Frequently Asked Questions
- What type of midwife are you?
My credentials are Certified Nurse Midwife. I see myself as a very non-interventive and spiritual midwife. I pride myself in bringing the best of two worlds - medical experience, knowledge and equipment plus the heart of a midwife to serve the woman and her family as they transition into a family through the miracle of the birthing process
- How many babies have you delivered?
I never see myself as having "delivered a baby" - Instead, I see myself as having assisted more than 1300 women who "delivered" their baby
- Do you carry a pager? Cell Phone?
Yes, I will provide you with those numbers when you come in to meet with me. I keep both cell phone and pager with me at all times. Plus, I give you my home number in case you need to reach me in an emergency.
- Do you have a physician back-up?
Yes, I have several - They are scattered around the town and we can discuss which one is closest to you when we have our appointment. Also, one might be more appropriate for your needs than another as they are all very different in how they support my practice.
- Will I have the opportunity to see your physician back-up prenatally?
We encourage you to see one of our consulting MD late in pregnancy. We will send the appropriate information with you to the visit so the physician can assess your pregnancy. This is a mutual opportunity to get acquainted before the birth in case you are one of the very low percentage (10-11%) of our clients who is transferred to physician care either before or during labor for more medical management.
- What complications have you seen? Hemorrhage? Shoulder Dystocia? Cord Prolapse?
Yes, I have experienced all of these. Any midwife who has done volume of care (not necessarily years of experience) will encounter many different complications just due to statistics of problems. We will discuss my experiences in the childbirth classes, which I teach. I will educate you in the risks of out-of-hospital birth. We will cover my management of these complications and how my management is similar to hospital management. We will take a good look at the risks to birth outside the hospital. I think it is important for you to be well-educated so you will know in advance what to be afraid of and what are the myths and unfounded risks that you don't need to be afraid of when you birth with a qualified birth attendant and a organized, planned, birth.
- Do you ever do waterbirth?
Yes, I have been doing waterbirth for 20 years - Before it was a popular and well-researched option. Many years ago, a woman would get into her bathtub and just didn't want to get out so we birthed in the water. I have assisted hundreds of waterbirth and have come to know it as being very safe and very relaxing for the mother. We don't keep the baby in the water but bring the baby right up and out. Mothers love waterbirth for pain management and relaxation even postpartum. Look at our link to the birthing tub, which we rent out and have used for many waterbirths.
- Do you take VBAC? (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)
Yes, again, I have been doing VBAC for 20 years. If we look at the statistics, it may not make sense to treat this as a high-risk condition. Because of the political climate, however, I am only taking selected candidates for VBAC. It is very important to research the literature. Please refer again to our link and some of the articles written about VBAC and its controversy.
- When will I see you?
The first visit is a free consultation to get acquainted. It usually lasts about an hour and can be scheduled at your convenience. During this private consultation you will have time to ask questions and take a tour of the birthing center. I will give you articles and handouts, which will hopefully be of value to you in your pregnancy.
The next visit will be scheduled for 3 hours - sometimes we don't need that much time and sometimes we run over - we will take as much time as we need to get a thorough history - medical, family, social, lifestyle, nutrition, support, obstetrical - plus a physical exam with any necessary laboratory work - blood, cultures, etc. In addition, we will have plenty of time to talk about your concerns, fears, and discomforts and educate you about your pregnancy.
We will see you after this visit every month until you are 28 weeks, then every two weeks until you are 36 weeks and then every week until you deliver. Post partum we will see you at 24 hours, 1 week, 3 week and 6 weeks. All of these visits are scheduled for one hour.
- Do you cover nutrition prenatally?
I believe the single, most important part of your pregnancy, is your diet. I will ask you to bring me a diet history for several visits - writing down everything you put into your mouth so we can look at how much protein you are getting, your empty calories and any other nutritional needs. I really believe the body will grow exactly the right size baby for your body to birth and the key is nourishing your body and your baby with the right foods. I also believe my excellent statistics - less than 1% prematurity, less than 1% toxemia, less than 1% of women on insulin - are all about good nutrition. I never see women with gross edema (swelling) even in August in my practice and that is all about good nutrition.
- Do you require that your clients take childbirth preparation classes?
I teach my own childbirth classes and they are only for women who are having a baby with me. I will prepare you for birth as I have come to know the process of birth and how we can make it be as well-planned, organized, as possible. These classes are included in your fee along with many handouts. I am going to educate you with what I have learned about birth in 21 years and 1300 babies born at home. More information about these classes here.
- Do you bring a birth attendant with you at the time of birth?
Yes, I believe the safety of home birth or birth center birth is enhanced by the presence of an assistant who is an experienced labor and delivery nurse. I only hire labor and delivery RN'' who have more than 1-2 years of experience. There are very rare times that we need the skills of the nurse at home, however, those skills are essential when needed.
- Do you carry and are you allowed to use drugs for emergencies?
Yes, I have on hand the same drugs used for hemorrhage as in the hospital, the same resuscitation equipment used initially on the newborn in the hospital. I also have antibiotics and IV's available to be used when needed.
- Is there a time limit on the first stage before transport?
No, depending on the condition of the baby, the mother, and some other factors, the mother can labor as long as both she and the baby are safe and they have the desire to continue.
- Do you do suturing if it is required?
Yes, with the same equipment and supplies used in the hospital
- Do you suction the baby?
It is rarely necessary even though it is done routinely in the hospital
- When is the umbilical cord cut?
After it has stopped pulsating, the placenta has shown signs of separation, the parents are ready - these factors are all considered when deciding when to cut the cord
- How long do you stay after the birth?
As long as the mother and baby are stable, we have done the herbal bath, everyone is fed, dressed and ready for a nap - usually about 4 hours before the birth assistant and I leave. I return in 24 hours for a home visit and exam on mother and baby. In between there are usually several telephone check ups.
- Can I catch the baby?
I encourage the mother to push the baby into her own hands if she wants to. If everything is proceeding normally, I offer the option to the father to catch his baby. He can decide in that moment if he wants to - (fathers who have "caught" have really loved this opportunity) - No matter who catches, the baby goes directly to the mother where it will stay for the next couple of hours. Usually, the father and mother together dry the baby and then nurse the baby while we are doing vital signs on a regular schedule but very discreetly and gently.
- What about an herbal bath?
Yes, I bring herbs, which I have packaged myself, and prepare a bath which is healing for both the mother and her tender bottom and also heals the baby umbilical cord. I will leave herbs for bath for several days post partum.
- Do you accompany me to the hospital if there is an emergency?
Yes I will stay with you until the baby is born and is safe - in the hospital I will be your advocate and try to make the experience as close to what you were wanting as possible depending on the circumstances of the transport.