Photo courtesy of Monet Nicole photography.
In some ways I feel like I have always been a midwife. I felt my "calling" after giving birth to my first child at home in 1995. I wanted to provide all pregnant women with the same gentle and individualized care that I had received from my midwife!
I completed a 2.5 year clinical apprenticeship at the Springs Area Midwifery Center with senior midwife Jeanie Rosburg. During that time I attended nearly 100 births.
After completing my basic skills and academic requirements, I completed a 2 year internship at the Colorado Springs Midwifery center; practicing as a primary midwife, under the supervision of two senior midwives.
When I had meet all the requirements set forth by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), I sat for a, 8 hour Clinical Skills Exam followed by an 8 hour Written Exam. I was then awarded the credential Certified Professional Midwife and became registered to practice in Colorado.
I typically schedule the first appointment at around 10-12 weeks gestation. We see each other every 3-4 weeks until your 28th week when it moves to twice a month. At 36 weeks, we will schedule a homevisit to make sure your home is prepared for the birth, and from there we will schedule weekly office visits until your baby arrives.
I will return to your home to check on you and the baby, between 24-48hrs, following your birth. Then we will schedule 3 more office visits for the next 6 weeks postpartum. More postpartum appointments can be scheduled, if needed.
I am frequently asked this question. Labor is an intense experience, however it is something we are all equipped to handle. Being able to move freely, eat, drink, and rest helps you to work with your body and make the contractions more managable. I have 13 years of experience as a massage therapist, and am happy to use my skills to make you more comfortable in labor. We often use position changes, essential oils or warm compresses for additional relief. I also highly recommend laboring in water- either in a shower, bathtub or labor pool. I have several tubs which you are welcome to use. The warm water helps you to rest & relax, we call it an AquaDural. (see waterbirth)
I actually get this question a lot! Birth is not quite the mess your see portrayed on TV. We can protect your bed or carpet with waterproof liners and pads, which is easy to clean-up. My assistant and I will take out your trash and run a load of laundry for you before leaving your birth. We want to leave your house just as clean as we found it!
I file all the necessary paperwork to register your baby's birth with the State of Colorado. The Social security card will be automatically mailed to you, and I will provide you with the request forms to obtain a copy of the birth certificate.
Birth is safe. Unlike injury or disease, birth is a natural process that our bodies are meant to go through. Several studies have been done recently about the safety of homebirth for low-risk women. They have proven that the outcomes at home (for both mother and baby) are as good, or better, than the same group giving birth in the hospital. There were also fewer interventions in the homebirth group.
A common mistaken belief is that things could suddenly "go wrong" at a birth. More often than not, there are signs early on that something is amiss. Midwives are trained to monitor and prevent most of these situations. If an emergency does present itself, I carry a variety of emergency equipment, and have the skills to use them. My assistants and I are all current on our CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation certifications. Most minor emergencies are dealt with easily at home. If we felt that more specific care was needed, we would transport you to the hospital, after calling ahead to prepare them for your arrival.
While I wouldn't consider them all "emergencies", I have seen and dealt with a number of unusual situations; ie: quintuple nuchal cord, broken/torn umbilical cord, cord knots, velamentous cord insertion, abrupted placenta, cervical lacerations, retained placenta, placenta previa, IUGR, surprise twins, unexpected breech delivery, shoulder dystocia, compound presentation, preterm labor, chorio-amnionitis, oligohydramnios, polyhydramnios, pre-ecclampsia, HELLP syndrome, PUPPPS, gestational diabetes, Preganancy Induced Hypertension, fetal distress, newborn needing resuscitation, respiratory distress, gastroschisis, various birth defects, postpartum psychosis, 3rd and 4th degree lacerations, maternal hemmorhage and shock. Some of these were handled at home, others were transported to the hospital appropriately, all with healthy results.
We will assess and stabilize your baby as needed immediately following the birth, determine APGAR scores, etc. At about 1-2 hours postpartum we will do a full newborn exam, including weight and measurements. If you approve, vitamin K and antibiotic eye ointment will be administered at that time. We also provide well baby care for 6 weeks postpartum including weight checks, jaundice levels, feeding pattern assessment and the newborn screen (PKU) which is typically done on day 3 and 12 (cost is $92). I will refer you to an excellent pediatrician for vaccines and circumcision, if requested.
Yes, I can! However, there are strict guidelines about home VBACs. You cannot have had more than 1 c-section, without an intervening vaginal birth. We will need for no less than 18 months to elapse between your C-section, and your planned VBAC. I will need to review your surgical records, to verify that you had a low-transverse incision, and a double layer closure (the safest type). As long as you fit this criteria, I am happy to attend your home VBAC!
Midwife services are covered by most insurance plans, that covers out-of-network providers. My husband is a Certified Medical Insurance Biller, and has been billing for midwives for many years. At your first appointment, we can help you figure out what your deductable and copay are, and will give you a printed estimate of what you can expect for reimbursement. You will be responsible for paying the total amount, by no later than 34 weeks. We will (at no additional cost) file your insurance claims in a timely manner, to help you get the highest possible reimbursment. All insurance payments will be reimbursed directly to you. HSA and Flex accounts cover midwifery care as well. CHP+ offers full coverage for home birth, with an approved provider, but Medicaid does not. Unfortunately, TriCare will not pay, which is why I offer a 5% military discount.
I sure do! I have several flexible options for payments. I require a 10% deposit upfront and the entire balance is due by 34 weeks. I offer a $200 discount for early pay-off and an additional $50 discount for cash payment. Active duty military and repeat clients can expect a 5% discount as well. I am open to bartering, if it is mutually beneficial. I also accept all major credit cards and HSA debit cards.
There is a small list of supplies that you will need to gather for your birth. Most of these items are normally found around your home, and some may need to be purchased from Walmart. If you prefer, you may purchase a complete personalized birth kit. If you are planning to use one of my inflatable or AquaDoula tubs for a waterbirth, you must purchase the waterbirth kit prior to your 36 week homevisit. (Ask me for a 10% discount code for your order).
In addition, you may want to have candles, music, or essential oils handy. Remember, it's your birth and you can set the mood however you want!