What are the benefits of having a midwife and homebirth?

Homebirth with Licensed Midwives follows a model of care that offers birthing families a more gentle and satisfying birth experience.  The midwifery model of care is based on the principle that pregnancy and birth are normal processes in a woman’s life.  This model of care has proven to have the best statistics across the globe because of its low intervention rates, personalized approach to education and counseling, continuous labor support, and added postpartum support.

Homebirth for low-risk women has been proven to be just as safe as hospital birth for low-risk women (see link below).  Homebirth supports the normal, physiologic hormonal mechanisms that enable labor to progress as intended and supports bonding between mother and baby.  Mother and baby are seen and treated as one unit and are never separated.  Newborn procedures typically done away from the mother in the hospital setting, are done either on or next to the mother with appropriate informed consent.

The following are interesting articles and web pages written by reputable and renown sources that illustrate these points more in depth:

When should I begin care?

It is best to begin care in your first trimester.  Most mothers begin care around their 10th week of pregnancy.  This is typically when we can hear baby’s heart beat for the first time with a fetal doppler.  It is always an exciting time that many mothers look forward to!  Beginning care with a midwife in your first trimester ensures that you receive holistic counseling for nutrition and early common discomforts of pregnancy.

Is homebirth safe for me and my baby?

The safety of out-of-hospital birth including homebirth is backed by sound evidence.  In the largest North American homebirth study (published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health) that included roughly 16,000 planned homebirths for low-risk women with a certified professional midwife, it was found that these births were associated with a lower risk of medical intervention and similar intrapartum and neonatal mortality to that of low risk hospital births in the United States.  In other words, there was no significant difference in adverse outcomes when comparing low-risk births at home vs in the hospital.

Who will be at my birth?

In our practice, a birth is always attended by the Licensed Midwife and her trained Birth Assistant.  In addition to your partner you may also want to have a Doula supporting you in your birth.  Doulas are really invaluable as part of a birth team and can help support you, your partner and your other children during birth.  Some mothers choose to have other family members present as well and sometimes even a birth photographer to document their experience.

Isn’t it “messy” to have a homebirth?

Actually, we joke that by the time we leave your home it is often times cleaner than when we arrived!  We clean up after every birth and our Birth Assistant does the birth laundry before we leave your home.  We take many precautions to avoid stains (can never have too many chux pads!) and you may not know this but birth stains can be magically removed!  Trust us…we have our ways!

How does the birth certificate get handled?

Following your birth we complete the birth certificate which you will then sign at your postpartum home visit.  We take care of filing the birth certificate with the Dept. of Health in your county.  Your baby’s social security card will automatically be sent to you.  Your birth certificate will be on file at the Vital Statistics office in your county’s Health Department and you can request a copy of it whenever you need it.

Do you offer VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) support?

Yes.  The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists have issued a statement recognizing what the research shows- that having a VBAC after one and two cesarean sections with a low-transverse incision is healthier for mom and baby vs. a repeat cesearean due to low risks of uterine rupture.  Having a VBAC at home with a Licensed Midwife requires thorough assessment and collaborative consult with a physician to determine that you are expected to have a normal pregnancy and birth.

What is the difference between the Birth Assistant’s role and the Doula?

The Birth Assistant is there to help with set up, clean up, medical charting, and other instrumental duties that assist the midwife. The Birth Assistant is part of your medical team. The Doula is not providing medical support rather physical, mental, and emotional encouragement. The Doula’s role is to be there for the laboring mother and father. Typically, the Doula is the first one to join up with the mom. As labor progresses, the medical team will join in. After birth, the Doula stays until mom and baby are stable and settling in together ( 1 – 3 hours or longer in various cases).

What is the evidence behind doulas?

Evidence shows that women accompanied by a Doula during labor and birth report to have shorter and more efficient births, reduction of Epidural, Pitocin, and other interventions, dramatic reduction in Cesarean Birth ( 60 – 80% ), and reports of a positive birth experience. Here are links to further your research on whether or not a Doula would be a good asset to your birthing team.