Updated: Jan 7, 2022
In 2021, I completed my first full year in practice as a solo homebirth midwife, and I am happy to be able to post for the first time my statistics!
The items I included reflect the questions I am commonly asked during consults with prospective families.
For the 28 total families I served, 20 had their babies at home, with 10 baby boys and 10 baby girls. Some clients who planned a homebirth with me were referred to another provider for medical reasons. Reasons for referral this past year included preeclampsia, Rh negative isoimmunization, issues detected on the anatomy scan, post term pregnancy, and other medical issues.
(A comprehensive list of conditions for which Arkansas homebirth midwives are required to consult or refer can be found on the Arkansas Department of Health website, and we discuss these in-depth when signing the disclosure form at the beginning of care.)
Sometimes clients transfer care for other non-medical reasons, such as moving to a different area or deciding to have their baby in the hospital. When these situations pop up, I am happy to assist my families in finding a midwife in their new location or finding an OB and/or doula who aligns with their desires for birth, and I send their pregnancy records to them.
Many midwives reported higher than normal transfer rates and complications from COVID-19 this year. I was grateful to have not experienced this. My 2 intrapartum transports were non-emergent, with one vaginal delivery and one cesarean delivery. I had no newborn or postpartum transports.
I am often asked about how many clients have water births. The majority of my clients desire water births and bring the pool to their home. Sometimes labor progresses more quickly than expected, and we don't have time to get the pool set up and filled! But 50% got into the pool at some point during their labor, and 21% delivered their babies in the water.
I also am asked often about tearing and sutures. Clients who had tears requiring sutures were 33%, the majority of which were first-time moms. I performed no episiotomies this year.
For breastfeeding statistics, I count baby being fed any from the breast, even if also offered some bottles of expressed milk or formula.
(I want to point out that I share the best information available to help families make informed decisions, and I support the decisions my families make, including how they wish to feed their babies.)
(If you are wondering about VBAC statistics, licensed midwives are not allowed to attend VBACs at home in Arkansas.)
And that’s a wrap for 2021! What a year its been! In addition to attending births, I bought an old building downtown for my office space, and I have been working at renovating it. I will post some pictures of that soon.
For the families I served this year, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me be a part of your journey.