Question: How safe is home birth?
Answer: In the presence of a normal pregnancy and a normally progressing labor, it has been shown to be very safe.
Information on home birth safety:
Question: How often do I see the midwife for prenatal care?
Answer: You will see the midwife on the same schedule that you would follow if you were seeing an obstetrician for care. You will schedule a visit monthly until you are 28 weeks, bi-weekly until 36 weeks, and then weekly until your baby is born.
Question: What tests are offered during prenatal care?
Answer: I offer all the same testing that is available from an obstetrician. In addition to the initial blood work at the beginning of the pregnancy, we also offer STD screening, AFP screening, iron and blood sugar testing, and group B strep screening. If a woman is Rh negative, we also offer Rhogam shots.
Question: What is a normal midwife prenatal visit like?
Answer: Typically, the pregnant woman has about an hour of face-to-face time with the midwife. The visit will include a urine analysis, blood pressure check, the woman’s abdomen will be measured and assessed, and after about 10-12 weeks of pregnancy we will listen to the fetal heartbeat. Additionally, in later pregnancy, every woman is assessed to signs and symptoms of pre-eclampsia and other risks to the health of the mother and/or baby.
Question: When can I call my midwife?
Answer: After becoming an established client, you may contact the midwife by phone Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM for non-urgent matters. For urgent matters, you may call any time of the day or night. Examples of urgent matters would be signs of labor, sudden or severe onset of fever or other illness, or injury.
Question: What happens when labor starts?
Answer: After 36 weeks of pregnancy, when labor starts and it is the middle of the night, if you can sleep through the contractions, please do. If it is the middle of the day, but they aren’t regular, call and give me a heads-up. When labor becomes established, usually 5 minutes apart/lasting a minute from beginning to end, let me know and I will come over to be with you. Generally, I will have at least one and possibly two assistants with me. These assistants will be either student midwives, licensed midwives, or other medically trained help. We will assess your labor pattern and make decisions about your needs at that time. When labor is strong and birth appears to be likely, we will set up our safety equipment and stay around to periodically listen to your baby and assess your physical needs. Once the baby is born, we will stay for a minimum of two hours to assess that the baby is transitioning into life outside the womb well and that the mother is transitioning into postpartum life well.
Question: What do you do if the baby needs help breathing after birth?
Answer: I am certified in CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation. These certifications are renewed every 2 years. Additionally, I carry resuscitation equipment and oxygen and am trained in their use.
Question: What if the mother bleeds too much after birth?
Answer: Firstly, I do what I can to avoid the things that increase the risk of heavy postpartum bleeding. Secondly, I carry pitocin to administer in the case of heavy postpartum bleeding. If it became necessary, I would not hesitate to transport into the hospital for more specialized medical care.
Question: Can you help with breastfeeding issues?
Answer: Yes, I am very comfortable helping mothers and babies experiencing issues with breastfeeding. I have worked many, many years teaching women how to breastfeed their babies and have learned a few tricks of the trade along the way.
Question: How often will I see the midwife after the birth of the baby?
Answer: You will be seen the day after and three days after you have the baby. Also, you have the option of scheduling an appointment around the second week postpartum if you feel it is needed. Finally, a six week postpartum visit is included. I also encourage a woman to return around 10 weeks or so for a Pap smear.
Question: If my baby is born at home, how will we get a birth certificate?
Answer: I am required by Arizona State law to file it for you. Afterward, you may send in a form that I can provide for you with a fee and the state will send you a copy of your child’s birth certificate. Alternatively, you can go to the Department of Vital Statistics in person, pay the fee, and get a copy.
Question: Do you provide the newborn screening?
Answer: Yes, I can provide the newborn screen. For more information about the newborn screen click here: http://www.aznewborn.com/index.htm. This test is done at an additional nominal cost, or it may be done by your pediatrician.
Question: How much mess is left after the birth that I will have to clean up?
Answer: None. The midwife and her assistants clean up the mess and start the laundry for you.
Question: Do you accept insurance?
Answer: I will be happy to file insurance claims, but the parents need to be aware of the fact that I am considered “out-of-network” and I cannot guarantee that they will cover your birth. To date, AHHCCS does not cover midwives at all.
Question: What other types of payment do you accept?
Answer: I also take credit cards and payment plans. If you choose payments, I respectfully ask that you be prompt with your payments. As much as I love midwifery, it is also my job and how I contribute to my family’s financial well-being.