Monitrice Monatrice services specializing in VBAC and other complications

my Monitrice service

Birth works best when you are
prepared, protected, and supported,
so you can feel safe to stay present in the moment
and experience the innate power of your birth.

Gloria Cunningham
In Service to Metro-Detroit Women
Two decades - over 400 births

Birth is So Powerful ...

It has the Power to Change the World ...

One Baby - One Mom - One Partner at a Time.

  • A baby brought into this world in a loving, caring environment, has that imprint within its very cells for the rest of his/her life.

  • A Mom lovingly supported on her journey to the opening of her very soul, who connects with her strength and power will forever be able to tap that strength to protect, love and support those that she loves.

  • A partner guided and supported in their transition to their new role will have the resources to provide the love and support, and experience the awe of this incredible power unfolding before them. They will have affirmation of the great value that only they can bring to the circle of their family.
What is a Monitrice?

As a Monitrice, I use the knowledge and skills attained as a Midwife to monitor the mother and baby in early and active labor at the mother’s home. Once active labor is well established, I proceed with the family to either the birth center or hospital as the client’s Doula.

What is the main benefit of using a Monitrice?

I can help my clients avoid unnecessary medical interventions, thereby increasing the mom's comfort and safety and her connection with her baby and the power of birth within.

With my experience as a Doula, Monitrice and Midwife, I can guide you in fulfilling your birth vision and should your journey not be as you planned, to help you continue to make informed choices and be empowered by your birth

My specialty is providing non-judgmental, loving, expert guidance and support to:

  • women who want choice, a sense of control, and wish to experience the power of their birth
  • the partners & family that loves them

How might my experience relate to YOUR needs? Click the above tab "Why clients choose me" to find out.

Why do clients choose me for their Monitrice?

There are many reasons, but it basically comes down to:

1)   Experience that provides benefits beyond what Doula training can offer:

  • Practice as a midwife - provides opportunity to minimize unnecessary interventions and provides more options for positioning for an easier birth
  • Instructor in Prenatal, Labor & Infant Massage - provides more options for comfort measures
  • Knowledge and proficiency with visualization / Guided Imagery - helps women heal from past trauma and release fear and energy blockages
  • Additional modalities , when appropriate and useful: accupressure, aromatherapy, herbs, therapeutic touch, energy work, rebozo work

2)   Trusted and respected by the local community of birth professionals

3)   It's a good match-up. Of course you can't tell this just by visiting this web site; you need to initiate contact so we can both determine this for ourselves.

The types of births I do /  have experience with:
Is there a special need you may have?

  • Moms in their teens, 20’s, 30’s and 40’s
  • Single Moms/Moms with partners
  • Births in which the partner is not much involved
  • Births in which the partner is very involved
  • Births in which the partner is very involved but uncomfortable to be present during the actual birth, such as cesarean
  • Births in which the partner is not directly involved due to cultural or religious traditions
  • Births in which the extended family is very involved
  • VBACs
  • Moms that are survivors of previous trauma
  • Moms in recovery from drugs or alcohol
  • Unmedicated vaginal births, medicated vaginal births
  • Unplanned Cesareans, Planned Cesareans
  • Births in which the Mom is releasing her baby for adoption
  • Births in which the babies had unexpected medical problems
  • Stillbirths and a birth where the baby had malformations incompatible with life

Where I provide support:

  • Hospitals, Birth Centers, Homes
  • I practice in Metro Detroit, but I have traveled as far as Germany for a birth for a repeat client.

My Monitrice includes:

Once contracted:

  • Unlimited phone, text and e-mail support
  • On-call 2 wks prior through 2 wks after your est. due date
  • I work with a back-up in the unlikely event that I should be unable to attend your birth. You will meet my back-up, also a monitrice, at one of the Prenatal visits.

Three Prenatal visits:
  • Each 1 ½ -2 hours in length, in your home
  • We go over your birth vision
  • Determine how I can best assist you in realizing your vision
  • Answer any questions or concerns you may have
  • Review options & evidence-based information about choices
  • Develop your birth plan
  • Techniques in self-advocacy
  • Provide comfort techniques and positioning for an easier and more comfortable labor
  • During each visit:
    • Palpate belly for baby position
    • Check fetal heart tones
    • Check mom's blood pressure

During Early Labor:
  • Frequent check-ins by phone before coming to your home
  • Assessment at home in early/active labor
  • If at any time I feel either mom or baby are out of norm, we will immediately proceed to your chosen place of birth.
Once in active labor, at the appropriate time, we proceed to your chosen place of birth where I will provide continuous support as your Doula:
  • physical / comfort
  • emotional / reassurance
  • informational support
  • facilitate and promote:
    • self advocacy
    • informed choice
    • effective communication with your birth team
  • provide and assist your birth partner with:
    • comfort measures
    • positioning
    • maintaining environment in which you as the birthing mom can feel secure, confident, supported and empowered by your birth
  • After birth, I stay until I feel that you and you baby are settled in, which usually includes initiation of breastfeeding (approximately 1-2 hours)

One Post-partum visit: 1 – 1 ½ hour in length, in your home
  • We reflect on your birth journey
  • I can provide guidance with breastfeeding and new baby care
  • A second post-partum visit can be arranged if needed

Doula, Monitrice, Midwife - what's the difference?

  • A Doula provides emotional, physical and informational support prenatally, in labor and birth and in the immediate post- partum period. A Doula does not monitor or provide any clinical assessment.

  • A Monitrice uses the knowledge and skills attained either as a Midwife or OB Nurse to monitor the mother and baby in early and active labor at the mother’s home. Once active labor is well established, she then proceeds with the family to either the birth center or hospital as the client’s Doula.

  • A Midwife is a specialist in normal birth, and primary care provider for mother and baby in the prenatal, labor and birth, and early post-partum period. Though the Midwifery Model of Care recognizes and promotes the support of the mother as an essential component in the care of the mother and baby, the primary focus of the Midwife is on the clinical aspects of providing care. Midwives vary by personality and by practice on how much labor support is provided. In a situation in which the birth starts to fall out of normal, her attention will focus on those clinical skills that can be utilized to correct or provide the safest birth possible (as it should be). It is during this time you may feel the need for support the most.

At this time I am practicing as a Doula and Monitrice. I am not providing midwifery services.

Moms who benefit from a Monitrice:   What about you?

  • Have a long latent phase labor (sometimes called "false labor)
  • Have a long early labor
  • Want the benefit of staying at home until in very active labor
  • May be concerned about staying at home without some type of monitoring
  • First time moms who understandably are uncertain about when they really should head to the hospital
  • Second time (or more) moms who had confusing starts to their labors
  • Second time (or more) moms who want to avoid a repeat overly interventive birth that left them feeling "robbed," discounted or less than empowered
  • Those wanting a VBAC

You will labor best where you feel safest and where you are the most comfortable. A Monitrice gives you the comfort and peace of mind of having skilled labor support in your own home.