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Frequently Asked Questions

What supplies and equipment are used at a birth?

Most homebirth clients will purchase a birth supply kit before their due date. It will include sterile, disposable supplies. In addition, the midwife will bring the following equipment: resuscitation equipment, sterile instruments (for clamping and cutting baby's umbilical cord), a fetoscope and doppler to listen to baby's heart rate during labor, supplies for perineal repairs, and general support items. Some midwives are licensed to carry some medications.

What if there is a problem during the labor and/or birth?

While there are many different types of situations one can encounter during labor or birth, most midwives strive to be as non-interventive as possible, thereby reducing any risk of complications. Should an issue arise, there is usually ample time to transport to the hospital. Hospital choices and access should be discussed prenatally, with the parents, taking into consideration insurance coverage, physician relationships, and general support / respect for homebirth families. Priority is always given to the closest hospital for emergency transports. Once a client is transported to the hospital, most care providers stay by her side helping her and her partner with decisions, support and encouragement until her baby is safely delivered and both mother and baby are stable. Postpartum appointments then continue as normal, as well as offering breastfeeding and parenting support.

What about the mess?

This is the most common question we hear. Some people believe birth is very messy. While there are fluids such as amniotic fluid and blood involved, the mess is often quite a bit less than the general public would assume. Instructions are usually given prenatally on how to make up a bed so that the mattress stays clean, as well as precautions for floors and carpets, and underpads are included in the birth kit to help absorb fluids during the birth process. The average birth generates a small waste basket of garbage and leaves behind no evidence other than your sweet baby.

Can we have family, friends and or siblings at the birth?

It's always up to you whom you choose to have attend your birth. During prenatals and over the course of your pregnancy, your midwife should discuss your concerns and hopes regarding your birth, the atmosphere, and what is important to you and your family.

What happens after the birth?

You should be provided with immediate breastfeeding support, and made sure mother and baby are stable, given a newborn exam, checked for perineal tears and repaired if necessary. By the time the caregivers have done all of these things, generally 2-3 hours have passed since the birth. Some women need more support and some women are glad to have their privacy after an hour. Postpartum visits should commence on a regular schedule for from 6 to 10 weeks.

How much do midwifery services cost?

As with nearly everything, the amount a professional charges for their services varies widely. Some midwives, especially new ones, might not charge anything and others could charge thousands of dollars. Many midwives will work with each family individually to find a fee that is affordable and realistic. I believe strongly that for anything to have value and to be valued an exchange must be made. Often it is uncomfortable to discuss financial matters and because of that you should settle any fee discussions during the first or second visit. If you have special circumstances, be open and honest about what your ability is to pay.

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