Frequently Asked Questions
Is home birth safe?
In all 27 countries that have lower numbers of infant and maternal mortality rates than the United States, midwife attended birth is standard of care. Current research indicates that home birth is safe, if not safer, than hospital birth for low-risk clients with a skilled attendant. The following studies speak to the safety of the home birth option.
Why choose home birth?
- Your pregnancy is viewed as a normal process that your body was created for.
- You will not be a treated as a patient, but rather an active participant in your care and decision making.
- No unnecessary interventions.
- Freedom to move, eat, and drink during labor.
- Freedom to labor and birth where you choose (bedroom, living room, kitchen, outside, etc.).
- Comfort of your own home environment and privacy means you are more at ease to manage labor instinctively.
- Familiarity of your birth attendants. No shift change and you receive continual labor support.
- Lower risk for surgical birth.
- No separation from your baby. Basic newborn exam is done with baby right next to you.
Is home birth an option for me?
During your consultation we will discuss the appropriateness of home birth for you and your family. We will discuss your health, past obstetric history, relevant medical history, nutrition, and support system. If it is determined that your current status is low-risk, it will be up to you to make the decision to proceed with the goal of home delivery. Please be sure that this is the option that you, the client, are comfortable with. Planning a home birth requires you to educate yourself, take optimal care of your body, and to prepare mentally/emotionally.
What is a prenatal appointment like with a midwife?
Your appointments will last approximately 45 minutes to one hour. I do not overbook so you can be assured that your appointments will be on time. Everything that is typically done in a doctor's office is done at your appointment, except for ultrasound and genetic testing. At each visit we will check your urine, weight, blood pressure, pulse, discuss your nutritional intake, and listen to baby's heartbeat. Once you are far enough along I will measure your fundal height and palpate the baby's position. All of that usually takes 10-15 minutes of the hour. The remainder of the hour is spent talking, getting to know one another, and so on. Building a mutual trusting relationship is vital for the client, the client's family members, and midwife.
Do I need to see an obstetrician in addition to receiving care from a midwife?
No. As your midwife I provide the necessary care for a low-risk, out-of-hospital birth. Should a situation arise that requires medical attention, a referral will be made to the appropriate provider.
If I see an obstetrician for prenatal care and switch to you at the end of my pregnancy for a home birth will I get a discount?
My Informed Consent/Information Packet discusses the fees and any discounts that I offer. I will prorate my fee for previous care but only to a certain amount. I do not offer a substantial discount for those switching to my care late in pregnancy for several reasons. The most important of which is that we have quite a bit of catching up to do. I must look over all of your prenatal records and we may schedule extra prenatal visits in order to develop a trusting relationship.
Many potential complications can and are resolved with preventative care, which is a focus of midwifery. Should an issue arise that is outside my scope of practice, you will be referred to the appropriate care provider. Depending on the issue, you may or may not be able to proceed with home birth plans.
During labor and birth, the risk of complications can be dramatically lowered simply by reducing and/or eliminating interventions. Midwives are trained to recognize potential complications and intervene when necessary. They are also trained and qualified to handle simple and serious complications as well as the appropriate time to transfer a woman to the hospital for emergency medical help.
What happens if I need to transfer to the hospital during labor?
Should a transfer become necessary, I will accompany you to the hospital. Once there I will serve as your doula and I stay approximately one hour after delivery. Your postpartum care will proceed as noted on the "Services" page.
Who can attend my birth?
This is up to you. All I ask is that you are 110% comfortable with having them present at your birth. Regardless of whom you invite to the birth, there will be myself and at least one skilled assistant present, if needed. This assistant may be another midwife, a midwifery student, or a midwife assistant.
What is my partner's role during a home birth?
This will depend on you, your partner, and your relationship. It is something we can discuss and prepare for during your prenatal care. Some partners desire to be involved in labor support. However, others are more comfortable simply observing. If your partner would like to be involved, we will discuss ways to make that possible.
Do I need a doula?
Again, this is up to you. A doula provides a valuable service and is encouraged!! During your labor my assistant(s) and I provide doula-like care. However, once birth is imminent my focus must shift to the safe delivery of your baby and monitoring the two of you after the baby's arrival. Most clients find that the midwife and assistants are suitable labor support. However, you are more than welcome to interview and hire a labor doula for your birth team. I do ask that you focus your search to doulas who have experience with home birth. If you need references for doulas I have worked with in the past, I am happy to provide them.
What about the mess??
One of my responsibilities is to clean up after the birth before I leave your home. If you deliver in the birth pool, I will make sure it is drained and deflated. Most midwives, including myself, take great care in keeping any mess to a minimum. Even so, this is not something you or your partner will need to deal with. I strive to leave your home in the same condition, or better, than it was when I arrived.
What is cord burning?
Cord burning is a ritual that some families chose instead of cutting the cord. It is a way to slow down and gently separate baby from the placenta. This is completely optional. I own a beautiful, locally made cord burning bowl that clients are welcome to use. The parents simply need to purchase long taper candles. To learn more about cord burning visit this website: http://www.birthtakesavillage.com/umbilical-cord-burning-2/
How do we file the birth certificate and get a Social Security Number for our baby?
I will file the necessary paperwork with Vital Records in Oklahoma City. You will review the form, and indicate and initial giving permission for the State of Oklahoma to share your information with the Social Security Administration in order to issue a SSN for the baby. Once the birth certificate is processed you may order a certified copy from the State.
I strongly desire a home birth but our family is in an extremely pinched financial situation and I can not afford the global fee. Is home birth out of the question?
Please click on "Contact" above and fill out the "Contact the Midwife" form. In the notes section request the Sliding Scale Information Packet. While midwifery services can not be provided free of charge, I am pleased to offer a generous sliding scale option. I do my best to work with potential clients in this situation as I do not want anyone who truly desires a home birth to feel as though the cost will keep them from their desired birth.
Do you only serve "traditional" family structures?
No! My practice is inclusive and welcomes families regardless of faith, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
If you have other questions that have not been addressed in this FAQ please use the "Contact" button above to receive my information packet and to schedule a complimentary consultation. We can discuss all of your questions during the consultation.