As a mama of two beautiful babies, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing the incredible care and support midwives provide here in Jacksonville. Motherhood is truly a blessing filled with joy, challenges, and countless precious moments. Amidst all the excitement and anticipation, I discovered the invaluable role that midwives can play in ensuring a safe and empowering birthing experience. They can bring a sense of calm and reassurance to the overwhelming whirlwind of pregnancy and childbirth.
Whether you’re a first-time mama or have a couple of babies like me, the compassionate care midwives can provide is unmatched. They do incredible work to support moms and families throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond. Midwives have been a fantastic resource for countless women nationwide, from home births to hospital deliveries. I’ll delve into some of the top Jacksonville midwives in this post! So, if midwifery interests you for your birth plan, this is the blog for you!
Samantha Crickmore, a mama of five and licensed midwife who began her midwifery journey in 2009, owns First Coast Midwifery Services. Since 2015, she’s been present at over 1000 out of hospital births. Caring for healthy, low-risk women is her specialty. Therefore, her cesarean rate is below 5% compared to a local rate of 35% or more. Sharon Green, a graduate midwife pending licensure, and Jehmia Williams, a student midwife, work in the practice, too.
First Coast Midwifery Services offers two packages. Firstly is their Full Maternity Package, which offers free consultations and follows the recommended schedule for routine prenatal visits, the same as obstetricians. Patients are seen monthly for 4-28 weeks; from 28-36 weeks, they’re seen every two weeks; and from 36 weeks up until birth, mamas will have weekly visits.
The 30 to 60-minute prenatal visits include patient education, counseling, and nutrition, fitness, and stress management recommendations. Physical monitoring is also done, including blood pressure, pulse, temperature, edema, nutrition, hydration, vitamins, urinalysis, weight, position of baby, baby’s activity, and fetal heart rate. A full spectrum of exams and labs are also offered, from genetic testing for mutations and the baby’s genetic sex to non-diagnostic ultrasounds.
This package includes holistic and allopathic treatments for common pregnancy discomforts and 24/7 midwife support. When it comes time for delivery, your midwife will provide labor, birth, and postpartum support, including:
For higher-risk mamas that may not fit the scope of a full package from First Coast Midwifery, a secondary option is prenatal and postpartum care with planned hospital birth.
As Licensed Midwives do not have hospital privileges at this time, they can refer you to a well-trained doula for labor support, send your full prenatal record to the hospital, and provide educational and emotional support. Lastly, for all First Coast Midwifery clients, there are many placenta services, including encapsulation, smoothies, prints, and more.
Servicing Northeast Florida, Jacksonville Community Midwives is a grassroots team of two, made up of Jenn and Jacinda, midwives who have been serving pregnant and birthing individuals throughout Florida for the past six years in various practices. In Fall 2019, they joined their midwifery practices to create a well-rounded, superior midwifery experience. They share a passion for community-based midwifery and believe everyone deserves access to traditional midwifery care.
They offer four unique packages. The first is Maternity & Home Birth. In this package, patients receive comprehensive prenatal care, unhurried prenatal visits following the standard obstetric schedule, unlimited problem visits, personalized education, counsel, and in-depth discussion of their options and birth wishes. An assessment and evaluation of you and your baby at each visit is also done, with ongoing risk assessment and a care plan specific to you, along with recommendations for natural, holistic, or allopathic care plans for common discomforts in pregnancy.
Routine prenatal tests, genetic testing, and gestational diabetes screenings are all done in the office, and they give referrals for any ultrasounds or necessary physician consultations. They give a complimentary 4 hours of in-person childbirth education to help prepare you and your partner for labor, birth, breastfeeding, and the first few weeks of postpartum recovery and transition, as well as complimentary access to a self-paced breastfeeding course from Sunshine Lactation. You receive your Birth Kit at 36 weeks, a home visit at 37 weeks, and lastly, accessibility to your midwives by phone 24/7 for medical concerns or questions and a private client messaging system for non-urgent communication.
Furthermore, they provide skilled labor and birth support with:
The second package offers prenatal and postpartum support only for mamas, where a home birth may not be the best or most desired choice. For mamas who’d like support during labor and delivery no matter their birth plan, Jacksonville Community Midwives offers the services of a montrice, a qualified medical professional who can assess vital signs, monitor fetal well-being, and determine labor progress.
They provide continuous, hands-on physical and emotional support in active labor wherever the birthing person is. The fourth and final package combines the first and third for mamas who’d like the full prenatal and postpartum level of support while giving birth in a hospital with the assistance of a montrice.
Fruitful Vine Midwifery and Birth Center opened in 1998 by Sharon Schmidt, a licensed midwife hoping to offer a safe alternative birthing option for families in Jacksonville. Additionally, Fruitful Vine is the first birth center to open in Jacksonville in 21 years. It has seen families born, where children born at the center come back to give birth to their children.
Offering three birthing options—home birth, a room at the birth center, or a water birth—all of the midwifery care at Fruitful Vine Midwifery and Birth Center follows the same package of prenatal care, labor and delivery support, newborn care, and postpartum care. Following the standard obstetric schedule, each prenatal visit includes checks for weight, fundal height, palpation of the position of the baby, blood pressure, urine (protein, glucose, and nitrites), auscultation of fetal heart tones with both Doppler and fetoscope, and routine lab work.
Labor and delivery support primarily includes:
Routine newborn care comprises skin-to-skin contact, bonding time with family, a neonatal examination, and all mandatory newborn procedures, including eye ointment, Vitamin K, and Infant Metabolic Screening.
For mamas delivering at home, the midwife stays at least two hours after the birth. The midwife will stay approximately four hours for mamas who deliver at the birth center. They also complete postpartum checkups at 48 hours, two weeks, and between 6-8 weeks.
Modern Midwives are a team of three that exclusively service mamas desiring home births. Their mantra is “modern birth for healthy families,” and they believe that pregnancy and birth are sacred and normal life events. Every baby should be born into a loving and peaceful environment. Prenatal care starts around ten weeks of pregnancy. It includes assessing blood pressure, listening to the baby’s heartbeat, measuring your uterus, and collecting a urinalysis & other labs. These visits follow the standard obstetric schedule, and beginning at 37 weeks, your midwife will be on call 24/7 in case of labor.
Once active labor begins, the midwife team comes to your home. They prepare your space for birth, set up all necessary medications and supplies, and provide a birthing tub. The team monitors both mama and baby during labor and immediately postpartum.
Your birth team usually consists of one midwife and one trained and experienced birth assistant. They offer labor support in many ways:
Skin-to-skin, delayed cord clamping, and lactation support are all provided after birth, and there are three postpartum appointments where they check in with you—48 hours, two weeks, and six weeks. They also pick up your placenta from your home, dehydrate & encapsulate it, and then deliver it within a week.
For the past ten years, I have felt blessed to share newborn and milestone moments with over 500 babies and mothers as a photographer, and I’d love to work with you and your babe, too! I aim to create precious heirlooms that you and your family will treasure for years to come. Check out my portfolio or contact me for a chat today!
© Copyright 2022 Laura Davis Photography | Site by The Southern Citrus Branding & Media Co.
© Copyright 2022 Laura Davis Photography
Site by The Southern Citrus Branding & Media Co.