Frequently Asked Questions

Is home a safe place for me to have my baby?

Only you can answer this question. The safest place for you to give birth is the place you feel the safest. Studies repeatedly document the safety of planned midwife attended home birth for healthy low-risk women and their newborns. This is especially related to the reduced exposure to infection, the decreased use of interventions at home which often lead to many of the complications seen in hospitals.

Women who choose homebirth are low-risk (as defined by Midwifery Standard of Care) and assume a great deal of responsibility for decision making based on research, taking classes and working through any unresolved concerns. A steadfast belief in the normalcy and safety of physiologic birth is essential as is the understanding that your TRUE prenatal care is how you care for yourself between appointments with your provider. I encourage you to talk to women that have given birth, both in home and hospital settings, interview a few midwives and some doctors and then ultimately look within yourself for the answer.

No one can birth this baby besides you! If you are unsure about about risk status or have been told you are high risk do to a previous cesarean, your age or a gestational diabetes diagnosis you are encouraged to call us for a consultation so we can determine if you are an appropriate candidate for a homebirth based on your individual health history.

Do you offer a free initial consultation?

Yes, I'm happy to meet with you to discuss anything you would like to talk about. Feel free to call (916) 505-7175 or email and we can set up a time to meet!

Do I need to have a doctor too?

I am licensed by the State of California to provide comprehensive maternity care including ordering any testing that would be ordered by a doctor, including ultrasounds. Many clients see no other provider for their maternity care. If you have HMO insurance or Kaiser coverage, you may want to consider concurrent care with a provider who is covered under your plan so that any testing you want can be ordered by them and covered by your insurance resulting in less out-of-pocket expense for you. Some clients proceed with concurrent care with an MD, either because that is their personal preference or because it is medically indicated. Emotional and physical safety is a priority and I am skilled at diagnosing factors that may adversely affect you or your baby. I work collaboratively with you to reduce the risk for complications using nutrition and herbs. If a condition arises that is cause for concern, you'll be referred to an appropriate medical provider.

Can I have a water birth?

Yes! Laboring women love the birth tub. In the moment, if it feels right to you, you can absolutely give birth in the water.

What about the mess?

Birth isn't as messy as TV would like you to believe! You will order a birth kit that contains many of the same supplies and disposable underpads used in the hospital to catch fluids. We take precautions so that the floors, carpets and pillows stay clean. After the birth, all soiled linens (part of birth kit) are laundered or thrown away and any trash is taken out. With waterbirth, the tub is drained with a pump. You will be so busy gazing at your beautiful baby and breathing in your amazing accomplishment that you won't even notice the clean up process!

Can I VBAC at home (HBAC)?

Yes. About 25-30% of the births I've attended at home have been Vaginal Births After Cesareans. Given the current C-section rate and lack of options for women wanting to VBAC within the hospital system, this isn't surprising. In my experience, VBAC women are some of the most well researched, educated and determined moms choosing homebirth today. Of course, until I review your health history I cannot tell you for certain whether you meet the criteria for an HBAC. Let's meet so we can determine if homebirth is right for you!

What equipment and supplies do you bring to the birth?

I carry to your birth, supplies such as oxygen and resuscitation equipment, drugs to control bleeding, and suturing materials. Your baby’s heart rate is monitored with a Doppler and your vital signs are regularly assessed during your labor. Other items include labor support tools such as homeopathic, herbal, and aroma-therapeutic remedies. We also bring equipment necessary to perform a comprehensive newborn exam and you are offered vitamin K and eye ointment. I also bring a skilled set of hands to each birth in the form of another licensed midwife or an experienced birth assistant or midwifery student. This attendant is in the background to assist me with equipment and such so I can take focus on providing you with continuous support.

What if there is a problem during labor or birth?

If there is a problem during labor requiring medical attention we will transfer to the hospital. A transport plan is discussed prenatally. Most transfers are not emergencies. There are also times when we transport for issues with the baby – again, most commonly it is not an emergency, but a situation where we feel safer being in the hospital so that your baby can be continuously monitored. Typically, these births turn out perfectly fine with healthy moms and healthy babies. We call ahead of time, calmly drive to the hospital in our own cars and are welcomed by people who are expecting us. We stay with you, help you make decisions and provide emotional support until your baby is safely born and you are both resting together. Postpartum appointments then continue, as well as breastfeeding and parenting support. Again, this is rare. Most low-risk women who are appropriate candidates for a homebirth stay at home!

How many births do you attend in a month and what if you have two people in labor at the same time?

I currently attend 4 births a month. Overlapping labors are rare, but if two women are in labor at the same time, I have a back up midwife, if necessary, to assist when the baby is ready to be born. Again, it is extremely rare to have two mothers give birth at the exact same time.

How does payment work? Will my insurance cover a midwife or homebirth?

Clients pay our fee directly to us in advance of the birth. I ask for a deposit at your initial visit and then we discuss payment options. If you have PPO insurance that covers out of network, I can refer you to a medical billing service that is proficient in submitting claims for reimbursement of midwifery care services. This process can be initiated prenatally however the claim is submitted after the baby is born. Insurance is difficult to navigate therefore I highly recommend using a medical billing service. Medi-Cal may reimburse for prenatal visits but not the actual birth and HMOs will not cover my fee. Payment plans are and medical loans are available.

What midwifery credentials do you possess?

I am a Licensed Midwives (LM) who specializes in out of hospital birth and waterbirth and routine gynecological care. I am also a licensed Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), which is a North American certification. An LM is an autonomous provider educated in midwifery and licensed by the California Medical Board. I am certified in both Adult and Child CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation.

How is my partner involved in my care?

Partners are invited and encouraged to be a part of care as it is important that their questions, concerns, and hopes for the birth are discussed during pregnancy. We are skilled at supporting partners in participating during the birth in a way that feels right for them. Some partners prefer to be directly involved while others provide background support. Either way we acknowledge that birth of a baby is a transformative experience for all members of your family and we are there to support you both as “newborn parents.”