Top Questions from Prospective Home Birth Parents:

Is natural birth with a midwife safe?

Natural labor and birth are simply and beautifully designed with low risk of complications, especially when evidenced-based birth practices are utilized. Midwives are trained to understand the physiological process of birth and are there to protect, support, and promote natural, normal birth, with the clinical training to recognize when intervention is necessary and take the proper actions to ensure the safest possible resolution.

Am I a suitable candidate for out of hospital birth?

Women who have no major medical or obstetrical problems; desire minimal interventions during the course of pregnancy and birth; are willing to actively participate and make informed decisions; and take responsibility for their health are all suitable candidates for an out of hospital birth. Most women are low risk and remain this way throughout their pregnancy.

How long are the prenatal visits?

Prenatal visits are usually scheduled for 30-45 minutes face to face time; however, they can vary depending on any questions, comments, concerns, or issues that you may have during each visit.  Education and informed consent are important parts in our model of care. Our prenatal assessments include monitoring the well being of the mother and baby through fetal growth, heart tones, and position; blood pressure and pulse; urinalysis; and diet and weight. Prenatal visits are scheduled once a month until 28 weeks, every two weeks until 36 weeks, and then every week until birth.

What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?

Midwives offer clinical support and care of women with healthy pregnancies. They examine, diagnose, and treat medically, if necessary. The midwife promotes normal birth and creates care plans for any complications or emergencies. A doula’s primary role is to be there for you, your baby, and your partner during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum. Doulas offer emotional and physical support and can be invaluable to many women. We are always supportive of women who choose to have a doula at their birth.

Do you offer waterbirth?

Yes! I have a large inflatable birth pool that I lend to clients for free. Waterbirth has been associated with several benefits including a lower need for pain medicine, a lower rate of episiotomy correlating with a higher incidence of an intact perineum.  For more information about the safety of waterbirth, click HERE.

What happens in case of an emergency or we have to transfer care?

Evidence shows that statistically, out of hospital birth is safe for healthy, low risk women. Occasionally, problems do arise during pregnancy or labor despite our best efforts, and a consultation or transfer of care to an obstetrician may be recommended. In the event of a transfer of care during pregnancy, all of the mother’s current medical records will be provided to the practitioner of her choice. If the transfer is occurring during labor and is not an emergency (ie., prolonged labor, desire for pain medications), we will provide all relevant information on the mother’s current condition and birthing situation to whichever hospital she would prefer to transfer to. In the event of an emergency or a complication arises that is beyond our scope of practice, an ambulance will be called and the mother will be transferred to the nearest hospital.

My prior pregnancies were delivered via Cesarean Section. Can I still have an out of hospital birth?

Most women who have had a previous Cearean Section are capable of having a vaginal birth in subsequent pregnancies. Cesarean delivery leaves a scar on the uterus and thus, creates an area that is weaker than normal. Studies show that in 0.2-1.5% of cases, this can result in uterine rupture, which is quite rare. Maintaining healthy habits (ie., good diet, no smoking) and allowing a year to heal after surgery before becoming pregnant again all help keep this risk low.