Most frequently asked questions and answers
A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is a trained professional certified by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), who is qualified to provide the Midwives Model of Care. CPMs are the only maternal care providers required to receive training in out-of-hospital settings. Midwives specialize in supporting normal, healthy pregnancies and births. They provide individualized care to women and their newborns throughout the childbearing year.
A Licensed Midwife (LM) is a midwife who holds a license issued by the state in which they practice.
Yes! Babies can be born just about anywhere. As long as you have freedom to move to respond to your body’s cues, you feel safe, and the birth place is reasonably clean and warm, your home is a fine place to give birth.
An ultrasound is a useful tool but is not routinely necessary in a healthy pregnancy. Some reasons an ultrasound may be recommended include uncertain dates, vaginal bleeding, possibility of twins, abdominal pain, decreased fetal movement.
We typically use a handheld Doppler to periodically listen to your baby’s heart during labor. Doppler is a form of ultrasound that allows us to hear the baby’s heart beat through your abdomen. It can be used under water and with you in almost any position. If you prefer, we can use a fetoscope (a type of stethoscope) instead, but you may have to move into a position that allows us to hear the baby’s heart.
Anyone you like! You can have a doula, your mother, your best friend, anyone who can provide good support for you during birth and who accepts your decision to give birth at home. Children are welcome, as long as you have a support person for young children. I encourage family-centered birthing and have books and videos to help you prepare your children for the birth. There will be two midwives at your birth – myself and another midwife to assist. We can be as involved or as hands-off as you’d like. We can be by your side, or quietly sit in another room, ready and available. This is your birth experience! You decide who will be present, and how each person will support you.
Birth is usually not very messy. Midwives are very good at containing any mess (after all, we’re the ones to clean it up afterwards!). You can expect to have a garbage bag full of trash and one full of laundry when the birth is over.
Yes, parents are encouraged to receive their own baby! A midwife may help check for a loop of cord or a hand by the baby’s face, and if you wish, will help guide the baby into your hands.
Midwives are trained to provide care for moms and babies-both during the pregnancy and after the birth! I provide a complete newborn exam within a few hours after birth. If anything is not normal, I will let you know and we will discuss whether your baby needs to be seen by a pediatric care provider right away. I ask that all families select a pediatric care provider by 36 weeks gestation, and that you know how to reach that provider urgently. Most babies do not need to be seen immediately, within the first week is fine. You are encouraged to get the rest you need following birth.
(Note: Water birth FAQ questions are largely taken from Water birth International’s website.) Yes! We welcome and encourage birthing mothers to utilize the comfort and relaxation of water to help move through labor and often for the actual birth of the baby. Almost every laboring woman will find time in a birthing pool, shower or her own tub to be a useful tool in the birthing process. We encourage our clients to keep an open mind as to whether or not they will actually give birth in the tub as one never knows what one (or baby!) will need at the time, but we are very happy to offer water birth as an option for our clients. Please ask your midwife about options for tub rental (AquaDoula) or borrowing an inflatable birth pool (Birth Pool in a Box) for your labor and birth.
Women who are more likely to have problems in pregnancy or during birth are usually safest with obstetrical, hospital-based care. I cannot accept clients with, diabetes, high blood pressure, significant heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, alcoholism, or significant mental illness. Also, women who currently smoke, use drugs or do not take responsibility for their health are not good candidates for home birth. I offer care for women who have no major medical or obstetrical problems, who seek an active role in their pregnancies and birth, and desire minimal intervention. By maintaining healthy lifestyles – eating a variety of whole foods, being active, and avoiding harmful substances (such as tobacco, alcohol, and pesticides) – most of my clients remain low-risk and are expected to have a good, normal outcome for both mother and baby.
Yes! As long as you are healthy and wish to take an active role in your maternity care, you are a good candidate for a home birth.
Less than you might think! You’ll need to gather a few common supplies, clean sheets, towels, and receiving blankets, and have food and beverages on hand for your labor and postpartum. I’ll provide you with a complete list of what you will need. Your midwives will bring all the medical equipment needed at the birth.
Although home birth is statistically safe, it does not guarantee a problem-free pregnancy or birth. If complications arise during pregnancy, we may need to consult with and possibly transfer care to an obstetrician. The midwives and students who attend your birth are trained to provide immediate care for emergencies, including neonatal resuscitation (CPR for newborns). We bring all the necessary equipment and supplies, as well as herbs and homeopathics, to manage any special challenges. Since we only provide care for healthy women, and intervention during labor is limited, the chance of a true emergency is very low. In fact, most transports (to hospital) are for non-emergency situations, such as a long labor without progression or the laboring woman’s desire for pain medications. If complications develop during labor or birth that are beyond our scope of care, you will be transported to the nearest hospital. I will continue to provide support for you there, but care will be transferred to a physician.
Pain medications are not available at home due to the risks they pose to you and your baby. But, I offer something that helps most moms not even think about pain medications – loving support and the freedom to labor at your own pace in a comfortable environment, surrounded by people you trust. Since research shows that stress hormones increase pain and slow labor, I try to keep your environment as low-stress as possible for you. I encourage you to move freely during labor, which helps you cope with contractions and helps the labor process. You’ll be free to eat and drink as you wish, which lowers your pain threshold. Many women choose to spend at least part of labor in water, which is soothing and facilitates rhythmic movements. Having less intervention in your labor allows your body to naturally release hormones that help with pain management. In addition, I carry herbs and homeopathic remedies to help you cope, when appropriate. Some moms just need a hand to hold, eye contact, and reassurance. Others need help working through each contraction, while others merely need to be left alone. I take my cues from you during labor.
Consultation visits are an excellent way to get your questions answered and provides us a way meet one another. They are offered at no cost and generally last about an hour.
We take most major insurances- and it depends on your plan. Give us a call and we can verify your benefits and answer any questions you may have..
Seedling Births accepts cash, check and credit/debit cards. We do offer monthly payment plans over the term of the pregnancy based on your choice of frequency.