midwifery care

PREGNancy care

We blend in-person and telemedicine visit to make sure you stay healthy during pregnancy and have the opportunity to ask all your questions.  All testing is offered on site and referrals are given for ultrasounds.  Our midwives are available and can be paged at all times for any concerns.

birth

We have two spacious birth suites designed specifically for natural birthing – complete with birth tubs, dimmable lights, showers with never-ending hot water, birth balls, nitrous oxide.  Your midwife will stay with you through your entire labor, catch your baby, and discharge you after two to four hours to sleep in your own bed.

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pospartum care

Our midwives come to your house 24 hours after your delivery to check in on you again and provide any necessary tests for your baby.  Families who deliver in the hospital are also eligible for this care.  Office visits are offered for six weeks after delivery to make sure you are healing well, you are screened for postpartum depression, and provided contraceptive care. 

newborn care

All babies born at Sprout receive a full head to toe exam before being discharged.  Our providers assess for tongue and lip tie, provide a hearing test and heart disease screening, and assist with breastfeeding.  Babies born at Providence Hospital are also eligible for early discharge with a home visit from one of our midwives at the 24 hour mark.  Families can continue pediatric care with one of our naturopathic doctors after the first week of life.

frequently asked questions

What is the difference between a licensed midwife (LM) and a certified nurse midwife (CNM)?

A Licensed Midwife (LM) is a healthcare professional licensed by the Washington State Department of Health. An LM must satisfy specific educational requirements and pass board exams administered by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). Licensed midwives practice natural home birth and birth center birth with uncomplicated pregnancies and no unnecessary intervention. Many LMs also carry a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) credential, which is the international credential granted to midwives with knowledge and experience practicing out-of-hospital childbirth. A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) is a nurse who obtained further education in childbirth but not necessarily home birth. Although most CNMs work in hospital settings, some CNMs have chosen to serve home birth clients.

why choose a midwife over an obstetrician?

Most obstetricians practice in a hospital-based setting. Their commitments typically allow them a small amount of time for each office visit. Many obstetricians also work in teams where the doctor on call varies depending on when you go into labor. These circumstances can make it difficult to create the relationship of trust between doctor and patient that is so important for a smooth and uninterrupted labor. You are likely to see an OB only at the very end of labor, but your midwife will be with you through the entire process – by phone, at home, or in our birth center.  We have three midwives at Sprout so you will have time to get to know them well and our birth team typically includes two of the three midwives.

why have both midwives and naturopathic doctors as part of your care?

Having a  naturopathic doctor as part of your birth team increases the scope of care that we can provide during your pregnancy.   Do you have thyroid issues in your family or do you take thyroid medication? We can can monitor and make adjustments to your thyroid medication as your metabolism changes during pregnancy. Do you have a history of depression, anxiety, insomnia or digestive problems? We have a wide range of natural treatment options available to you based on our extensive knowledge of the body in its pregnant and non-pregnant state. Our naturopathic doctors can also provide well-adult and well-child care, allowing you to continue with a clinic you already know and trust. Naturopathic doctors in Washington are fully licensed, fully qualified Primary Care Physicians with the legal ability to monitor and prescribe medications, order diagnostic tests, and administer vaccinations.

what is the difference between a birth doula and a midwife?  would i benefit from both?

 A midwife is medically responsible for the health and safety of mother and baby, just like a doctor.  A doula focuses exclusively on physical and emotional support and usually comes to your home before a midwife to help support you and your family.  Midwives and doulas love working together and families often choose to have both on their birthing team.  

Do you offer water birth?

 Yes! Our birth suites have tubs specially designed for birth, including underwater illumination and *lack* of jets (to assist with the cleaning process). Birthing or laboring in water is fantastic for managing the intensity of labor contractions. Warm water soothes muscles and joints and buoyancy provides easier movement. Professional birth tubs provide much more room than a typical bathtub.

Am I a good candidate to deliver in a birth center?

 Probably! You are eligible if you are in good health, pregnant with only one baby, hope to deliver without epidural pain medication, stay low risk based on your screening tests throughout pregnancy, have a baby that is head down at the end of pregnancy, and go into labor between 37 and 42 wks.   You may notice that this does NOT include your age, your weight, or an assessment of you pain tolerance! The Centers for Disease Control published a study marking a 30% increase in home birth in the United States between 2003 and 2008 and a 2013 study noted caesarean outcomes for home births were one sixth as common as for hospital births without any additional risks to the baby. One of a midwife’s most important tasks is screening and monitoring of clients to ensure that only low-risk pregnancies are birthed outside the hospital. Most healthy people who do not have specific medical conditions can safely birth with us. Only doctors and midwives have the training to determine if you’re a good candidate so be sure to consult with us or another licensed practitioner for the safety of you and your baby.

is out of hospital birth safe? 

It is becoming increasingly clear that out-of-hospital births, when managed within a functional healthcare system, are overwhelmingly safe. A recent study by Oregon Health and Science University, the largest and most inclusive of its kind, concluded that even when midwives were unlicensed, bad outcomes for birth center babies occurred at roughly the same rate as hospital babies. Outcomes for birthing parents, on the other hand, were better at birth centers – a hospital patient was fifteen times as likely to be induced as a birth center patient and six times as likely to end up with a caesarean section. A similar Canadian study found no increase in adverse outcomes for home and birth-center births as compared to hospital births.  Sprout gathers statistics and reviews all our deliveries to make sure we are continually improving our care and minimizing complications.  While we cannot guarantee that birth is 100% safe, neither can the hospital, and we take every precaution to ensure that your family receives the best care possible. 

is out of hospital birth safe? 

It is becoming increasingly clear that out-of-hospital births, when managed within a functional healthcare system, are overwhelmingly safe. A 2015 study by Oregon Health and Science University, the largest and most inclusive of its kind, concluded that even when midwives were unlicensed, bad outcomes for birth center babies occurred at roughly the same rate as hospital babies. Outcomes for birthing parents, on the other hand, were better at birth centers – a hospital patient was fifteen times as likely to be induced as a birth center patient and six times as likely to end up with a caesarean section. A similar Canadian study found no increase in adverse outcomes for home and birth-center births as compared to hospital births.  Sprout gathers statistics and reviews all our deliveries to make sure we are continually improving our care and minimizing complications.  While we cannot guarantee that birth is 100% safe, neither can the hospital, and we take every precaution to ensure that your family receives the best care possible. 

What type of safety and emergency equipment does my midwife have to monitor me and my baby?

At Sprout we have all of the necessary equipment and supplies for normal childbirth, as well as the equipment and supplies necessary to manage an emergency. Regardless of whether you birth at our facility or at home, we have blood pressure cuffs and handheld dopplers to measure your blood pressure and the baby’s heart rate, pulse-oximeters to make sure baby is respirating well, intravenous fluids and antibiotics (if necessary), anesthetics and suturing materials in case you need stitches after the birth, several medications to stop excessive bleeding, oxygen for mom and baby, and tools to assess the health of baby when he/she arrives.

Why might I need to transfer to hospital care?

Our primary concern is the safety of you and your baby, and some labors and deliveries are safer in a hospital setting. Your birth must be managed in a hospital setting if you develop certain conditions during pregnancy – like pre-eclampsia. If your baby decides to come out feet first (a “breech birth”) you’ll need more medical care than we can provide. If your baby decides to come out before 37 weeks she’ll need more intensive care than we can provide in a birth center. We want you to have a safe and healthy birth first and foremost and sometimes, your best bet is a hospital.

What if there are complications during or after the birth?

Complications during labor aren’t always emergencies. For example, if you develop a fever (we are concerned you or the baby may have an infection) we will go to the hospital and into the care of our backup obstetrician. The health and safety of you and your baby is of utmost importance to us, and although emergencies are rare we are always prepared to transport if needed. We create a transport plan in advance of your labor so we know who we will contact and under what circumstances. We work with several local hospitals to transfer to depending on the circumstances.  When we need to, we call 911 for fast transport to the nearest hospital while we handle the situation at home or at the birth center. We carry several types of equipment for emergency situations like oxygen, a bag and mask for the baby, medications to stop bleeding and IV equipment and fluids. All of the midwives and assistants in our practice are have specialty training in CPR and neonatal resuscitation.