathing strategies are taught in our “Preparation for Birth” classes.
While every effort is made to focus on the natural aspects of birth and to “de-medicalize” the process, labor and birth will be monitored. Our birth center is equipped with the proper medical equipment and supplies, which are necessary to attend a normal low risk birth. The mother’s vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and respirations) will be monitored at regular intervals and internal examinations are kept to a minimum, and performed only as needed. The baby's heart rate is also monitored on a set schedule to insure there is not any distress.
Minor complications during labor may be managed within the birth center. Women experiencing complications which are outside our realm of safe practice are transported to a hospital, minutes away. If a transfer is necessary, your support person may accompany you to the hospital, as well as a birth center staff member, who will go along to assure a smooth transition.
Each family will be discharged within 4 to 6 hours after the birth as long as mom and baby are happy and healthy. Families will be visited by their midwife 24 to 48 hours after departure, and then again between 3 to 5 days later at the mother's home. At post-partum visits, the midwife will assess mom and baby's health and well-being as well as assist with breastfeeding and newborn care. Included in your care is an in office visit at 2 and 6 weeks.
The Hollywood Birth Center also offers: