What an exciting time of life! The transitions surrounding birth are my favorites across the lifespan. I feel honored to be given the opportunity to bear witness.
Different families, individuals, and caregivers will work differently together. I believe individuals and families should have a choice regarding who provides their care and where they birth their babies. I’m excited to explore your preferences and choices with you.
I want to walk with my clients in their journeys. I would like to share my knowledge and experience so my clients can make choices about their care that are unique to their own preferences. I do not want to tell my clients what they should do. I want to empower my clients to take responsibility for their health and care and to feel good about those choices.
I pride myself on my hard work to stay current regarding evidence-based care in pregnancy, birth, and for the newborn. I work hard to continually develop and grow my practice in ways that are socially/culturally inclusive in regards to age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, body type, income, family size, relationship structure or status, and more. I belong to organizations, attend conferences, and pursue continuing education to foster my own continued growth regarding evidence-based and socially/culturally inclusive care.
Who is Born Homebirth?
I’m Jen. My practice is a solo practice providing pregnancy support, assistance for your birth at home, and postpartum care for you and your newborn.
Pregnancy and babies have been my passions for my entire life. I have three children of my own, all born at home. Being their mother has been and continues to be the pinnacle experience of my life. I also carried three babies, who were not related to me--as a gestational carrier, for folks who could not carry their own babies. This was another profound experience and was the expression of my deep heartfelt resolve to help folks have babies when they want a family and the process isn’t just easy and straightforward. I love to share my stories.
I hold a BA in Motherhood and Sustainable Living, an MA in Radical Alternative Education, and I maintain the National credential for homebirth midwives--the CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) awarded by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) as well as a license to practice in the state of Vermont (the LM--Licensed Midwife). I maintain current certification in CPR for adults, children, and infants as well as in Neonatal Resuscitation Protocol (NRP).
What Does Prenatal Care Look Like with Born?
I typically start seeing pregnant clients in the middle of the first trimester--but I want to see you as early as you feel ready for care. At the start of care we have a stack of paperwork to review and we start getting to know each other by reviewing your health history together. Your first appointment usually includes some blood work which we will discuss extensively before doing. We will discuss options for genetic screening early in care because these tests are time sensitive and often need to be done early if you choose them. The first appointment is generally a little longer than most others.
I see clients once a month for the first 28 weeks then every other week until 36 weeks. At 36 weeks I will have a home visit with you and the birth team, and then I’ll see you weekly until your baby is born. Appointments last about an hour. I am reachable by email and phone (or pager if need be) at all times during your pregnancy and postpartum period and urge my clients to contact me in between appointments with any questions or concerns.
Your care will include: talking about the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy and how they are impacting you and your support people, talking about standard medical tests during pregnancy and making decisions about how you would like to utilize them for your pregnancy, talking about and planning for your birth, and discussing the aspects of early newborn care that are within my scope of practice. During prenatal appointments we will listen to your baby’s heartbeat (after 10-12 weeks with the doppler if you choose, or after about 20 weeks with the fetoscope). I will monitor your blood pressure at each visit, measure the growth of your uterus, and feel your baby--eventually determining position with my hands on your belly.
I either offer or refer out for all of the routine tests of pregnancy that you choose including: genetic screening or testing, ultrasound, blood work, gestational diabetes screening, and GBS screening. All of these will be discussed with you at length so you can decide what is best for your family. We will also discuss the menu of options that are standard offerings for the newborn so you can choose which ones are right for your baby including: newborn antibiotic eye ointment, vitamin k, metabolic screening, hearing screening, and soon critical congenital heart disease screening. My goal is to share what I know about these options with you so you can make educated choices that are right for you.
As a solo practitioner, I will be the caregiver for your prenatal appointments, for your birth, and for your newborn. I will recommend you meet with my consulting OBs once during your pregnancy (and I will consult with them, with your permission, more often if medical need arises). I always bring an assistant to births with me. My assistant will always be another professional midwife licensed in the state of VT--either another CPM, LM (like me) or a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife). You will be given the opportunity to meet my assistant during the course of your prenatal care if you choose.
I have training in nutrition, herbs, and exercise for the prenatal and postpartum periods, current recommendations in the mainstream for appropriate medical intervention, and I love sharing everything I know!
Personalized care is the cornerstone of my practice. Personalized care means informed consent, shared decision-making, and different choices for different clients. Of course there may be times when recommendations become less flexible, like when a condition governed by VT Rules and Regulations for Midwives arises or when a client enters a higher risk category during pregnancy or at a birth, but I will communicate clearly in these situations while we discuss the course of your care and make decisions to move forward safely.
What is a homebirth like with you?
My support for your birth will be just as unique to your needs and preferences as your prenatal care. Sometimes clients want hands-on support with the midwife right by their sides as soon as things get started. Other clients want to labor and birth more independently or just with a partner nearby and the midwife standing by only if needed. In addition to providing the comfort and support you need I will be monitoring the vitals of you and your baby throughout labor to help ensure everyone’s continued health. We will talk extensively at prenatal appointments about the kinds of comfort measures that might feel supportive to you, and of course my job is to adapt my support to your needs in the moments of labor and birth. Waterbirth is an option if you are interested. Once your baby is born I will make sure everyone is stable, do a full newborn exam, and make sure everyone is fed and tucked in to bed before I help put your space back in order and depart. I’m usually at a client’s house for about 4 hours after the birth when there are no extenuating circumstances.
Postpartum home visits happen on days 1 and 3. We check in at one week (and I’ll usually visit then too, especially if this is your first). We schedule postpartum office visits at 2 and 6 weeks. At your postpartum visits I will monitor your health and wellness, we’ll talk about the adjustments that come with welcoming a new baby, and monitor the health of your newborn. We’ll complete the newborn screenings you’ve chosen and discuss family planning and nutrition for the childbearing year. I offer PAP screens at your final visit as well.
Thanks for considering sharing your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum with me. Please call or email if you have any questions. I wish you well on your journey!
Jennifer Pia-Needleman CPM, LM