This week I passed my Monitrice certification exam after almost 2 years of hands-on training, clinical experience and a 9 module curriculum program through the Oklahoma Midwives Alliance. I will also continue to take doula clients, and work as an midwifery assistant with local OMA homebirth midwives.
What is a Monitrice and what does this mean for doula clients?
Monitrice work is very similar to doula work, with a larger range of support options. It means that I have basic midwifery skills along with doula skills. I continue to provide labor support, still provide guidance and reassurance during birth, and still use all the labor support tools of a doula, however as a monitrice I am professionally trained to provide clinical skills to a mother (fetal heart tones, blood pressure checks, and vaginal exams) in addition to the Doula services. Note that I do not make clinical care decisions or catch your baby.
When a healthy, low risk client hires a monitrice they have the freedom of staying home longer before moving to their place of birth, while having the skills to know mom and baby are doing well. A monitrice can monitor fetal heart tones, blood pressure, and can check cervical dilation, effacement, and station. This can be especially helpful to a mother who is planning a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section), or a mother who is afraid of going to the hospital too soon and would like to minimize unneeded interventions.
Spirited Birth Monitrice Service package: $900 or $200 added to existing doula clients
10% discounts for repeat clients and $100 off for clients planning a homebirth.
1 hour initial no-cost consultation included
1-2 one-hour prenatal visits, preferably one with your care-provider present to explain my standards of practice. We will also discuss nutrition, alternative therapies, ideal birth planning and preparation and comfort measures for birth.
Unlimited phone, text, and email support as needed throughout your pregnancy and up to two weeks postpartum.
On call care (available 24 hours/day) for your birth beginning on the first day of your 38th week of pregnancy (2 weeks before your due date) and continuing through your birth until you have your baby.
Early labor monitoring at home (includes an assessment of labor, vitals, checking fetal heart tones, and chart notes)
Birth pictures taken with my DSLR camera for you at no cost, as a keepsake.
Continuous, uninterrupted doula support during your labor and birth in your home, birthing center, or hospital of your choosing.
1-2 one-hour postpartum visits in the hospital or home, to review baby's well-being and offer breastfeeding assistance.
Would I want a Doula or a Monitrice?
This all depends on what kind of support you would like.
Some women choose to not have any medical skills used before they go to the hospital, birth center, or stay at home. They trust their bodies and do not worry about what their baby's heart rate is doing or how far dilated they are. *If this sounds like you then a doula could be a good fit!
Other women like to know that their blood pressure, baby's heart rate, and temperature are doing well. They also like the comfort of knowing how far dilated they are at any given point during their labor. Sometimes knowing this information can allow the laboring mother to stay at home longer because she knows all is well, and that she is not dilated as far as she desires before she may want to go to a hospital or birth center.*If the second example sounds more like you then a monitrice could be a good fit.