Kim asked: "How do you find you work with midwives at homebirths? What services do you generally replicate? What services do you provide post-partum that midwives do not?"
As another Doula said recently, it is a treat to attend home births. I may be kicking myself in the gut for this one later, but I am going to be honest - we, as doula's, are most beneficial at hospital births, as that is the place where you will not have as much support, need more advocacy intervention, and not be assigned one support person to be with you throughout the duration of the journey.
Times when we compliment midwife-attended home births well: when the S/O or dh is not involved, is deployed, works long-distance - or it otherwise not available, when mom has other children who could use distraction or someone to ask questions to, or when MW lives a far way away, mom has a history of fast labors, or a combo of the two.
I have found that midwives are VERY open to a doula attending a home birth as many women feel safer surrounded (literally) by female energy (and no, this is not a New Age or Scientology thing). Often, in a home birth setting, I arrive before the midwife does, help midwife to assess when it would be a good time for her to come over, make food/drinks, clean up, help with the kids, answer phones, assist said midwife, AND help with regular doula goings-on.
The best way to explain it is this: in a home birth setting, I am an extra pair of hands and a comforter. In a hospital setting, I am an advocate, a mediator, a monitor, a comforter, a servant, and a constant companion.
I don't provide much pp that a midwife won't, although I may be able to get over to your home sooner for something than your midwife, depending on how many clients your mw has at that time/season... I also offer, at your 2 week, to do ANYTHING you need: answer questions, go over the birth story, fold some laundry, pick up a prescription, watch the older kids so momma and baby can take a 2 hour nap, run the vacuum, help with breastfeeding, etc... I don't know many mw's who do the domestic duties at check-ins.
Amber asked (sorry no linky): "When a woman has been determined "high risk" for preterm labor and given bedrest from 20 weeks into her pregnancy, does that automatically preclude a natural childbirth from happening, assuming the pregnancy is continued to full term. Yes, the situation is mine. I am now almost 22weeks and desperate to know if 14weeks of bedrest automatically means a C-section. I've been dreaming about giving birth for so long and I just can't find any help."
Amber - it all depends on what reasons you have been given for 'high risk'. In most situations, natural childbirth is the safest route of birth for both baby and mom. This is doubly true for babies who might have other 'issues' at birth - as medication in birth can further compromise the health of mom and baby, vaginal, unmedicated birth is even more important. Again, I would need more information on your particular situation before I would be able to address your specific needs... but, with what information you gave me, my answer is 'no, bedrest does not automatically preclude a natural childbirth from happening'.
You could probably find a CBE willing to do a private, in-home CBE course for you, and a doula who was familiar with your particular situation could greatly benefit you - as well as doing your own research to become as familiar with your situation as possible - knowing the risks of different interventions, so that when your medical team suggests something you can be well prepared with your own armory of information. As I repeat often to mom's, 'no one is responsible for your health care and that of your unborn baby but YOU'.
I love answering readers' questions and welcome ppl to write their own in the comments. If you leave your linky, I will buzz you to let you know I have responded to your Q.