FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is a midwife?
A: A home birth midwife is a clinically trained provider who is an expert in reproductive health, pregnancy, birth and postpartum and usually practice outside of a hospital setting. A midwife provides well-woman care and cares for women with healthy low-risk pregnancies by providing full prenatal care, birth support, and postpartum care. We aim to avoid or limit unnecessary interventions; however, midwives will seek medical advice or transfer care when appropriate if anything trends outside of normal. We believe pregnancy and birth are normal life processes, not medical events.
Q: Why choose an out-of-hospital birth & midwifery care?
A: Being at home provides a sense of familiarity and comfort you won’t achieve in a hospital setting. All decisions about your care are made together with you, in detailed discussions of your needs, desires, your individual health, and the evidence regarding the options available to you. There is an emphasis on education, nutrition, evidence-based research, and informed decision making throughout your pregnancy.
The trust and relationship we build are meant to ensure a safe experience reducing trauma, interventions, birth injury, and cesarean births. When necessary, I do collaborate with providers from both the medical and holistic models of care to develop a plan which most effectively meets the individual situation.
Q: Is home birth safe?
A: Yes! Homebirth has been shown to be a safe option for healthy women and healthy babies whose normal pregnancies are full-term (37 weeks) at the start of labor, and who are monitored and attended by trained midwives. Studies continue to consistently affirm that planned midwife-attended home birth is as safe or safer than hospital birth. We believe in and practice with evidence-based guidelines & protocols in addition to the Midwifery Model of Care.
- What is home birth?
- Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Planned Home Births in the United States
- Outcomes of planned home birth with registered midwife versus planned hospital birth with midwife or physician
- Birth Can Safely Take Place at Home and in Birthing Centers
- HOME BIRTH: An annotated guide to the literature
Q: What happens if there is a complication?
A: Great question! Midwives are trained professionals who are experts in normal pregnancy. We have training and experience in identifying and managing certain complications at home. We recognize when those complications would mean a hospital birth is advisable and transfer care in those circumstances. Transfers occur about 12% of the time and are usually non-emergent. Typical reasons are maternal exhaustion, prolonged labor, and pain relief. When a circumstance arises requiring transport we have an informed discussion on what is happening and why it’s advisable to transfer. Most of these transfers still result in a vaginal birth even in the hospital. As part of my scope of practice, I carry emergency medications, equipment and hold a current certification in CPR and in neonatal resuscitation.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Homebirth midwifery care is an affordable option. My fee is $4950, which includes all prenatal & postpartum care, attendance during labor, the birth and newborn care up to 6-weeks and the birth pool. This fee does not include your birth kit (approx $50). Lab work and ultrasounds are usually covered by your health insurance. Accepted forms of payments include cash, credit cards, medical financing, CashApp, Venmo, checks, gift certificates, and online payment options. Payment plans are available.
Q: Does insurance cover care?
A: Currently, in Massachusetts having a home birth is an out-of-pocket expense not covered by insurance. Fees for midwifery care are paid upfront by the client by 36 weeks gestation. Realizing this may be a burden for some, payment plans are available.
Q: Can I have family and friends at my birth?
A: Absolutely! I truly appreciate the presence of loved ones and siblings who bring positivity and their love for you into your birthing space. This is what makes home birth midwifery care unique. I also offer support for setting boundaries when you desire privacy.
Q: What about the mess?
A: Surprisingly, home births are not as messy as people believe! We aim to leave the house as clean as it was when we arrived. During your prenatal care, I will provide you with a link to a website where you’ll order a "birth kit" which includes all the disposable supplies for your birth. Many of these supplies are meant to keep your house clean during or after the birth. While you’re having family bonding time with your new baby, we quietly tidy up.
Q: MIDWIFE vs. DOULA. What is the difference?
A: A midwife is a medical provider who cares for you and your baby during your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. A doula, while still incredibly important, is not a medical provider and does not provide any medical services. A doula provides education, physical and emotional support prenatally, during your birth, and during the postpartum time. The doula's focus is exclusively on your comfort and wellbeing during your birth and postpartum. While the one-on-one relationship with your midwife allows us to provide personalized, continuous clinical care during your pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. The midwife’s primary responsibility is the safety and health of you and your baby.
Q: What about the birth certificate & social security card?
A: After birth, I provide all the necessary paperwork for you to obtain a birth certificate and social security card. Once the birth certificate paperwork is completed you will bring to your local city or town hall vital statistics department. Massachusetts recognizes homebirth as a valid choice for you so there should be no problem issuing this legal document. Your baby's birth certificate will be mailed directly to you. Once received you contact the social security office for a card.