Frequently Asked Questions about Midwifery Care
What is a midwife?
We are primary maternity care providers dedicated to providing each woman optimum maternity care with compassion, respect, empowerment and professionalism. As midwives we are trained and experienced in providing you with education about your care, options in testing, ultrasounds, and prevention of complications. Midwives are full scope prenatal care providers. We attend your births in the comforts of your own home. We bring equipment and skills to monitor and encourage you and baby’s well being.
What services do we provide?
Prenatal care, labor and birth in your own home, in-home post partum follow up for mom and baby, breastfeeding support, birth certificate and social security card guidance, fertility counseling, inseminations, well woman/annual pap. Support, encouragement, and empowerment to be educated and informed.
How much does it cost?
Each practice is independently run. The average fee is $4,800-$5,200. If you have an insurance carrier that is a PPO with a deductible of $2,000 or less you may receive a partial reimbursement. If insurance does not cover midwifery care or your deductible is too high, an early cash discount is customary. Payments are always welcome. Medi-Cal is currently in the process of being available with some practices. All practices have a Medi-cal discounted rate if Medi-Cal is not billable.
Also see our article The Cost of Midwifery Services vs. Hospitals and Doctors.
What about complications?
Midwifery care is skilled in looking for issues prenatally to help prevent complications and support a mother in creating a birth that encourages the well being of mother and baby. During the labor and birth mother and baby are monitored by listening to baby’s heart tones, assessing vitals signs and progress of labor. The “what if’s” are part of the skills and training of midwives. Equipment and skills are brought to the home and if the need were to arise, they can be implemented. The goal is prevention, as well as timely transfer when the need arises. Yes, midwives can: suture, provide oxygen, resuscitate a baby and use drugs for bleeding.
What makes midwifery care unique?
We are woman- and family-centered, and foster the normalness of pregnancy and birth. Midwifery care uses natural means such as diet, supplementation, herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, etc., as a way of increasing health. Midwifery care also assesses for the need of doctor or hospital support and assists a mother or baby to obtain appropriate referral/evaluations when needed. We look to prevent a complication/concern by being proactive in assessing ways to improve your health and optimize your baby’s well being in the process. Midwives have skills that foster a woman’s own natural abilities to be healthy and give birth normally.
What is home birth like?
Private, comfortable, your own space. You eat what you want and move about as your body dictates. Birth is considered normal and natural. Women are encouraged to follow their bodies. Midwives monitor baby and mother to assure well being while maintaining an unobtrusive nature. You cuddle up in your own bed with your baby. Follow up visits are done in your home. Peaceful, comforting, supportive, nurturing.
Can I have a water birth?
Yes!! Most practices have tubs you can borrow or rent. You can also purchase your own inflatable tub if you like. Water birth is a wonderful comfort measure for women and a warm familiar environment for the newborn baby.
Can a midwife order my labs or ultrasounds?
Where are my prenatal visits done?
Some midwifery practices have home offices or off-site offices and some do home visits.
What makes me a good candidate for midwifery care?
If you are a woman who wants to be educated, respected, encouraged to trust your body’s innate wisdom to birth, to provide your baby with the very best possible entrance into the world, you are on the right track. Consulting with a midwife about your health and your past birth history will give you the ability to choose the best care for you and your baby. She will help you evaluate if there is a reason to use a high-risk specialist OB for your delivery. Every woman benefits from midwifery care regardless of whether she births at home or hospital. Education and support is what every woman deserves.
Is there pain relief at home?
Birth is powerful, purposeful and full of sensations. The goal is to work with your labor and not against it. The hormones that help labor move forward ask for low light, quiet, respect, trust, encouragement and peace which can all be found in the comfort of home. You have showers, tub, massage, eating and drinking whatever you like, music, and most importantly movement and rest. Often a shower or a warm tub and support are all that is needed. Birth is altered when there is medication introduced: the need for constant monitoring, added synthetic Pitocin or risk of C-sections are increased. Midwives support the normal natural way a woman births, which is why women feel empowered and satisfied with their birth experience.
Trust vs. Fear
Trust (oxytocin stimulating) means the body is willing to walk forward as labor progresses and babies are born. Fear (adrenalin stimulating) is a block that stops or hinders labor from moving forward. Women have been told for years that birth is scary, dangerous and unreliable, and that creates fear, which creates pain and lack of progress, which creates interventions. We as midwives understand that not all births will be natural, unmediated or vaginal due to issues beyond trust and fear. The goal is to assess which ones truly need interventions to birth and assist them in having the best birth in a hospital setting that is possible. Trusting birth means returning to the truth, the normal functions of what nature intended a woman’s body to be able to do: birth her baby. Trusting your body means trusting what is normal. Prenatal care is not just to be sure baby is growing or mother is handling the pregnancy. Prenatal midwifery care is about looking for those issues that can be prevented in birth by good midwifery assessment skills.
Ask Questions, Get Answers, Learn Your Options
Make a complimentary consultation appointment today with one or more of our outstanding midwifery practices. Each is unique in personality and style yet all are highly trained and skilled midwives.