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Carolyn Nygaard ND owner Earth Source Medicine LLC

Primary Care, Pediatrics, and Family Medicine

Dr. Nygaard's Philosophy on Home Birth

As a naturopath and midwife, Dr. Nygaard believes the journey of pregnancy, birthing and parenting is a very intimate and intense adventure. The foundation of her care at Earth Source Medicine is RESPECT, HONESTY and TRUST. Each woman has a very individual experience, which deserves reverence and celebration. A woman has the right to choose where and with whom she feels the safest, most empowered and secure, to have the experience she desires. Dr. Nygaard is dedicated to providing the highest standard of maternity care by offering an intricate balance of tradition and technology. Midwives are facilitators in natural childbirth and reserve intervention, invasive testing and procedures for situations outside the parameters of normal. She will allow as much time as needed to listen, interact and educate, encouraging families to be proactive, to make truly informed decisions about their care. As a naturopathic physician and midwife, she has many tools to support and guide the birthing process while allowing each woman the freedom to labor and deliver the way she chooses.

Benefits and Risks of Out-of-Hospital Birth

Birth has some risk no matter where it takes place. However, statistically, planned homebirths (or birth center births) with a professionally trained midwife have been proven to be safer, have lower intervention rates and have better outcomes than hospital births. Studies regarding the safety of out- of-hospital birth are available, and recommended reading. These studies prove that out-of-hospital birth with a trained attendant greatly lowers the incidence of Cesarean sections, episiotomies, and fetal/maternal morbidity and mortality. It has been demonstrated that when a laboring woman is in a familiar and intimate environment), she feels safer and more positive to birth normally. She has greater control over how she labors and births and is able to act intuitively and trust her own power. She has lower levels of stress, fear and discomfort and higher levels of health, well-being and pride. The risks of home birth are centered on the unavailability of immediate advanced technology. There are very few obstetrical emergencies in healthy, monitored, low-risk women; most problems arise slowly and allow time for a calm transfer. Midwives are trained and prepared to manage most complications at home (ie. Postpartum hemorrhage, neonatal resuscitation) however, certain emergencies do exist and the birthing family must be willing to accept the risk. In a surprise emergency, such as an unexpected life threatening birth defect, emergency measures will begin on site until emergency help (EMT service) arrives. Rarely, in or out of hospital, mothers or babies are injured or die during labor/birth. When weighing the benefits vs. risks of out-of-hospital birth, the expectant family must be aware and willing to assume responsibility for the risks involved. 

Transfer/Emergency Plan

In the event of an emergency or situation requiring transport to the hospital, transfer will be done by local ambulance service or personal car (depending upon urgency) to the nearest hospital which can offer services needed. The birthing family will be accompanied by the midwife to the hospital where she has consulted with the physician on-call. Collaboration and communication with medical staff will provide optimal care, while advocacy for the family’s choices will be continuously safeguarded. No formal physician back-up is required however, Dr. Nygaard has established consultative relationships with physicians and other professionals in the area, and will refer and/or create a plan involving all interests. Hospital of transfer will be the patient’s choice, if desired, in a non-emergency, but a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit will be chosen if needed.