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  • Writer's pictureHannah Burba, CPM

What to expect at a prenatal with me

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Baltimore Midwife
Family-centered belly check


Yeah! You are considering care with me or are already in care with me- what an honor to have you here. Our prenatal appointments are each scheduled for an hour, with the intention of building our relationship with each other, for me to learn more about your unique body, baby and pregnancy, and for me to offer support and any guidance that I can.

We usually begin each prenatal by just catching up, clients share what is new for them in their lives, and that usually allows for plenty of opportunity to learn more about what is going on with baby and physically for the mother, as well as the entire family unit. I believe that what is happening on the emotional level impacts the physical level, so I pay careful attention to everything that is happening for each family while they are pregnant.

For example, if someone complains about lower back pain, we talk about the position of the baby, the positions the mother is in throughout the day/nights, we may check in with her pelvis and sacrum and offer some physical bodywork support, or refer to amazing chiropractors or acupuncturists in the area. I also understand many women experience lower back pain when they need more support. When people are juggling too much, often navigating situations where stronger boundaries could be put into place, removing situations and relationships that do not serve this person or family any longer. It’s hard work. And we tend to carry it in our backs!

We discuss everything from dreams, communication with baby, how the bowels are moving (or not!), what sources of nourishment are feeling good, maybe offering some ideas to bring in more, we do lots of education about birth, who will be there, what are this families’ preferences, how to reach me when they are in labor. We review the physiology of pregnancy, birth and brainstorm tools that each family has to possibly utilize if needed. As we get closer to birth we begin discussing a lot about what to expect in the postpartum around pelvic healing, diastisis recti, bleeding, breastfeeding, resting…etc. I answer lots of questions, sometimes we draw blood, and then we do a belly check !

This part of the prenatal is pretty quick, but builds on all that we have discussed before we get to this part. The emotional landscape of the body gives me a foundation upon which I am able to connect and assess how baby is doing.

I begin by feeling the position of baby in the uterus, assessing where in the pelvis baby likes to hang out, where is there tension, tightness, tenderness? Where is baby today? Where were they last time? How are both bodies reacting to my touch? I usually am gathering information as to what is “normal” for this baby? For this body? What is the same from the last visit? What has changed?

We then listen to the baby’s heartbeat! We use either the fetoscope or doppler, depending on the client’s choice.

I often make an assessment as to the position of the pelvic bones, and the ligaments that are supporting all of the stretched out organs within them. *Beginning in December 2023, I am offering one prenatal devoted to just bodywork as inspired through the Arvigo Method of Maya Abdominal Therapy. I will also be offering one postpartum devoted to just bodywork as well, either at 2 weeks or 4 weeks postpartum.

Then we get a blood pressure, maybe draw blood, or we talk about any clinical procedures or topics of discussion we might do at the next visit.

I usually begin with sharing goodies- but sometimes as we have moved through an appointment I will be inspired to share more- each prenatal usually includes an herbal tea blend specific to where the client is in their pregnancy, a tincture, a flower essence, or something to incorporate topically (tallow balm, magnesium body butter, rose infused body/breast oil). As we get closer to birth, I will share (all organic, all homemade) herbal sitz bath blend, perineal sitz spray, postpartum tincture for cramping, tea blends, a tincture for supporting a good supply of breastmilk, a body oil or butter, and a homemade candle infused with love to light while you are in labor (as birth is, I believe, a ceremony).

We then of course schedule our next visit together and I finish charting all that we have done and discussed!

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