PHOTO BY DALLAS ARTHUR
What's the difference between a midwife and an OB?
A: Both midwives and OB-GYNs provide comprehensive maternity care to women throughout the childbearing year. OB-GYNs work in hospitals while midwives work primarily in out of hospital settings. OBs are surgeons who are best fit to care for high risk women. OB-GYNs typically follow the medical model of care, while licensed midwives practice the midwifery model of care. The midwifery model of care is more holistic in that your provider looks at your physical, psychologic and social health; seeing the pregnant person as a whole being along with their family. Midwives take into account every aspect of your life, health, mind, and body. This means that your midwife practices the art of preventive care rather than reactive care, focuses on full-body wellness, and expertly blends extensive knowledge in natural treatment and prevention adapted from ancient practices with modern medicine, techniques, and equipment. The midwifery model of care has been proven as the safest and most effective model for low risk and healthy pregnancies.
Am I a good candidate for home birth?
A: Licensed midwives can take care of low risk women in the pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum period. A large majority of women are considered low risk and good candidates for home birth. Factors that may risk you out of care with a midwife include certain chronic illnesses and their medications, hypertension, diabetes, serious unresolved heart conditions/defects, certain types of prior cesareans, blood clotting disorders, and serious abnormalities in the fetus detected by ultrasound or genetic testing.
Do you accept insurance?
A: We do not accept insurance, with the exception of health shares such as Christian Healthcare Ministries, however we do offer payment plans. We work with a biller who can help you find out if your insurance policy will reimburse for home birth. You can contact her by filling out her verification of benefits form on her website: www.birthprofessionalbilling.com
What if there is an emergency?
A: Licensed midwives in the state of Florida are extensively trained and educated for every possible emergency. Licensed midwives have a protocol for all obstetrical emergencies and are prepared to act upon them. The many medications, supplies, equipment, skills and knowledge that are brought to each birth allow midwives to handle many emergencies smoothly at home, and know when to transport to the closest hospital. Emergency hospital transfers are typically facilitated via EMS.
What do midwives bring to a home birth?
A: Licensed midwives in Florida bring everything to a home birth that you would find in a labor and delivery room. These supplies include IV supplies, IV antibiotics, oxygen tank and O2 masks for both mother and newborn, all supplies needed for a full neonatal resuscitation, antihemorrhagic medications pitocin and misoprostol, lidocaine for injection and suturing supplies for cases of tearing during birth, neonatal pulse oximeter, all supplies needed to check all vitals for mother and baby throughout labor, birth and postpartum, surgical instruments for every situation they may be needed for, urinary catheterization supplies, and of course much more such as sterile gloves, cord clamps, lubricant, gauze, newborn prophylactic antibiotic eye ointment and vitamin k for injection.
What if I have to transfer to the hospital in labor?
A: As your midwives, if we feel at any time that you or your baby would be safer delivering in the hospital, we will facilitate the transfer to the hospital in the most efficient way possible. We will always call the hospital and notify them of the transfer & fax your records accordingly. If the reason for transfer is non-emergent, we may be able to drive to the hospital in your private vehicle. If the reason for transfer is emergent, we will transfer to the hospital via EMS. We will go to the hospital with you, and if possible, stay with you once you are admitted to labor & delivery.
What would risk me out of midwifery care?
A: A variety of factors may risk you out of midwifery care. Factors such as twin pregnancy, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, etc. are all reasons to see an OB for higher level care.
Can I switch to a midwife for a home birth if I already have established care with an OB?
A: Absolutely! You can switch over to a midwife no matter how far along you are. When you decide to switch over to a midwife, your midwife will request your prenatal records from your OB office & resume care where they left off.
How many people can I have at my birth?
A: We do not limit the amount of people who may support you at your birth. We do, however, encourage all of our families to keep their birth intimate because we know that babies come out a lot faster when mothers don't feel watched by too many people.
What is a doula?
A: A doula is a non-medical birth expert who offers emotional and physical support in the pregnancy and birth process. We love & encourage the use of doulas. We can give you a list of our personal local favorites.
How will my midwife monitor me & my baby throughout labor to make sure we are both safe?
A: Your midwife will monitor your vitals & baby's heart rate on a schedule throughout your labor. We will take your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature regularly throughout labor, and we will listen to baby's heart rate with our hand-held, waterproof dopplers which project the sound of baby's heart rate for us to listen to. When you get closer to pushing, we will begin to listen to baby more frequently to be sure baby is tolerating the end of labor well.