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Woman’s Way Health Care

I provide woman-centered health care during pregnancy, birth, postpartum and throughout the lifespan. I also take care of babies for the first month of life. Women seeking my care are looking for a partner to assist them with their goal of having a healthy, physiologic birth and healthy baby. Women wanting to safely promote a satisfying normal birth do their research, consult with a variety of providers about their goals, and understand that birth setting and provider type influence their success. Licensed midwives assisting a healthy woman with childbirth in her own home have some of the best health outcomes reported in research literature. So that is were I choose to work — with women in their homes. Providing a balanced mix of emotional support, information gleaned from the best research, and technical skills, I focus care on the belief in the woman’s innate abilities to grow and birth a baby. I work with women to optimize their well being. I bring a patient, watchful attitude and recognize that there are times when a well-stocked emergency birth bag is essential. I maintain and promote collaborative relationships with a wide variety of medical providers, so that when additional care is warranted, it is a smooth transition for everyone. I am so committed to this model of care that I am a national activist for promoting home birth integration into the maternity care system. I serve as an invited midwife delegate to the national Home Birth Consensus Summit, and for this work I received the WCNY Makers: Women Who Make America award.

Name(s) of Practitioner(s):

Kate Finn

Contact Info.

Name of Practice: Woman's Way Health Care
Address: 132 Indian Creek Road Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-8440

Prenatal Care

How much time do you allot for prenatal visits?
1.5-2 hours

What is your availability for questions between prenatal visits?
Kate answers her own phone and can be readily reached with questions.

What routine prenatal testing do you recommend to women?
Each family is given complete information about all tests that are available during pregnancy. Each woman works with Kate to decide which tests are best for her, according to the woman's specific needs. Kate makes available written information that summarizes the best scientific evidence and reviews various options, including both the pros and the cons. Along with discussions, this helps the woman and her partner feel confident in making decisions about prenatal tests.

What kind of nutritional counseling do you provide?
As a graduate of Cornell University in maternal and infant nutrition, Kate spreads nutrition counseling across prenatal visits. Working within food budgets and cultural preferences, we focus on whole food nutrition. Meal planning and shopping ideas help reinforce building a healthy pregnancy through healthy food choices.

Do you have any unique protocols for women over 35?
Women over 35 are not treated any differently. All women receive individualized education and care. All women have care from a midwife who believes that they are able to have a healthy pregnancy, birth and baby. All women are encouraged to make choices that promote best health. As with all women, if there are situations that come up needing additional medical care, Kate will consult with other medical providers, when needed.

Do you recommend routine ultrasounds?
Ultrasounds are ordered on an "as needed" basis only.

During prenatal care, how you do approach screening for Down's Syndrome?
Women of all ages are offered a menu of testing options for Down Syndrome and other fetal abnormalities. Kate helps each woman and her partner understand this information and make a personal choice about accepting or declining these tests.

During prenatal care, how do you approach screening for Gestational Diabetes?
Scientific and public health information about gestational diabetes is provided to each woman and her partner. This information shows that gestational diabetes testing may not be necessary for every woman. Kate helps each woman and her partner to understand this information and make a personal choice about care options.

During prenatal care, how do you approach screening for Group Beta Strep?
Scientific and public health information about Group Beta Strep bacteria and newborn infection is provided to each woman and her partner. This information shows that testing women for the presence of Group Beta Strep helps find those babies that might get very sick at birth. Kate helps each woman and her partner to understand this information and make a personal choice about care options.

Do you discuss infant feeding with women prenatally? How do you approach this topic?
Woman and their partners are asked to explore options about infant feeding, and come to their own decisions. Most women decide to breast feed, because of the health benefits to the mother and baby, both at birth and for the long term. Breast feeding support is built into the prenatal, birth and postpartum care visits. Women who experience breastfeeding concerns are given intensive support for as long as they are breastfeeding.

Labor and Delivery

What is your approach to post-dates delivery? At what point do you recommend induction?
Kate takes special care in early pregnancy to figure the most accurate expected due date, including menstrual cycle length and conception information. Complementary measures for assisting normal labor onset are provided, avoiding most inductions for post-term indication. When women find themselves still pregnant approaching 42 weeks, scientific and public health information about post-term birth is provided to each woman and her partner. Kate works with each woman and her partner to understand this information and make a personal choice about care options.

What methods do you prefer for labor induction?
Women are counseled to maintain best nutrition and hydration, rest, stress reduction, completion of nesting projects, and exploring the emotional barriers to labor. If time allows, women may choose from a list of complementary low-risk procedures that help the body move into labor. When hospital induction is appropriate because of a changing risk status, the woman will be advised by the hospital provider on induction methods that are most effective for her specific situation. Kate provides support whenever hospital care is needed.

Does your practice attend women planning a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)?
Women planning VBAC can have prenatal care with Kate, and advocacy during hospital births.

Continuous EFM offered?

Intermittent EFM offered?

Doppler offered?

Fetoscope offered?

What comfort measures do you provide for women during labor?
Women planning labor and birth at home have unlimited options for seeking comfort without use of drugs. Foremost in promoting comfort for a woman is a lack of anxiety by being in her own environment, surrounded by the loving presence of her family, friends and trusted midwife team. Women are able to flow naturally through the labor with a focus of mind and spirit. Women will have music, massage, comfort food and drink, movement or rest, showers, soaks in a deep tub, walks outside under the stars, breathing and moaning -- all without inhibition, rules about what is not allowed, interruptions of traveling to the hospital setting, or distractions from hospital routines.

Can women in your practice labor in water (shower or tub)?
Most women choose to use water, shower or tub, as a main coping aid during labor. Some choose to remain in the water tub for the birth.

Does your practice support birthing in water?
See above.

How long past rupturing of the membranes can women labor without augmentation?
Scientific and public health information about care after release of membranes is provided to each woman and her partner. This information shows that most women will enter labor on her own within a day or so. Kate helps each woman and her family to understand this information and make a personal choice about care options.

What methods of labor augmentation do you typically recommend when labor is slow or has stalled?
Scientific and public health information about labor progress is provided to each woman and her partner. This information shows that many times, slow labors resolve with patience. This is the primary skill-set of a midwife: to buoy the woman's emotional state, maintain physical reserves and facilitate progress in labors that are slow or stalled. In slower labors, women may be encouraged to cycle through periods of rest or action: specific positions, hip rotations, stair-stepping, walking outside, etc. Use of complementary procedures such as acupressure, acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy, or massage may be used to facilitate effective contractions, getting the fetus into a better position, and maintaining stamina.

Do you encourage women to eat and drink during labor?

Do you recommend the routine use of intravenous fluids?
IVs are available to correct dehydration for those few women who can not keep down fluids, but IVs are not routine.

Does your practice support women working with labor support doulas?
A midwife does many of the functions of a doula, but women can also choose to have a doula if they desire.

Do you support mobility and position changes during labor?
Encourage spontaneous position changes and also suggest position changes to facilitate progress as appropriate.

Are you familiar with the CIMS Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative?

If so, in what ways does your practice strive to be Mother Friendly?
All 10 steps of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth initiative are implemented in Kate's practice, because these steps are all supported by research evidence as being healthiest for mothers and babies. These principles of care all support the mother and baby doing what they know how to do -- birth instinctually -- which most often is a safer and more satisfying for experience for mothers and babies.

Immediate Postpartum

Do you wait to cut the umbilical cord until after it has stopped pulsating?

Do you routinely administer pitocin during third stage/immediately postpartum?

What are the standard procedures in your practice for babies staying with or being apart from their mothers after birth?
Skin to skin contact between the mother and baby, and partner and baby, is the birth plan. All routine care of the baby is done in the mother's arms or at her side. This enables the baby to have a more normal transition to the world of breathing air and keeping itself warm. This also helps the baby develop a sense of the world as a good and safe place to be.

Postpartum Care

What is your schedule for postpartum care?
Kate stays with the mother and baby until they demonstrate being normal and stable after the birth, usually about 3 hours. Kate teaches the mother and her partner about simple ways to monitor the mother and baby at home. Additional check ups for the mother and baby in the home at 24-36 hours and again at 3-4 days help support breastfeeding and new parenting skills. Mothers and babies can come to the office at 7-10 days, if needed. If there are any other concerns, additional visits or phone calls are included. The mother also is seen at 6-8 weeks for her postpartum closing visit.

Do you provide breastfeeding support? Do you have a lactation consultant on staff?
As a midwife, Kate is an expert in breastfeeding initiation, support and problem solving.


% C-section: 5%
% Instrumental Delivery: 0%
% Inductions: 3%
% Pitocin: 4% augmented labor, 7% including inductions
% Epidural/Intrathecal: 5% (about 50% of labor transfers from home to hospital)
% Other Pain Meds: 2%
% No Pain Meds: 95%
% Episiotomies: 2%
% AROM: 8%
% Initiate Breastfeeding: 99%
% BF Six Weeks: 98%
% Transfers: 7% over all; 14% first time mothers; 3% if already have given birth previously.

Additional Comments:

Here are some great websites to start your journey learning about care options, normal birth, midwifery, and planning childbirth at home: