We are often asked about the equipment we bring into homes when attending births and we’re more than happy to illustrate the high level of care that can be provided outside the maternity institution. This page is also a great resource for those working to abolish the widely believed misconception that homebirth midwives do little more than boil water.
Visit myMidwife.org for further information regarding Nurse Midwifery.
We do more than boil water!
Nurse Midwives can transport emergency medical equipment just as any emergency medical team could; however, the nurse-midwife has far more training and expertise in maternity and neonatal care than the emergency responder. We are primary providers and can offer on-going assessment and implement treatment independently.
A popular question among midwives is, “What type of bags do you use?” While the practice has used IronDuck, which are exceptionally sturdy and crafted specifically for emergency response teams as they cater nicely to our needs, Dr. Lane and Miss Michael are currently utilizing bags from MedPac Bags, Inc. Specifically, they tote the Med Tote Medical Bag and MedTrunk Plus Medical Bag, both with an embroidery of the Believe Midwifery logo. These are nice bags and overall are recommended by our practice, the larger bag on wheels is incredibly heavy and can be a bit awkward to wheel in and out of homes, particularly up and down stairs. The smaller bag is used for our assessment equipment and with a few minor adjustments would be perfect. Dr. Lane has used a variety of other cases in the past, including ColoradoCases, which are light but they don’t last very long. Hopkins has a great portable IV pole and bag, which we use and infant scales with bags.
Tucked away within our larger medical bag, are urinary catheters, foley catheter bag, sharps container, a plethora of IV equipment and fluids, a number of pharmaceuticals, syringes, needles, sutures and sterile suture kit, sterile speculum and additional sterile instruments, sterile towels, sterile 4×4 packs, CaviWipes, sterile and clean gloves, hibiclense, bulb syringes, cord clamps, newborn arm immobilizer, amniohooks, sterile birth kits, large flash light, lantern, equipment for collecting labs and additional batteries of all sizes. We also carry a variety of herbs, essential oils and some homeopathy remedies.
Within our assessment bag is equipment for both mother and baby, including supplies necessary for drawing laboratory specimens, sterile and clean gloves, regular and large adult sphygomomanometer, sterile lubrication, blood sugar monitor, urine dip sticks, tape measures, umbilical clamp remover, penlight, adult and newborn stethoscopes, fetal dopplers, adult rescue mask, gestational wheel, silver nitrate sticks, sterile Q-tips, reflex hammer, digital thermometer, nitrozine paper, pulse oximeter, breastfeeding supplies, flashlight, and writing pens.
The nurse-midwife carries two resuscitation bags to each birth. These are currently, clam shell, IronDuck bags. The reason the clam shell variety is preferred by our practice, is because this version provides a zipper that opens the full length of three sides of the bag. This permits the bag to be opened like a clam shell, so that all equipment and supplies are easily within view and easily within reach. Our practice carries a green bag for oxygen, and a black bag for compressed air.
One bag is packed with adult supplies for mother, and the other for newborn resuscitation. The pediatric bag holds a D tank of compressed air, regulator, T-piece resuscitator, newborn bag and mask, neonatal blood pressure cuff, Thermo-warmer used in the event of a transport, non-rebreather oxygen mask, oral airways, oxygen tubing, DeLee suction, 8F feeding tube, syringes of all sizes, pulse oximeter, and an umbilical line kit. Intubation blades and handles for all size newborns are stored in our separate intubation bag with appropriate tubing for a variety of infant and adult needs, additional suction, Infant LMA, CO2 detector, and emergency medications. The adult bag holds a D tank of oxygen and regulator, as well as, adult combitube, non-rebreather masks and various oral airways. The oxygen tank can be used for the neonate if it proves necessary.
The nurse-midwife is equipped to intubate if necessary or visualize vocal cords and suction in the event of a non-vigorous baby born with meconium. Penny Lane DNP, CNM is an instructor for the American Academy of Pediatrics Neonatal Resuscitation Program and teaches NRP to homebirth and birth center-based providers, including instruction on medication administration and umbilical line placement.
Each of the attendants carry an infant bag & mask, doppler, limited emergency medications, an infant scale, and those who are sufficiently skilled, also carry additional intravenous supplies and fluids in the event they may arrive at a birth prior to the nurse-midwife.
Dr. Lane has a birth stool and as beautiful as it is, she has stopped carrying it to births as mothers rarely used it. They seemed to find their own furniture and spa more comfortable, so it stays within the office and the midwife uses it to sit upon during exams.
Electronic Medical Records
Our practice utilizes electronic medical records (EHR) so our client’s data is accessible at all times, in any environment. If a client is transferred into the hospital or needs a medical consultation with another provider, we can access those records and make them available immediately via our iPAD. Several members of the birth team carry their own iPADs for accessing and documenting client’s health records.