How safe is home birth? Studies continue to show that home births that are planned and attended by skilled midwives are as safe or safer than hospital births for normal, low risk women. A recent study from 2014 published by the MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) Statistics Dataset, a database that I contribute statistics to, completed the largest study of planned, midwife-led home birth in the United States to date. They reported outcomes for nearly 17,000 women who went into labor intending to deliver at home between 2004-2009. Their results show safe outcomes with positive benefits, low rates of intervention, low cesarean section rates and extremely high rates of breastfeeding. Please view the Fact Sheet and the Consumer Considerations. Do you offer water birth? Yes. I am certified in water birth by Waterbirth International. I include tub rental in my global fee and I often assist with set up and take down of the tub. I include air pump and sump pump as well. The tub liner, a new potable grade hose and a faucet adapter are the only materials you would need to supply. Do you attend VBAC/HBAC? Yes. I will attend women who have experienced one prior cesarean section with a low-transverse incision, whether or not the woman has history of a previous vaginal birth. The likelihood of a successful VBAC is quite high: 80% of women who attempt a VBAC will be successful. VBAC has a number of benefits over repeat cesarean section. For most women, in an appropriate setting, these benefits outweigh the risks. How many births have you attended? I have attended over 350 births. How long have you been a midwife? I received an Associate of Science in midwifery and have been certified as a CPM since 2010. I’ve been a birth professional (doula and childbirth educator) since 2001. What is the difference between a midwife and a doula? A midwife, meaning ‘with woman,’ is a health care practitioner who provides evidence-based maternity care services to women during the childbearing years. She/he specializes in normal, low risk pregnancies, childbirth, breastfeeding and the postpartum period and is trained to recognize variations and deviations from normal. A doula, meaning “woman servant” is a birth professional who provides emotional and physical support to women and their family’s through the childbearing year. She does not carry medical responsibility. What is the difference between a home birth and a birth center birth? There is very little difference between a home birth and a birth center birth. The services the midwives provide and the equipment and supplies the midwives have access to are the same. In a home birth, the equipment and supplies are brought to you. Some have even said in regards to home birth “We [the midwives] bring the birth center to you!” Often in birth centers, the midwives rotate call schedules so you will not know which midwife will be on call when you go into labor. With home birth midwifery, there is increased continuity of care. In addition, you don’t need to leave your home and take that dreaded car ride in labor. What happens if we need to transport to the hospital? Transporting to the hospital is a reality of any home birth. I discuss in detail the possibility of transport with all my clients during the course of prenatal care. My clients have an understanding of what signs and symptoms would necessitate transport and when their birth would be better served by hospital providers. If a transport becomes necessary, we go by private vehicle (if non emergency) to hospital of your choice or if an emergency, by EMS (Emergency Medical Services) to the nearest hospital. Your midwife will stay with you at the hospital for the duration of your labor. Once you’re released from the hospital, care will resume as regularly scheduled with your midwife. Who attends the birth with you? I always attend births with another midwife. Because there are eventually two people to care for during the delivery, I find it the safest and best practice to bring an assistant to every birth. She will arrive during active labor and will stay until both mom and baby are stable. Do you accept insurance? Any insurance that will reimburse Licensed Midwives will be considered. The insurance company will be billed the Global Fee after all services are performed and completed. Reimbursement will be made directly to the client by the insurance company. Is the cost of lab work included in the global fee? Routine lab work is included in the global fee. What is included in the global fee? The Global Fee covers complete prenatal care (every four weeks until 28 weeks, every two weeks 28-36 weeks and weekly from 36 weeks until birth), routine lab work, on-call coverage, nutritional counseling, attendance during labor and delivery, a qualified assistant at delivery, water birth tub rental, immediate postpartum care, newborn exam and care, antenatal home visits (36 and 37 weeks gestation), postnatal home visits (postpartum days 1 and 3), postpartum visits (day 7-10, weeks 2-4, weeks 6-8), routine breastfeeding support and counseling as well. What is not included in the global fee? The Global Fee does not cover additional lab work, genetic screening, ultrasounds, non stress tests, Rhogam or vaccinations, childbirth education classes, home birth supplies, newborn screening tests, Vitamin K injection, well-baby visits with a pediatrician/physician, visits with other health care practitioners or alternative medical treatments or any physician or hospital services. Can I have a home birth in an apartment? Yes! You should consider a home birth even if you live in an apartment or condo. Both of my kids were born in apartments and I’ve attended many apartment births. What about the mess? Your midwives will do the initial clean up after the birth, leaving you and your partner to nestle in, bonding with the baby. We’ve been known to start a load of laundry, tidy of the kitchen when time allows, take down the birth pool, etc.