What is a midwife?
Midwives are the traditional care providers for mothers and infants. Midwives are trained professionals with expertise and skills in supporting women to maintain healthy pregnancies and have optimal births and recoveries during the postpartum period. Midwives provide women with individualized care uniquely suited to their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and cultural needs. Midwifery is a woman-centered empowering model of maternity care that is utilized in all of the countries of the world with the best maternal and infant outcomes. Midwives value communication and developing a trusting, working relationship with the women and families they serve. In the course of developing that relationship, midwives provide personalized and thorough care at many levels: preconception, pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, and beyond. Many midwives provide primary health care, gynecological care, and care of the normal newborn. In addition to being trained to conduct comprehensive physical exams, order laboratory screening and other diagnostic tests, midwives provide extensive health care education and counseling, as well as engage in shared decision-making with their clients and patients.
Why should I use a midwife?
A midwife may be the best provider of pregnancy care if…
- you have a low risk pregnancy (If you don’t know the answer, a midwife can help you find the answer.)
- you want to be an active decision maker in your pregnancy and birth
- you want a natural birth
- you would prefer more than 5-10 minutes per visit with a provider (A midwife visit is 45 minutes to 1 hour each)
- you believe that pregnancy and birth is a normal body function and not an illness routinely requiring hospitalization and doctors (1/3 of the babies born in San Antonio hospitals are born by c-section)
- you want options of movement, eating, drinking, and where you birth YOUR baby
Hiring a midwife will not guarantee a vaginal or home birth, but it will greatly increase your odds of having the birth experience you seek.
Are you licensed in the state of Texas? What are your credentials?
Yes. Licensure is a legal requirement for all midwives in the state of Texas. Lay midwives and unlicensed midwives are illegal in Texas. I am a Licensed Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife. LM means that I am state licensed in Texas. CPM is an independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the Midwives Model of Care. Any midwife you choose should have their license verified and checked for disciplinary action. Here is the link to the Texas Department of State Health Services verification site.
How much experience do you have?
I have been attending births and helping mothers and babies since 2006. I became a licensed midwife in October 2014. I have attend more than 50 births in a student midwife role. I have helped many more mother’s with learning to care for their babies and breastfeeding. I am required to have and maintain competency in CPR and NRP (Neonatal Resuscitation Program).
What should I expect at a prenatal visit?
Prenatal visits will be at your home. Each visit lasts about an hour. During that time we discuss questions, concerns, fears, and what has happened since my last visit. We will discuss recommended testing during your phase of pregnancy. I will check your blood pressure, pulse and temperature. I will also palpate the baby’s position in your belly, measure growth of baby, and listen to heart tones. Each visit I will check your urine for things like protein, glucose, and blood. I will also collect any other specimens that are agreed upon for testing. Family, friends, children, doulas, and other invited guests are welcome to attend your prenatal visit and ask questions. (No private health information will be shared unless ok’d by the client.)
Do you have a back-up midwife?
Yes. I work with several midwives in the area. Depending on where you live, midwives’ schedules and births, I cannot give you a 100% guarantee of who the assistant midwife will be. If I am unexpectedly unavailable due to emergency, there will be a provider willing to assume responsibility for your care until my return. You would also be notified of who it is and how to contact her. All of the midwives that I work with have philosophies of pregnancy and birth very similar to mine and have 24-7 availability. During any month, I provide care for a maximum 3-4 who are due. This greatly reduces the chance of 2 women going into labor at the same time. A second person who has CPR certification and NRP (baby resuscitation) will attend your birth as an assistant.
What is your view on labor and birth?
Pregnancy, labor, and birth are natural life processes. With proper education, time, and referral to resources, parents are able to make the best decisions for their pregnancy, labor, child(ren), and birth. Reassuring a laboring woman that what she is experiencing is normal and safe helps her to have the natural birth that she is seeking. I feel it is very important for a woman to move, eat, drink, sleep, and use the toilet as she desires throughout her labor and birth. I also believe that the hospital setting does not facilitate these basic human functions. I believe that by reminding and encouraging the laboring woman to move, eat, drink, and sleep the woman is better able to allow her body to birth her child. I also feel that water is an excellent resource for managing discomforts of pregnancy and labor.
What is your fee? What is covered?
My base fee is $3,700. This covers up to 14 prenatal visits, 24 hour access to midwife by phone for the entire pregnancy, labor, birth, birth assistant, access to emergency medications at time of birth (oxygen, herbs, etc. for emergency use), postpartum care for 2 hours after mom and baby are stable, newborn assessment, filing of birth certificate, assistance with breastfeeding, and 3 postpartum visits during the 6 weeks following birth.
Do you have a payment plan?
Yes. On your first prenatal visit we will discuss payment plans and arrange a payment schedule. A deposit of $400 is due at your first prenatal and is applied to your overall fee. Payment in full is due by the 37th week of pregnancy. An extended payment plan to the 40th week of pregnancy is offered in cases of late transfer and with a credit card on file for payment. I accept credit cards and flexible spending account cards with a credit card logo. Cash or check is my preferred method of payment.
What is not covered in your fee?
Things not covered in my global fee are assistant fee ($300), labs, sonograms (ultrasounds), referrals to specialists or hospitals, birth education classes, RhoGAM shots (for moms with a negative blood type), newborn screens (also known as PKU test), emergency medications (like oxygen), and returned check fees (NSF charges from bank). Insurance often covers labs and sonograms. If you are paying out of pocket, I have negotiated with the lab discounted prices for tests. Most insurance carriers have their own negotiated price.