On July 12 2009 new Gardiner resident Eden Selah Hansen-Hall arrived. She was this year’s first baby born in town with the River & Mountain Midwives.
Melissa, a nurse manager, and Seth, an emergency department technician, had two previous hospital births with their daughters Cori and Daijah, but say they chose homebirth this time because they felt it was safer. “I really liked knowing the midwives were in the house during labor and yet I was free to go outside and move around; I was 100% comfortable doing whatever I needed to. It was great. My oldest daughter baked a birthday cake during labor and was able to see the baby immediately when she was born.”
Susanrachel Condon and Susan Rannestad are nationally certified and New York State licensed midwives who practice full scope midwifery at 120 Main Street and in private residences of surrounding counties. They have been practicing midwifery for a combined 30 years and offer primary women’s healthcare, prenatal care, homebirth and postpartum care to women and families.
Many people are not aware that licensed midwives in NY provide primary care from adolescence through the postmenopausal years. They order laboratory tests and write prescriptions, so they have clinical autonomy. For health concerns that fall outside the midwife’s scope of practice, consultation with a physician is initiated. Sometimes the physician and midwife will provide collaborative care and sometimes care will be transferred to the physician, but the midwife will continue to provide support to the client and her family. Best of all, midwifery care includes wellness education, family planning and disease prevention.
The safety of planned homebirth with qualified midwives has been demonstrated in numerous studies and families are choosing it more and more. Women enjoy making real choices about their health and mothers and babies are never separated at the time of homebirth. Condon and Rannestad attend most births together and provide extensive postnatal home visits. Since complications rarely occur and most can be resolved at home, the River & Mountain hospital transfer rate is approximately 10% and the cesarean rate is currently 6-8%. The national cesarean rate is now more than 31%. Homebirth is covered to some extent by most insurance plans.