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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a CPM?
  2. How do CPMs practice?
  3. What are benefits of a homebirth?
  4. Is homebirth safe?
  5. What if something goes wrong?
  6. What about the mess?
  7. Do you do the same tests doctors do?
  8. How do we get a birth certificate and social security card?
  9. Can I have a water birth?
  10. Can my children attend the birth?
  11. Do you do VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean) at home?
  12. What if two women are in labor at the same time?
  13. Is homebirth covered by insurance?

What is a CPM?

A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is a knowledgeable, skilled and independent board certified midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). CPM is the only international credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital birth.

How do CPMs practice?

CPMs are trained and credentialed to offer expert care and support to women and their babies for pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. CPMs practice as autonomous health professionals working within a network of relationships with other maternity care professionals who can provide consultation and collaboration when needed.

What are benefits of a homebirth?

Is homebirth safe?

This seems to be the biggest question everyone has. Medical researchers and statisticians have studied the safety of homebirth for almost 35 years. It is thoroughly documented in studies conducted throughout the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands that homebirth is safe for well-screened, carefully attended women. Homebirths result in lower rates of surgical intervention, fewer complications in both mother and baby, and lower morbidity (birth injuries) and mortality (death) rates.

The health and welfare of American mothers and infants have improved greatly in this century. Many people believe that this is due to increased hospitalization for birth. But medical analysts report that the improvement came about through better nutrition, family planning, housing and public health measures, more advanced prenatal care, and the development of antibiotics. According to some statisticians, childbirth death rates would have improved even more during the past 50 years if childbirth had remained in the home. Homebirth is, by definition, woman-centered birth. It takes place in the woman’s own territory, and she makes the important decisions about who will attend her, whose advice she will follow, in what positions she will labor, what interventions she will accept, what she will eat, and what she will wear. Pregnant women and their families choose to give birth at home for many reasons. There has been a small but significant increase in the number of homebirths in the past decade, though only about 2 percent of the nation’s births currently occur in the home.

What if something goes wrong?

This is an important question. Midwives are experts in normal, uncomplicated pregnancy and birth. In order to be a good candidate for homebirth midwifery care, you must have an uncomplicated pregnancy and be in good overall health. Throughout pregnancy, we will be working together to keep you in optimum health and good balance; we will also be vigilantly screening for complications. If, in spite of our best efforts, complications do arise, and the balance required for safe homebirth cannot be restored, an individualized transfer of care plan is in place. Although I am no longer the primary care provider, I will remain with our clients and function as in-hospital labor support. And so that I am well-equipped to handle the very rare unforeseen emergency, I carry emergency medications and equipment, and I am trained and certified in Neonatal Resuscitation and CardioPulmonary Resuscitation as well.

What about the mess?

Most midwives use the same blue plastic-backed pads that are used in the hospital, and we spread plenty of these around underneath you to catch any fluids. We often recommend that you protect your pillows by covering them with plastic and put an old pillowcase over the top. We do a great job of cleaning up after the birth and will often start a load of laundry for you before we leave.

Do you do the same tests doctors do?

The same lab work is offered through midwifery care as that with a physician. The prenatal visit, before any routine lab work is ordered, will be used to discuss upcoming lab work including risks, benefits and reasons why the lab work is considered. You will have time to further research the test on your own and come back for more discussion. This allows you to make a fully informed decision on the merits of the testing offered. The lab worked offered, includes, but is not limited to, Complete Blood Count (CBC), blood factor and type, antibodies, Rubella titer, syphilis screen, Hepatitis B, Alpha-feto protein, Group Beta Strep, gestational diabetes screen & test and ultrasound.

How do we get a birth certificate and social security card?

During one of your post partum visits within the first 5 days of birth, the midwife will verify all information for the birth certificate. The midwife will then file it with the state. You can request a copy from Nevada Vital Statistics approximately 14 days after it has been filed. There is a check box on the birth certificate if the parents would like the social security card to automatically be mailed to the parents. If you choose not to check this box, you will need to go to the social security office before your child’s first birthday to request a social security number and card.

Can I have a water birth?

The midwife will take time to discuss the risks and benefits of water birth with each client. If the client decides she would like to have a Waterbirth, a “Birth Pool In a Box Eco” is available for rent. Your rental includes the inflatable pool, individual liner, filler hose, empty hose and an electronic pump to empty it. It holds up to 172 gallons of water, has an inflatable seat for the woman to sit on and 6 different handles to grip if desired. Some women will labor in the tub but decide to get out to birth their babies.

Can my children attend the birth?

Your children can make a wonderful and memorable addition to your birth team. Available are books and videos to help you prepare your children for the birth. Children should know that they can choose to leave if they want to and they need to have a familiar adult to supervise and care for them. We love children and relate to them throughout your prenatal care so they are familiar with us by the time we come to your birth. We find they usually do wonderfully at the birth.

Do you do VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean) at home?

I have cared for many women planning VBACs, with the majority of them giving birth vaginally. I strongly encourage women to do additional research on VBAC to help them make an informed choice.

What if two women are in labor at the same time?

Usually a qualified birth assistant would be sent to stay with the woman less active. When we are approaching a busy time I will ask another midwife and assistant to be available whenever possible.

Is homebirth covered by insurance?

More and more insurance companies are recognizing homebirth as a reasonable and cost effective option. Many insurance companies will cover homebirth. If you have medical insurance, I can determine if it will cover your delivery.

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