birth your family, your way
Could home birth be for you?
You are healthy
Your pregnancy is low-risk (eg: one baby, head down)
You want to experience a natural birth
You want to avoid routine interventions such as admission IVs, electronic fetal monitoring, and food and drink restrictions
You want to avoid unnecessary induction, epidural, episiotomy, assisted delivery and cesarean section
You want to reduce your and your baby’s risk of infection
You want to have freedom to move around, change positions, drink and eat freely in labor
You want to enjoy the comfort and familiarity of your home
You want to labor and/or give birth in water
You want delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin bonding and breastfeeding
You want to share your experience with family and friends
You want home visits in the first week to help with adjusting to a new baby and breastfeeding assistance and follow up maternal and newborn care until 6 weeks after the birth
Home birth is generally nothing like the dramatic, unplanned excitement you see on TV shows! For those who choose it, home birth provides the comfort of being in familiar surroundings. This allows you to feel more confident and relaxed, able to access your own food, bed and bathroom and choose who will be present. Home birth also means you don’t have to travel to hospital while you’re in labor or leave your own bed with your new baby until you want to.
For healthy women cared for by trained midwives, the best current scientific research states clearly that home birth is as safe as hospital birth, with less intervention. Home birth for healthy women with recognized midwives is considered a safe option around the world, including the USA, Canada, the UK, and most European countries.
Midwives are specialists in normal pregnancy, birth and newborn care, trained to screen for and manage common complications and emergencies. We have extensive knowledge of and faith in women and their ability to labor and give birth. Birth is a normal, physiological process that unfolds most smoothly in a familiar, undisturbed environment. Home is a very special place to give birth!
Can I still have lab tests, diagnostic screenings and ultrasounds?
Yes! Licensed Midwives (LMs) can order all routine tests, screens including the NIPT early genetic screening and ultrasounds.
What happens at home birth?
I see you for all regular and standard prenatal visits in my office from the beginning of your pregnancy. At around 36 weeks I will visit you at home to discuss logistics, explain the equipment I bring to the birth and review what to expect during labor and birth. During your labor, I will monitor both you and your baby. A second Licensed Midwife or a certified Midwife Assistant will arrive close to the end of your labor. After your baby is born and the health of you and your baby is thoroughly assessed and confirmed, I will leave you alone to rest, generally 2-3 hours after the birth. I will return to your home within 24-36 hours for your first postpartum visit and again once or twice in the first week. (You come to my office for the follow-up postpartum appointments.)
What if there is an emergency?
Prenatally we work together to minimize the likelihood of complications. Since we know that healthy women with normal pregnancies are at a lower risk for serious complications during birth, we limit our care to those women and their newborns. During labor and birth we monitor closely for signs of fetal distress and maternal exhaustion and take common sense measures to prevent further problems and minimize risks.
The vast majority of home birth transports are for non-emergent reasons and happen in our cars. Should the need for transport arise, we will go with you to liaise with the staff so the transition is as smooth as possible and offer continuous support in the hospital. See my Safety, Equipment and Research page for more information.
What about insurance?
I work closely with an insurance biller. We work hard together to get the best possible legal reimbursement for you. Everyone has different insurance; different plans, deductibles, out-of-pocket, allowables, in-network exceptions, etc. Insurance doesn’t always provide coverage or, if it does, there is usually no way to know in advance how much they will pay. PPOs and HSAs are more likely to reimburse for Licensed Midwives (LM). Insurance plans at Apple specifically cover Licensed Midwives as in-network providers and plans at FaceBook, Google and Adobe are also LM friendly. My biller and I will work diligently to get you the best reimbursement possible. Here’s more on Insurance and Home Birth from Pacific Community Midwives.