Frequently Asked Questions
Is a birth outside of the hospital safe?
As a midwife, my job is to normalize birth. Dramatizations make for great television, but our society has bought into the idea that birth has to be hard and needs intervention. Midwives care for women who are healthy and “normal.” Throughout pregnancy, you must remain “normal,” meaning that you don’t need further medications or interventions and are healthy. For most women, a birth at home can be just as safe and sometimes safer than in a hospital. We follow the standard of care with out prenatal visit schedule, labs, risk screening, and refer and transfer when appropriate. Don’t take our word for it. Read more and print and share with those who need more information at: http://www.mana.org/blog/home-birth-safety-outcomes
Do you offer water birth?
Yes! I have multiple birthing tubs that are loaned out to each of my patients once they are 36-37 weeks along. Disposable covers, hoses and attachments are ordered by you to make each birth experience sanitary and safe. Hydrotherapy is a great pain reliever and relaxer! Our tubs make for beautiful photos and we welcome your photographer. They are big enough for your partner to bring a swimsuit and join you.
What about lab work and ultrasounds?
I offer lab draws that take place during your appointment. No need to go somewhere else and wait. Ultrasounds are done in Abilene at another facility, but are kept to a minimum. Nothing you do while in my care will require you sitting in any waiting room for 30 minutes to an hour. I want your experience to be nothing but peaceful and I am respectful of your time.
Can I switch from my OB to you and when is it too late to do that?
I offer a free consultation with all clients, but recommend that you call and schedule that with me before leaving the care of your provider. If you decide that midwifery care is for you, I will work to make the transition smooth. I have electronic medical records making it easy to request records from your previous provider and start are as soon as possible. As long as you are low-risk (no high blood pressure, no insulin-controlled diabetes, no heart condition, no other pregnancy complications or further health risks) and I can get your records from your past OB or midwife, then I am happy to have you! I understand the need as some are due to women being told that they must have an induction or repeat cesarean when they wanted a natural birth all along. I do ask that you not be more than 37 weeks along to transfer into care so that we can begin to build some relationship and trust before birth.
What about my baby’s newborn exam and circumcision?
Midwives in Texas can care for a woman and her baby up until the baby is 6 weeks old. We are trained to do a newborn exam and provide your infant’s care and refer when necessary. I offer a newborn screen at 24-48 hours and then repeat it at 2 weeks. If you choose circumcision, you will follow-up with your pediatrician in their office before your baby is a week old. All newborns are referred to see a pediatrician within the first week of life.
How involved can my partner and my children be in the birthing process?
I love having birth be a family affair and as such, I try to encourage your partner to catch their baby if that is something they are comfortable with. Siblings can watch the whole process as long as they have their own caregiver that is not you or your partner so that they can leave for food, rest or distress caused by the birth process. Education is super important to me and starts at a young age.
How long does my midwife stay at my home after birth?
There are a lot of things to be done during the first few hours after birth. It’s super important for you and your partner to feel safe staying home and taking care of your baby. We make sure your vitals are all normal in the first hour or two and then you breastfeed your baby, eat something nutritious, have an herbal bath, we examine your newborn and then go over all the postpartum care instructions. Families typically are tucked into bed and left on their own at 4 hours postpartum. My goal is to time it just right so that you get in bed to sleep for a few hours (a one time option) before you and baby get back to nursing every 2 to 3 hours.
After the birth, what postpartum support is offered?
I do an in-home postpartum visit between 24-48 hours. Then, you and your baby will come to my office for a 2 week and 6 week postpartum visit. As a midwife, I can care for both of you through 6 weeks, so bring your baby with you. If you are having trouble with breastfeeding, I can help with that as well.
What happens if my birth doesn’t go as planned?
Complications can happen. Being under a Texas physician, I offer IV therapy, anti-hemorrhage drugs, antibiotics, and can prescribe medications as needed during pregnancy and the postpartum. I and my assistants have been trained in newborn resuscitation and CPR. However, sometimes pregnancy and birth veers from “normal” and I see warning signs that tell me birthing in the hospital is the best option. When I feel I must transport a client, I work hard to make that a smooth process by communicating our plan for births and transports with the local hospitals and when needed, calling for help, giving report to the physician and staff, and then becoming a support person instead of your care provider. Once you are released from the hospital, you are welcome to come back to us for postpartum care. We want to be here for you!
How do we pay? Do you take insurance? Credit cards? Can we make payments?
A $500 deposit is required for all clients at your first appointment. The balance can be paid over the length of the pregnancy, but must be paid in full by 36 weeks. I do not take insurance as most insurance companies do not pay for homebirth with a CPM (certified professional midwife). I have a cash price that will not be discounted even if you are transferring in late to care. Credit cards are absolutely taken in person and by phone as well as Venmo. United Medical Credit is another option for making payments beyond your birth if you have good credit or someone to co-sign.
How far away do you take a homebirth client?
Clients not based in Abilene or one of the immediate surrounding cities are taken on a case by case basis. Factors that contribute to this decision are how many clients I have due in that particular month, what your risk factors are, and where the nearest hospital or EMS system is in your area
What happens if I am GBS+?
The standard of care is to give antibiotics by IV every 4 hours in labor. It doesn’t rule you out of care. I would recommend a Hep-lock so that you can still be active and moving throughout labor. As always in midwifery care, an informed consent is given so that you can decide for yourself what is right for you in this regard.