I thought Midwives didn’t exist anymore. What is a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)?
Midwifery is a profession with many roads leading to it. In the United States certification as a Midwife is based on advanced training beyond a Bachelors Degree. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are persons who have been trained in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery. The profession of Midwifery is regulated on the state level and varies from state to state across the United States. In New York, Certified Midwives (CMs) and CNMs are licensed to be independent practitioners who provide primary healthcare services to women across their lifespan including routine gynecological checkups, family planning consultations, preconception services, prenatal and postpartum care and attendance at your birth. The American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) is the certifying agency for CNMs and CMs in the US. For more information about the profession of midwifery in the US visit their website www.midwife.org. The profession of Midwifery has a long, global history of being at the forefront of ensuring optimal, safe care for women and babies.
What do you do while you’re there at the birth?
My presence at your birth will depend upon what your needs are. I am flexible and supportive to your desires as long as they are within the parameters of safety for you and your baby. Remember, this is YOUR birth experience. I am there to help you achieve your birth plan to every extent possible. As a licensed provider of medical care I am also responsible for documenting what happens at your labor event. So I will be taking your vital signs and monitoring the baby’s heart beat at various intervals to make sure everything remains ok.
What happens if there is a complication?
If a complication arises we will transfer to the hospital. How quickly that transfer happens will depend upon the complication. More often than not transfers happen by car to the hospital that you have chosen as your back up plan. On some rare occasions the ambulance is needed to transfer mother or baby to the hospital.
Are you affiliated with any hospitals?
I am currently not affiliated with any hospital. What that means is that if a transfer happens I am no longer the primary provider of your care. Your care and the decisions made regarding it are now between you and the doctors at the hospital. However, I will stay with you and support you while in the hospital until the birth of your beautiful baby.
What kind of birth am I allowed to have? Can I give birth in the water?
The wonderful thing about home birth is that you are ALLOWED to do almost anything you want. So, yes you can give birth in the water, in your hallway, on your bathroom floor, or in your bed. Wherever you end up or feel comfortable.
How many people can be in the room?
You may have as many people in the room that you feel you need to support you. Keep in mind that each person who is present needs to have a job and not just be a spectator. Birth is not a spectator sport. Everyone who is present needs to be in it and supporting you and your needs.
Can I have my own things that I want to do, soft music , dim lighting, etc? Some doctors say “I want this, this , this and this.” Would it be the same or similar at home?
Guess what! In your home you’re the boss! In your birth plan you get to say what it is that you want. Soft music and dim lighting are absolutely possible. We all know that the birth process can be a little unpredictable sometimes so the plan you made may need to be modified. That’s ok. Flexibility is key when it comes to having a baby. You may also discuss with me ahead of time what your plans are so you may know if what you’d like to do is possible.
What’s the back up plan if you need to be away or can not attend my birth when I go into labor?
Luckily I’m not the only midwife in town and most of us know each other. If I need help with ensuring you receive the service you expect I call another midwife to assist me in that process. Most often if I know I will be away around your due date you will know in advance and have the option of choosing another midwife before signing up for my services. But if you do choose me and/or I have an emergency come up around your birth time you will know in advance who the back up midwife will be. If 2 of you happen to go in to labor at the same time then you will be informed at that time who will come to assist you. In the 11 years that I have been doing this labors at the same time have happened only twice.
What’s a doula and why do I need one?
A doula is your primary labor support person. She is your “pain management” so to speak. And, she is a key member of your birth team, whether at home or in the hospital, if you want to have a natural birth. She supports you in your labor needs and because of that, allows the midwife to more easily handle the medical aspects and documentation of your birth process. Giving birth in the hospital is a team event. You have the nurse, the midwife or doctor, the residents, the pediatrician, the nursing assistant, maybe even some medical students. Most people on that team you won’t even know. At home you have the opportunity to choose your team and get to know them before you all share a very intimate event in your lifetime.
My last birth was over 3 years ago, what should I do differently this time?
Some things about having a baby may change in 3 years but not that much. What is most different now is preparation for caring to 2 children and preparing your 3 year old for becoming a big brother/sister.
Do you only work in the NY area?
Currently, I am licensed in New York and Connecticut. I am willing to travel within a 1 hour radius of my office.
Do you perform episiotomies? What happens if I tear?
I do not routinely perform episiotomies. I also try to do as much as I can to prevent a tear from happening. That includes educating you about how you can also help prevent yourself from tearing. If you do tear, though, I will repair the area. There is generally no need to go to the hospital because of a tear unless it is really severe.
What’s the cost for having a home birth?
The cost for having a baby at home varies across the country and even from one provider to the next. The cost to you also depends on whether or not your midwife accepts insurance as part of the payment process. Therefore it is best to discuss fees and cost with your midwife when you go to meet her. You may sign up for a Meet the Midwife session by contacting us.
Does insurance cover the cost of home birth?
Some insurance carriers do and some don’t. Because of the wide variation in insurance companies as well as the wide variations in plans within insurance companies it is best to handle the question of insurance on a case by case basis. You may contact our office to begin that investigative process. We are happy to help to the best of our ability and may refer you to our billing team if needed.