Frequently Asked Questions
Is home birth legal?
Yes. Home birth is legal. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are licensed and allowed to practice home birth in Kentucky. Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) are now also being licensed in Kentucky thanks to the legislative efforts of the Kentucky Homebirth Coalition!
Is home birth messy?
Home birth is not as messy as you may think. In preparing for a home birth, you will get some plastic to put over your mattress and we will give you a supply of underpads that we use during the birth to protect your floor and/or bed from fluids. In the event that the underpads don't catch it all, hydrogen peroxide does wonders. Your birth team usually tries to do any spot cleaning and throw in a load of laundry before they leave.
Is home birth safe?
There have been numerous studies about the safety of home birth. All the well-constructed studies have come to the conclusion that home birth attended by a qualified midwife is safe for low risk women. I invite you to look into the research for yourself. There is a good list of studies referenced in the ACNM position statement on home birth here and one of the more recent large scale studies is here.
Can I have a home birth if I rent or if I live in an apartment?
Absolutely! I have attended many home births in apartments. If the walls are thin, you may want to give your neighbors a heads up, but other than that it's just the same as any other home birth.
What is your schedule of care?
I follow the standard schedule of prenatal care and will see you every month until 30 weeks, every two weeks until 36 weeks and then weekly until the birth. I typically do one prenatal visits in your home between 34 and 37 weeks, the other prenatal visits are at my office in Lexington.
Postpartum care varies a little more according to your individual needs; some new mothers and babies do great and need little help, while others need more help (typically with breastfeeding or to monitor weight gain). I do 3-5 postpartum visits, starting 2-3 days after the birth(or before if needed, we will be in touch by phone), the rest are scheduled according to your individual needs with the last usually being between 4-6 weeks. The first three postpartum visits will be in your home, maximizing the time you can spend resting, healing, and nurturing your baby in those first precious weeks.
Do I have to go to the hospital after or see a pediatrician immediately?
No, not unless there is a problem. I do all the newborn exam and tests that are normally performed in the hospital apart from the hearing screen which does not need to be done immediately. I recommend you see your pediatrician starting with the 2 month visit, and I will give you paperwork to take to them letting them know about the care your baby has had prior to that.
Do you accept insurance?
I am in network with Wellcare. For other insurances I am out of network, which often costs more out of pocket than using an in-network provider. Some insurances have a way to request that I be treated as an in-network provider for your care. I also offer a discount for clients paying in cash when I am not billing insurance. If you choose that option, I can provide you with a receipt so that you can submit reimbursement or have my fee applied to your deductible.
What is included in your fee?
I believe prenatal care is essential in order to monitor your health, make sure you are informed and well prepared, and to get to know your wishes for your birth. Also, the first few weeks postpartum can be difficult and are critical to establishing a good breastfeeding relationship. For these reasons, my fee includes all prenatal and postpartum care as well as the birth and the assistant's fee. My fee does not include lab tests, ultrasounds, care given by other providers (e.g. if you need to see a specialist), and RhoGam. Lab work and ultrasounds are billed directly to your or your insurance company. If I am billing your insurance and you need RhoGam, I will bill your insurance for the RhoGam.
How many births have you been to?
As of August 2019 I have attended 350 births.
Are you a doula?
During childbirth doulas provide physical and emotional support to the mother. Midwives may also do this, but their primary role is to monitor the health of the mother and baby and to keep the birth as normal as possible while minimizing technological interventions.
Is it too late to decide I want a home birth?
It's only too late if I am already booked up with clients or if you are already in labor.
What are the different types of midwives?
Here is an explanation of the different types of midwives you might encounter in the United States:
- Direct Entry Midwife (DEM) This just means that the midwife did not become a nurse prior to becoming a midwife. It does not mean that they have fulfilled any formal certification.
- Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) Midwives Certified by the North American Registry of Midwives. The only credential that specifically requires training in out of hospital birth.
- Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) Midwives certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives.
- Certified Midwife (CM) Midwives who are not nurses who have been certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives. There are not many programs for this credential, and most non-nurse midwives choose the CPM credential instead.
- Licensed Midwife (LM) A midwife that is licensed by the state, other states have different designations to refer to their licensure, such as CPM-TN in Tennessee.