“Women’s bodies have their own wisdom, and a system of birth refined over 100,000 generations is not so easily overpowered.” — Dr. Sarah J. Buckley
Pregnancy and birth are major life events and significant rites of passage that deserve honor. Your and your baby’s birth experience can have tremendous impact on all facets of your life going forward. Having your best possible birth cannot be overvalued. For many families this means giving birth at home in the care of a midwife.
Ample research has shown homebirth with a trained midwife to be a safe option for low-risk pregnancies (see resources).
Among the many benefits of homebirth with a midwife are:
- Labor undisturbed and move freely as you choose
- Choose who you want to have present at your birth (including siblings)
- Eat and drink whatever you crave to keep your strength and energy up
- Labor in water and/or have a water birth
- “Catch” your own baby or have a loved one “catch”
- Stay in your own biologically compatible environment
- Work together with your provider to experience the power and beauty of birth
- Avoid unnecessary interventions and strict timetables
The midwifery model of care is a fundamentally different approach to pregnancy and childbirth compared to standard obstetrics.
“The Midwives Model of Care™ is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes. The Midwives Model of Care includes: monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle; providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support; minimizing technological interventions; and identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention. The application of this woman-centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.”
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As your homebirth midwife I offer comprehensive, personalized, and respectful primary care for the childbearing year with an emphasis on optimizing health, fostering empowerment, and honoring individual autonomy and diverse family structures.
I offer all standard diagnostic tests and referrals as needed or desired, in addition to nutritional counseling and natural preventative care.
I view health holistically, recognizing the importance of your emotional, social, and spiritual well-being, as well as your physical well-being.
If you’d like to avoid spending more of your time in your car, traffic, and waiting rooms, why not have your midwife come to you and enjoy the ease and convenience of having your prenatal care in the comfort of your very own home?
Our prenatal appointments typically last an hour and take place in your home environment on a schedule of once per month until 28 weeks of pregnancy, every other week from 28 to 36 weeks gestation, and then weekly until birth.
The physical checkup (blood pressure, pulse, measuring growth, and listening to baby’s heartbeat) takes just 10 to 15 minutes. The remainder of our time is spent discussing any pregnancy changes you are experiencing, maintaining balance and wellness, your hopes and dreams for your birth, your vision for your growing family, strategies for building community support, and also just simply getting to know each other. Family participation, including that of siblings, is encouraged in all aspects of your care.
These relaxed prenatal conversations allow for a relationship of trust and understanding to evolve between midwife, birthing person, and family.
Labor and Birth
When your labor begins, I offer continuous support and monitoring that is tailored to your specific needs and use a broad range of tools and techniques to ensure that labor and birth unfold in a safe and healthy way and prevent complications.
Throughout your labor and birth I assess your and your baby’s vital signs at regular intervals, provide physical and emotional support and/or privacy as desired, encourage you to tune into your own body’s innate wisdom, and remain ready to intercede if my expertise and skills are needed.
The excellent health status of my clients combined with the high quality, preventive prenatal care I provide, mean that complications in labor and birth are rare. If a concern begins to develop, it is either addressed skillfully at home or we will discuss the need for transfer of care to an area hospital, as necessary.
As a licensed midwife, I hold current certification in CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP) and I am legally licensed to carry medical equipment and medications to safely manage low-risk deliveries at home, including: a Doppler for listening to the fetal heart rate, blood pressure cuff, stethoscopes, oxygen, resuscitation equipment, herbs and homeopathics, emergency medications to stop bleeding, IV supplies, and suturing equipment with local anesthetic. Whenever possible, I attend births with second licensed midwife or qualified birth assistant whom you will have a chance to meet prenatally.
Once your baby is born, I stay an additional 3-6 hours until you and your baby are both stable and lactation/breastfeeding is established. A complete head-to-toe newborn exam is done right next to you on your bed to minimize your separation from your baby. Optional vitamin K injection and Erythromycin eye ointment are available for baby, if desired.
Before leaving your home I see to it that you have eaten a good meal, that the laundry is started and the house tidied up, and that the whole family is settled.
After your baby’s birth, I encourage you to spend a minimum of two weeks cocooned at home, dedicating this brief but precious time to resting, nourishing your body, bonding with your baby, and establishing breastfeeding/chestfeeding. Four to six weeks of postpartum rest is optimal— the traditional “cuarentena.”
To help facilitate this “cocooning” time, I return to provide your follow-up care in your home 24-36 hours after your birth, and then again at 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks— more frequently as needed.
These postpartum visits are an hour long and include:
- Infant weight checks
- Visual jaundice screening
- Newborn care instruction
- Vital signs (temperature, blood pressure, heart and respiration rates)
- Lactation and infant feeding support
- Performance of the State-Mandated Newborn Metabolic Screen (heel-stick test)
- Monitoring postpartum bleeding, healing, and general well-being
- Emotional support and community referrals
- Birth Certificate and Social Security card paperwork
- Gyn care and discussion of family planning options
- Family Leave Paperwork
I am on-call for you 24/7 for urgent matters and offer unlimited email and phone support throughout the childbearing year.
My global fee for midwifery services is $4500-$6000 sliding scale, paid in full by 36 weeks of pregnancy. I encourage those who can pay the full fee to do so, thus allowing those who cannot to have access to midwifery care.
This fee includes complete prenatal care, risk assessment, nutritional counseling, birth preparation, midwife attendance at your labor and birth along with a qualified assistant, standard supplies to be used during labor and birth, a head-to-toe newborn exam, lactation/breastfeeding support, newborn care education, postpartum care for the first 6 weeks, a family planning consultation, and 24-hour midwife on-call availability for urgent matters and from 37-42 weeks of pregnancy for labor and birth.
This fee does not include lab work, ultrasounds, herbs/supplements, the birth kit, the Newborn Metabolic Screen (heel stick test), Rhogam, water birth tub rental, fees incurred by seeing physicians or hospitals or from other sources in the event of transfer.
Many PPO health insurance plans will reimburse for midwifery services. I encourage clients with PPO plans to work with Cohosh Billing, an excellent insurance billing company that can verify your benefit coverage and help you get the maximum reimbursement. Payment plans are available. Some families use a flexible spending account (FSA), a health savings account (HSA) or a medical loan to pay for part or all of the midwifery care. I offer discounts for cash pay and Medicaid clients and am open to trade/barter arrangements for a portion of costs. Cash, check, credit card, or PayPal are all accepted.
I strive to make midwifery care accessible and am always happy to answer any financial questions you may have in considering a homebirth.