Maternity Care

maternity care Fairbanks, North Star Borough, Delta, Salcha, Tok, Nenana

Our TEAM makes the difference

Any woman who has birthed a baby with us will confirm: our midwives take the time to listen.  

At Alaska Family Health & Birth Center, our main focus is supporting and educating you so that you can decide what are the healthiest choices for you, your baby, and your family. From the time you first contact us for your consultation, you will find that our midwifery care is unique and personalized to your needs. Prenatal care is so much more than an itemized checklist of exams and testing. Our goal is to enhance you to trust your body's natural instincts in pregnancy and during birth. We will do everything we can, with you as our partner, to ensure your and your baby's health throughout your pregnancy.

Our Covid-19 Response and Plan of Care

The last year has been challenging for many as we all adjust to a new normal in the interest of keeping our cherished community healthy and safe. We know there is much stress in this time of uncertainty, and we are hoping you are faring well. We also know that babies keep being born and parents continue to love them. As midwives, we continue to be here to offer support and care.

Please know we care deeply about the health of our families, and we are doing all we can to safeguard you. Some of the measures we have taken are listed below, and we ask that you all be understanding with us, as many of them will change daily.

Please know as the state opens up COVID mandates and restrictions that health advisory is still in effect for services by health care providers.

Updated 3/27/2022

We will be continuing to call all clients and screening you prior to an appointment, and then screening you again upon arrival.

We will continue to offer appointments via tele-health, and will balance these with each individuals' desire and need for in person appointments.  We will slowly transition back to the typical prenatal visit schedule, while trying to ensure minimal crossover of clients in the common areas of the clinic.  

We are currently able to accommodate one support person at prenatal visits who is a member of your household, and over 18.  You both will be asked screening questions, will be asked to mask for the duration of your visit, and will have temperatures taken prior to entering the building, and we ask that shoes be removed upon entering the building.  We still cannot accommodate children at this time, but will let you know as soon as we feel this becomes reasonable. If this is a hardship please notify us, and we will do our utmost to schedule a telehealth visit and or accommodate your schedule. 

Again we ask that if you, or anyone in your family, are sick AT ALL, or have had contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19, please call us and we can discuss the plan for your care.

We have closed the office to any walk in traffic. You can call to schedule appointments, but no access to the birth center will be granted except for scheduled appointments and labors. Please no walk in's on other days.

If you need a verification of pregnancy, please call first, 456-3719.

What makes Birth Center care different

Birth center care experience is a unique experience from a hospital birth because of the freedom some feel that we allow our clients in labor. We can offer a certain amount of re-assurance of your safety to deliver out of hospital because we exclusively manage and deliver clients who are low-risk by professional standards. A good rule of thumb is that if the medical condition requires baby to be monitored continuously by electronic monitoring throughout labor, then the condition is not low risk. We encourage you to establish care with us in early pregnancy in order to decrease preventable complications and to achieve your best outcome.

What happens at the first appointment?

Your first appointment may take up to 1-1/2 hours, and during that first visit your midwife will:

  • Answer your questions, review the information that you have entered into your electronic health record

  • Provide information on nutrition, informed consent, and information leading up to upcoming prenatal and genetic screenings

  • Labwork including blood draws and cultures

  • Discuss your course of care and schedule an ultrasound, if appropriate, with one of our CNMs

  • Refer you to a doctor when needed

What happens at the routine prenatal visits that follow?

During the first 28 weeks of pregnancy you will meet with your midwife every 3-4 weeks. After 28 weeks you will see her every two weeks then for the last weeks of your pregnancy you will see her weekly. During these appointments your midwife will:

  • Assess your baby’s well-being

  • Labwork including blood draws and cultures

  • Determine the position and presentation of the baby (when he or she is big enough to do so.)

  • Assess your overall well-being and discuss any concerns or stresses you may be experiencing

  • Continued evaluation of nutrition

  • Keep you informed of additional educational opportunities including the 34 week teaching visit, the group prenatal classes and the childbirth education class

  • Suggest resources that may be relevant or of interest to you

Postpartum Care

Adjusting to the arrival of a newborn is a very important time in your family’s life — equally as important as the preparation for and the celebration of the birth itself. Something that sets AFH&BC apart from standard postpartum care is our regular postpartum visits that are for both mother and baby. Part of our commitment to the midwifery model of care includes seeing mother/baby as a healthy unit in both pregnancy and postpartum.

The midwives of Alaska Family Health & Birth Center provide you with continued care and support immediately after your baby’s arrival. New mothers appreciate the convenience and comfort of a home visit, along with attentive and personalized support for breastfeeding. We also provide newborn screenings for metabolic disorders (PKU test), congenital heart defects and hearing, also footprints and birth announcements, if desired.

Whether you deliver your baby at the birth center or at home, your midwife visits you between 24-36 hours to follow-up on how you are recovering and check on how your newborn is adjusting to his or her new environment.

In our postpartum visits in the clinic we reserve 1 hour appointments to be able to check in with both mother and baby and assess how you are doing together. We normally schedule visits in the clinic at 1, 2, and 4 weeks after birth for mother and baby. We see mother's additionally at 6 and 8 weeks for the final postpartum recovery visits and assistance with family planning and birth control. Additional visits are always available and given a priority if concerns arise.

Home visits for you and your newborn

A home visit between 24 -36 hours after childbirth supports your recovery and breastfeeding efforts.

During this home visit, your midwife:

  • assesses how you and your baby are doing overall

  • ensures your baby is nursing properly

  • determines if you need extra assistance or support with your recovery and/or breastfeeding

  • performs metabolic and congenital heart defect screenings (mandated by law)

  • schedules appointments with lactation consultants or doctors (if needed)

  • offers additional home visits as needed

Our objective is to assure you that you have all the support and assistance you need to recover and properly care for your baby.

Not only is breastfeeding a loving way to bond with your newborn, it offers life-long benefits baby and mother. Nursing your baby is natural and reinforces your body’s motherly instinct to nurture.

All of our midwives are experienced at supporting mother and baby’s breastfeeding relationship. We also have an in-house midwife who offers lactation-focused clinic, virtual, and home visits. We currently offer one-on-one prenatal breastfeeding education here at the birth center and via Zoom. Fairbanks Breastfeeding Coalition has recently started to offer Zoom prenatal breastfeeding education the first Monday of the month from 5:30-7:30PM, you must pre-register via phone (978-406-9746) or e-mail ([email protected]).

Immediately after birth, your midwife supports your breastfeeding success by:

  • encouraging undisturbed skin-to-skin contact between you and baby

  • showing you comfortable nursing positions

  • assessing for optimal latch

  • reinforcing baby-led timing for nursing

Your midwife is a guide and support system — you can contact her anytime for additional answers or assistance.

Free Pregnancy Testing

Do you think you might be pregnant? Let us tell you — quickly, confidentially and free of charge.

Alaska Family Health & Birth Center will give you a FREE pregnancy test. Just come in during our regular business hours (9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday through Thursday) or schedule an appointment by calling 907-456-3719.

We also provide the “Pregnancy Verification Form” for:

  • Denali Kid Care (we also have the application forms for this program)

  • Women, Infant & Children (WIC) Supplementary Food Program at Resource Center for Parents and Children in Fairbanks

Nutritional Counseling

A strong, healthy mother grows a strong, healthy baby! Good nutrition is vital during your pregnancy — and beyond — to ensure that you are absorbing the proper types and amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals.

You will learn how to develop and maintain healthy eating habits that will provide important iron-rich blood during pregnancy. First, your midwife will review your current nutritional habits and offer sound advice on simple (and tasty) ways to improve them.

You will discover the importance of eating protein- and iron-rich foods, vegetables, and ‘good’ carbohydrates (whole grains, fresh fruits and more) and the positive effects it will have on your growing baby. You also will receive information on vitamins and nutritional supplements. We encourage you to participate in our group class on nutrition.

We believe that balance and consistency is key, and will continue to monitor and refine your nutritional goals throughout your pregnancy.