Is homebirth safe?
For healthy women having a pregnancy without complications, homebirth is a very safe option. Many studies have shown that homebirths attended by an experienced qualified midwife have outcomes equal to or surpassing those of women choosing to birth in the hospital. The experience of generations of women in Europe, where midwifery care and homebirth are more mainstreamed than in the United States, have contributed to those countries having lower maternal and infant mortality and morbidity rates than in our country. The choice of women to have midwifery care and the option of homebirth is supported by the following organizations, click on their names for more information:
American College of Nurse-Midwives
American Public Health Association
Coalition for Improving Maternity Services
What is a homebirth like?
I typically come to your home when you are in active labor and call my birth assistant (a registered nurse) when birth is getting close. I will encourage you to eat and drink to keep up your energy for the work of labor and birth, to assume whatever positions feel comfortable as you labor, to use a warm shower or tub for comfort, as well as massage, counter-pressure, aromatherapy, and most of all, encouragement that your body was beautifully designed to birth your baby. During labor we will listen to the baby’s heartbeat periodically as well as check your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature.
What about prenatal care?
I am glad to talk to you and answer any questions you have at any time during your pregnancy. Typically our first visit is around 10 weeks, as that is when the baby’s heartbeat can be heard. We will meet monthly until 28 weeks, then every two weeks until the last month, then weekly until your birth. All prenatal visits last an hour or more and can take place in the comfort of your own home. I love to visit with you and your family. Prenatal visits are the time when we establish our connection, talk about your desires for your pregnancy, birth, and motherhood, and get to know your baby!
What if I have to go to the hospital?
During our prenatal visits we will be continually making sure that your pregnancy is healthy and without complication. If you do have to transfer to the hospital during labor, I will go with you for labor support and to help answer questions you may have.
Can you be my baby’s care provider too?
A couple of hours after your birth I will perform a thorough assessment of your baby. I can also administer vitamin K and erythromycin eye ointment. I will give you instructions in how to care for your baby in the first few days of life and will check back in with you regularly after birth. I will come back to your house on the second or third day of your baby’s life to do another assessment. I will perform the newborn hearing screen and collect a blood sample for the newborn metabolic screen at this visit. I ask that you arrange care for your baby with a pediatrician or family practice doctor prior to birth and take your baby to see them for a visit in the first few days after birth. I do not perform circumcisions, so if this is a procedure you desire other arrangements will need to be made.
Do you take insurance?
There is a flat fee that covers prenatal visits, attendance at your birth, and postpartum care. This fee does not cover labwork, ultrasound, some birth supplies, or the newborn hearing screen. I am happy to work with clients who have insurance as well as families who do not have health insurance or who do not carry maternity coverage. For some insurance companies my fees will be covered at the in-network rate, for others I am considered an out of network provider. Your out-of-pocket expense will depend on your family’s insurance plan. I will work with you, along with my billing service, to determine what your out-of-pocket expenses will be and to make a plan with you for payment.