- Is Homebirth Safe?
Midwives view birth as a safe, normal, healthy part of life. We believe that most women can give birth with no serious risk to their health or the health of their babies. Studies show that when low-risk women choose well-trained midwives for planned out-of-hospital birth, outcomes are just as good as hospital births.
In addition, women who birth out-of-hospital are at much less risk of receiving interventions such as pitocin, epidural, and cesarean section. Midwives are trained in supporting women to have unmedicated birth, which not only means less drug interaction but also means that they know how to help you cope in other ways, such as water, massage, soothing environment, and just allowing your body to do what it needs to do.
As your primary health care provider, we take safety very seriously. Midwives are trained in normal pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, and also in how to spot conditions that are not safe for homebirth. We will transfer your care if any of these issues come up, or co-manage if your condition will still allow for a homebirth. But our primary way of dealing with problems is prevention. We will counsel you on good nutrition and healthy pregnancy, which will head off many common problems.
- What are benefits of having my baby at home?
Benefits are many. Women choose to have their babies at home for the following reasons (and many more):
- They are most comfortable in their own home
- Easy access to their own comfort measures--things they may not have thought of bringing to the hospital
- They can eat their own food
- They have more control over who is there and who is not
- Less expensive than hospital
- They can just stay where they are--no driving anywhere during labor or home after birth
- They are exposed to only their own germs, no hospital germs
- More family continuity at home
- They know they won't be pushed to accept epidural, pitocin, or cesarean
- They can more effectively avoid the cascade of interventions (which can make sense at the time) that more easily lead to a cesarean
- Freedom of movement, wherever they'd like--throughout house, outside, etc.
- Water birth is generally very available at home birth
- At home, birth is seen as a normal, not a medical event
- More openness to alternative remedies, such as herbs, acupuncture,and homeopathy
- Homebirth midwives are not subject to the restrictions of hospitals like hospital midwives are
- No beeping machines, no strange people coming in and out, no hospital food, no cold hospital rooms and floors.
- What are your training and credentials?
I attended 3+ years of school to learn about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, studying normal situations and also how to spot problems. My education included herbal medicine, homeopathy, breastfeeding classes, and skills training such as blood draws and IV skills. After that, I went on to an 18 month apprenticeship, where I learned birth first-hand by attending 53 births and countless prenatal and postpartum appointments.
I earned a Bachelors of Science in Midwifery from Birthingway College of Midwifery, and I am licensed by the state of Oregon. I am NARM certified, and am a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM).
My license through the state of Oregon allows me to carry and use a specific set of medication, mostly drugs to help with hemorrhage. I can also give an IV in case of hemorrhage or for dehydration. Oxygen is available for moms and babies that need a little extra help. I am trained in CPR for Medical Professionals, Biodynamic Resuscitation of the Newborn, and Legend Drugs and Devices.
- What happens if something goes wrong?
We expect normal birth, but are prepared for anything. There will always be at least two midwives at your birth in case of emergency. We listen to your baby's heart rate before birth, and don't stop taking vitals after until all is stable. We carry medications for hemorrhage, oxygen, resuscitation equipment, and IV fluids. We are trained in spotting a situation that needs more attention, and in the case of something going wrong that cannot be corrected at home we will transport to hospital. We will prepare you for all these eventualities during your pregnancy. Very rarely does something happen that needs emergency care, but if that does happen an ambulance can be called to get you to hospital quickly.
As much as possible, if the scenario changes, we will try to keep you in the loop to know what is happening and give you as much choice in decision-making as possible. We will still give you midwifery care even in the midst of trauma and difficult choices--calm, compassionate, giving you choice in what happens.
- Is Water Birth Safe?
Water birth is very popular right now, with good reason! It helps a lot with pain relief, which would be enough in itself, but if used at the right time during labor it can actually help speed up dilation. There are safety issues with water birth, which I will discuss with you during your pregnancy. If certain issues are present then we might ask you not to be in the water, or to get out immediately after birth. But this recent study shows that babies born in the water do just as well as babies that are not born in the water. The study showed a small increase in risk for the mom, in perineal trauma. Previous studies did not show this outcome for women. We will discuss the risks and benefits in order to make a plan that's right for you.
- I want a home birth but I don't live in Portland...
If I have the availability, I am willing to travel. I have driven as far as four hours to a home birth, and I am willing to go further if you are able to compensate me for my time and travel expenses. Just ask--we'll talk! Up to an hour away, I am willing to drive with no extra compensation. I like driving.
- Where will I go for my prenatals?
It's your choice--you can either come to my home office or I can come to you.
- Do you offer a free consultation?
Yes! It is very important to me that my clients and I are a good fit. You will receive a free one-hour consultation before you sign on. From there we'll schedule your prenatal appointments if we both decide to work with each other. I can also recommend other midwives if you would like to interview others (which I highly recommend).
- What forms of payment do you accept?
I will accept any insurance that will pay my fee. (Contact me if you are not sure.) I accept OHP, and if you are OHP-eligible but are paying out-of-pocket for any reason, I will accept the OHP rate for your birth. Contact me to discuss this option. I also will accept barter of goods or services on a very limited basis, if I need what you have to offer.
Discounts will be given for cash payments paid at least by 36 weeks. Cash, check, or Paypal will be accepted.
- Can I contact a prior client for a reference?
Yes! Please contact me to ask me for a referal. I'd be happy to pass on some names.