This is the fourth post in a series of blog posts based on interviews I’m doing with midwives who serve Utah County.
This week, I’m spotlighting Seasons Warner (CPM, LDEM), owner of Four Seasons Midwifery. Seasons has been practicing as a midwife since 2014 and attends home births in the greater Utah County area (especially south of Utah county, extending into Juab, San Pete, and Sevier counties). Fun fact: if you see a car with a Utah license plate the reads MIDWIFE, you’re tailgating Seasons. So give her some space if it seems like she’s in a hurry to get to a birth!
Alongside Melissa Chappell, Seasons also co-owns Utah Birth Suites: a beautiful birth center with locations in Orem and Provo. Both locations are beautifully and thoughtfully designed to give expectant families a feeling of homey comfort with all of the medical tools needed for pregnancy visits and birth. They’re also just minutes from local hospitals, in case a transfer of care is needed.
I spoke with Seasons about the postpartum care she gives her clients. In the US medical model of maternity care, new mothers are typically discharged from the hospital 48 hours after giving birth and then not seen by their care provider until six weeks postpartum. This large gap in care, which comes after weekly prenatal visits at the end of the third trimester, can feel jarring and isolating to new parents who are physically recovering from giving birth and adjusting to caring for a (very sweet and cuddly but very needy!) newborn. Midwives, like Seasons, work to make sure that their clients continue to be monitored and well-cared for in the hours, days, and weeks shortly after birth.
After Seasons’ clients give birth, she closely monitors them and their babies for a few hours to ensure that baby is eating and there are no pressing medical needs. Then, she packs up and leaves them to settle in as a family (if the birth was at home) or sends them on their way home (if they birthed at one of the Utah Birth Suites locations). Within 24-48 hours after the birth, Seasons visits her clients in their home (whether they birthed at home or at the birth center).
Seasons again checks in with her clients via text every couple of days during the first two weeks after birth, and then they come to the birth center for appointments at two, four, and six weeks postpartum. This way, she’s regularly in touch with her clients as they recover from birth, and she’s able to offer ongoing newborn screenings and care. As a midwife, Seasons is licensed to offer well-baby care during the first six weeks of life. If any needs arise for mom or baby in the weeks after birth, Seasons is able to spot the need and care for it—or make recommendations for further care—before it becomes a larger issue.
At her postpartum visits, Seasons offers standard postpartum care. She checks in on how breastfeeding and sleeping are going, bathroom needs, stitches and perineal healing, and cracked or sore nipples. She notes baby’s weight and growth, umbilical cord stump, and does a heart and lung check-up. She provides newborn metabolic screening (PKU) tests. After her check-ups, she’ll refer her clients to other medical care providers if anything looks abnormal.
Another important service Seasons offers is repeated mental health screenings. Seasons asks her clients about how they’re feeling, who’s in their support system, and what their daily habits are. (Are they getting enough to eat and drink? Are they getting dressed, able to do some daily activities, and feeling like themselves?) This sort of screening is especially important at the four- and six-week postpartum visits, when lingering emotional or mental health concerns are an indication that her clients are in need of further care from a mental health professional.
Throughout the days and weeks after birth, Seasons is always available through text or phone call if her clients have questions or needs along the way. She’s also well-connected with a local network of lactation consultants, pelvic floor physical therapists, chiropractors, pediatricians, obstetricians, mental health providers, and other specialists. Utah County has a village of postpartum care specialists, and Seasons connects her clients with the village when they have a specific need!
As we concluded our conversation, Seasons reflected, “I think the thing that sets midwifery apart, really, in the postpartum period—not even just the frequency of our visits—is just the level of intimacy and care that you have with a midwife.” Those who are able to have this sort of connection and care with Seasons certainly count themselves blessed.
Hi, I'm Sara. I'm a childbirth educator and birth + postpartum doula serving Utah county. I'm a twin mom (plus one!), natural VBACer, and birth lover!