A Monitrice is an experienced guide who offers support and assistance to birthing couples. The word “monitrice” is French for monitor; coach; instructor. A Monitrice is a hybrid between a doula and a midwife who is trained to provide support, not only during childbirth, but throughout your pregnancy and postpartum. A Monitrice can assist couples who are planning a birth center or hospital birth. A monitrice is especially beneficial for planning a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) or for first time parents.
What does a Monitrice do?
A monitrice is an informed consumer advocate and labor coach who will work with you in the hospital to achieve your optimal childbirth experience. She can help you choose the physician and facility that will permit you to have the type of birth experience you would like to have. She can help you write a birth plan to assure that your wishes for your birth and the care of your newborn are honored. By spending time with you monthly, she can provide supplemental prenatal care which can tell your baby’s position, and provide you with information about nutrition, exercise and activity during pregnancy. To avoid arriving at the hospital too early, she will support you in your home during early labor. After your birth, your monitrice will continue care during the postpartum period, providing assistance with breastfeeding as well as monitoring you for postpartum depression.
Who needs a Monitrice?
Every pregnant woman can benefit from the experienced support of a Monitrice during pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period. A Monitrice is particularly useful for first-time mothers, women planning a VBAC, and women who have strong negative associations with previous births. A Monitrice is useful for anyone who desires a natural, unmedicated birth.
Won’t my doctor provide the same care as a Monitrice?
A Monitrice will provide comprehensive prenatal care designed to supplement the care by your physician. She is an independent provider, who doesn’t work for the hospital or doctor, hired to support your family through pregnancy, labor and birth. She will provide monthly, 1-hour long visits throughout your pregnancy, to assure there is time to address your questions and concerns. Additionally, she will provide postpartum care visits in your home, and back at the office, to check in and provide any additional support you may need.
This program includes:
- A free 1 hour informational consultation
- Monthly supplemental prenatal care through month 8, weekly until birth
- Comprehensive health history taken at the initial appointment
- Supplemental prenatal care, education and counseling
- On-call starting at 37 weeks
- Attendance throughout labor, birth, and immediate postpartum period
- Postpartum visit in your home, as well as two, four, and six week visits at the office
- On-staff back-up by a CHOICE midwife whom you can meet during a prenatal appointment
- Extensive lending library of books and videos