Certified Nurse-Midwives are in attendance seven days a week and we cover Labor & Delivery 24 hours a day. We have very low cesarean section rates and we are proud of that! We adhere to the following practices on a regular basis:
- We support the people who are there to support the laboring woman – family members, friends and doulas. The number of support people is limited to no more than 3 at one time, to comply with safety and privacy issues in the labor and delivery suite.
- We fully support the intention of women who would like an unmedicated birth.
- We likewise support women who desire a birth that is as pain free as possible. We provide medication to decrease the pain of labor and work closely with our anesthesia department to order epidural anesthesia at the best time.
- We strongly recommend childbirth preparation classes to help women and their birth partners understand the natural process of labor and giving birth. Classes also explain coping skills for early labor, when it is too early in the process for most to receive an epidural. In addition, they introduce some of the medical interventions that are sometimes necessary to insure a healthy outcome.
- Not every woman needs an IV, but it may be recommended on a case by case basis for medication, hydration, preparation for an epidural or as a safety precaution.
- We can monitor the baby intermittently if the baby is handling labor well, based on a review of the initial fetal heart rate, and if the woman is unmedicated and there are no other complicating factors.
- We believe most women should eat lightly according to preference and drink frequently during labor, though there are some circumstances where this may be restricted. We can provide refreshments or you may bring your own.
- Once the baby’s initial status is assessed, women can walk, utilize a variety of labor positions, or try a warm shower to help labor move along. We encourage you to bring your own “birthing ball”, if you like, and your own music, to set the right atmosphere for you. Women who have an epidural are restricted to bed rest.
- We do not do routine enemas, shaves or episiotomies. We do not routinely utilize internal monitors or other interventions.
- We work with you during the pushing phase and crowning to ease the baby out and prevent perineal tearing.
- When possible, we encourage mothers to reach down and help deliver their babies if they would like.
- Unless otherwise indicated, the mother’s significant other will cut the umbilical cord.
- We place the baby directly on the mother’s abdomen when he/she is born so that mother and baby can maintain skin to skin contact.
- Watch a virtual tour of our labor and delivery center at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Redwood City.