“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” – Rajneesh
When your labor begins, the personal care and attention you will have come to expect at Kharis Midwifery continues. Kharis midwives are on call for you 24/7. One weekend every month, our midwives get a rotating weekend-off call. The time off honors our hard-working midwives. We practice the beliefs we preach about self-care, physical health, caring for relationships, downtime, and restoration.
Early Labor will start with a phone call with your midwife to assess your labor. At that point, you will make a plan together on whether it’s time to have your entire team arrive for a home birth or if it would be beneficial for you to continue resting before active labor begins. We provide labor support during your active labor phase and hope that you will rest, nourish, hydrate, and wait for the big stuff to start in pre or early labor. Through experience and research, we have learned that women do best when surrounded by people they trust in a comfortable environment. Your labor room can include candles, food, music, children, loved ones, and whatever you need to feel comfortable and safe. Some women hire a doula to support them in the hours (sometimes days) of pre or early labor; let us know if you would like this extra support.
Labor support from the midwives or your doula lessens the impression of pain, shortens labor, reduces the need for the medicalization of birth, lowers the cesarean birth rate, and increases a mother’s positive feelings about her birth. A trained labor support person (midwife, assistant, apprentice, doula) will support you through your labor by using kind and encouraging words, touch, and labor support tools like: use of water, change of position, birth stools, walking, lunging, resting with a peanut ball, massage, yoga sling support, endless pillows, acupuncture, and many more modalities, all help you to open and give birth. Ask someone who has birthed with Kharis Midwifery to describe the support they received in labor. Our attention is fixed on you and your family.
Privacy is one of the best labor tools. Labor flourishes in an undisturbed environment! For some people oxytocin (the labor & love hormone) flow the best when they are left alone or with their partner. We honor such inward laborers. We will wait just outside the door and quietly tiptoe in to check on you & listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Or sit closer if that is what you need during your time. You may labor in quiet, darkness if desired.
How Kharis Midwives Support & Monitor
Availability of free (untethered) movement increases spontaneous vaginal birth. How is safety monitored without being tethered to monitors? Our care is human-directed versus technology/machine intensive. It requires us to be with women in an attuned & focused way... after all midwife means “with woman.” This kind of care increases the chances of a spontaneous vaginal birth without decreasing safety.
The Moment of Birth
In the second stage (also called pushing), you can be in the water, on a birth stool, in the shower, squatting on the floor, in the bed — the birth will happen wherever the baby decides they wish to be born. No stirrups are available for labor because they are not comfortable for an unmedicated woman. By not cheerleading women to push vigorously, vaginal tearing is reduced.
Most babies are “caught” by the partner with the midwife's guidance and placed on your chest. This is the magical moment! See FAQ for a more detailed description of the tender care given to not disrupt birth - this moment belongs to the family!