touching a pregnant woman's belly

Frequently Asked Questions

Midwives are healthcare professionals specializing in pregnancy and childbirth who develop a trusting relationship with their clients, which results in confident, supported labor and birth. While there are different types of midwives practicing in various settings, all midwives are trained to provide comprehensive prenatal care and education, guide labor and birth, address complications, and care for newborns. Many midwives also provide preconception care and routine well-body reproductive care throughout your life cycle.

The Midwifery Model of Care is a fundamentally different approach to pregnancy and childbirth than contemporary obstetrics. Our model of care includes:

Monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout their pregnancy, birth and postpartum time with us.

Providing you and your family with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support.

Minimizing technological interventions and identifying and referring individuals who require obstetrical attention.

The latest research on planned home birth, released in 2014 by the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), found that among 17,000 families:

Better outcomes for babies: 97% of babies were carried to full-term, and weighed an average of eight pounds at birth. Only 1% of babies were transferred to the hospital after a home birth, most for non-urgent conditions.

Low rates of intervention: Only 4.5% of the 17,000 study participants required oxytocin augmentation and/or epidural analgesia. This is much lower than average for the United States, where 26% have oxytocin augmentation and 67% have epidurals.

Low rates of cesarean birth: The 2014 MANA study also found that of the 17,000 planned home births, only 5.7% ended up birthing their babies via cesarean. This is compared to the national average of approximately 31% for full-term pregnancies.

High VBAC success rate: For low-risk individuals, the chance of having a vaginal birth after cesarean ranges from 68-87% when birthing outside the hospital.

Other benefits of choosing home birth with midwives:

Individualized care: All decisions about your care are made together, with you. We will have thorough conversations about your needs, preferences, and values, your individual health, and the evidence regarding the options available to you. We respect you as the expert of your own body and your baby's primary care provider.

Continuity of care: Your midwife will follow you throughout the course of your prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. At every point in your parenting journey, you will see the familiar, comfortable, friendly face of your very own midwife.

Evidence-based care: We stay current on the research around pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and breastfeeding so that we can provide up-to-date information to assist you in your decision-making.

Your own environment: For many families, the comfort and security of your own home cannot be matched. You choose who attends your birth and who cares for you. You choose what to eat and drink. Walk, dance or sleep uninterrupted - it's your birth!

Incredible postpartum care: From the first minutes of your baby's life to your six week postpartum checkup, Birth Bliss Midwifery provides attentive, personal support and education necessary for your baby's growth, helps your family bond with your newborn, develops long-lasting breastfeeding relationships, and helps heal your body in the postpartum.

Yes! Having your baby in your home with a midwife that is trained in out-of-hospital birth is safe. There have been numerous studies that illustrate a woman with a normal pregnancy is just as safe, or safer, having her baby at home with trained midwives as she is in the hospital. Home birth midwives stay with the laboring mother throughout her labor, monitoring her and her baby, allowing for seamless care. There are no shift changes at a home birth, which mean fewer mistakes and more focus on mama, baby and the partner. Check out this study for more information.

Yes! Water birth is a lovely option for those who desire it. Many families choose to have birth tubs for comfort in labor, regardless of whether the family plans to have the baby in the water.

We hope so! Trying for a home VBAC has a high success rate - up to 87% - but there are some additional risks during labor, and some people are better candidates for home VBAC than others. We can discuss your prior birth experience and desire for VBAC during our free consultation.

Your prenatal exams will be done at our office, with the exception of your 36 week visit, which will be done in your home. We spend about 45 min- 1hour together during each prenatal appointment. The physical exam portion of your appointment usually consists of checking your blood pressure and weight, testing your urine, listening to your baby’s heartbeat and checking your baby’s size and position.

I give nutritional advice based on your individual practices and inquire into other aspects of your wellbeing. I will provide education and counseling regarding your birth options and will honor your choices. We discuss signs of pre-term labor, as well as other pregnancy concerns. Emotional support and counseling are offered as needed.

Our care is family-centered. Your partner, children, and anyone supporting you through your pregnancy are welcome to join us during our visits. We make ourselves available to support your whole family.

Birth Bliss Midwifery follows the standard pregnancy calendar for prenatal appointments: every 4 weeks until 28 weeks gestation, once every 2 weeks from 28-36 weeks gestation, once a week from 36 weeks until delivery

Your primary midwife join you at your home during active labor. As you get closer to birthing your baby, she will call in a second midwife or birth assistant to be there for your home birth and transition to postpartum.

Yes! We truly appreciate the presence of loved ones who bring positivity and their love for you into your birthing space. We can also offer support for setting boundaries when you desire privacy.

All the non-disposable items that we need for your birth!

Some of the things we bring include:

Monitoring equipment for you and your baby, including a doppler, blood pressure cuff and stethoscope, thermometer, and infant stethoscope.

Supplies for the newborn exam and any newborn procedures that you choose, including a scale, measuring tape, erythromycin ointment, and vitamin K.

Antihemorrhagic drugs to stop excessive postpartum bleeding. Such as Pitocin, Methergine and Misoprostil.

Resuscitation equipment for baby: a bag and mask resuscitator and oxygen.

Sterile instruments.

Suturing equipment to do repairs if any tearing occurred, and lidocaine to numb for suturing.

Many types of herbs and homeopathic medications to support the process of birth.

Your health and safety are always our number one priority. We closely monitor both mother and baby throughout labor to ensure that everyone is doing well. Even with low risk pregnancies, complications can arise. We identify those complication risks early on so that there is ample time to transport to the hospital. Occasionally, complications must be dealt with at home. Because of this, we always carry emergency medical equipment and medications, IV fluids and Neonatal Resuscitation equipment. Every medical professional attending your birth will be trained in Neonatal Resuscitation, CPR and Birth Emergency Skills.

The most common reason for transporting a mom to the hospital happens during a very long labor where the mom nears clinical exhaustion. In this case, the hospital can provide medications needed to achieve much needed rest and progression of your labor.

While every birth is a little different (depending on if you, your partner, your child, or your midwife catches your baby), at a typical birth we will wait for you to take your baby and bring them onto your stomach or chest, and we will keep a close eye on your bleeding and your baby's adjustment to life outside the womb.

After the placenta is born and we’ve ensured that both you and baby are stable, we’ll step out to give you some space for family bonding time, staying close by with an ear out for your needs and checking on you periodically. Whenever your baby is interested in nursing, we offer help with positioning and latch if you would like.

Prior to the newborn exam, we will ask if you are ready to cut the cord and who is going to be the one to do it. We then help clamp and cut the cord. Once the cord is cut, a thorough newborn exam will be performed. After this, when your family is feeling comfortable and ready for a nap and we’re satisfied that you and baby are healthy and stable, we leave. Then your midwife will return in about 24-48 hours for your first in-home postpartum visit.

Transfer to the hospital is, of course, not something that a mother planning a home birth wants. However, in your prenatal care, we always discuss our contingency plans. For an urgent transfer we will go to the nearest hospital. For non urgent transfers (by far the most common) we will go to the hospital of your choice. If you need to transfer during labor, we will try to stay with you for your birth at the hospital.

The midwifery package for a home birth includes all prenatal care, labor, birth, birth assistant, initial newborn care and postpartum care (both immediately after the birth, home visits in subsequent days and later in the office). This package costs $5,200.

Additional potential out-of-pocket costs associated with home birth include things like lab work, ultrasounds, newborn metabolic screen, your birth kit, childbirth classes or a doula (especially recommended for first births).

I sure do! I have several flexible cash-pay options for payments. I require a $600 deposit upfront and the entire balance is due by 36 weeks. I offer a discount for early pay-off and an additional discount when you pay in full on your first visit.