WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MIDWIFE AND A DOULA?
A doula gives emotional, physical and informational support during labor and requires no formal education or certification.
In contrast, the midwife is the primary caregiver responsible for you and your baby. A licensed midwife in Alaska studies and trains 3 years of full time and logs 1500 clinical hours with a certified preceptor. In a nutshell: A doula serves as a peer to peer support person. A midwife is a health care provider.
can I have a homebirth?
If you are low risk, healthy and motivated to be an active participant in your care, you can have a homebirth. Examples of situations that would risk you out of homebirth are twins, women with high blood pressure, severe anemia, seizure disorders and heart conditions. I can offer stand alone prenatal and postpartum care in preparation for your hospital birth if you are too high risk to give birth at home.
WHY do you do home birth? AREN'T BIRTH CENTERS SAFER?
Many people believe that a birth center is safer and like a "mini hospital". This is simply not true. There is no technology or equipment in a birth center that we do not bring to your home.
There are many advantages to home birth over a birthing center. You get all the comforts and convenience of home, your own fridge full of food, getting back into your own bed after delivering your baby. Because you don't have to pay the facility fee of a birthing center, home birth is often more affordable. And of course, no one likes to be in a car while in labor!
Will my insurance cover midwives and homebirth?
- Medicaid/Denali Kid Care cover licensed midwives in the State of Alaska.
- Most private insurance plans reimburse for midwifery services.
- I offer a generous discount for prepay clients.
- Payment plans are available.
- Co-pays and coverage vary between 60-100% depending on your plan.
Can I just see the doctor for all my prenatals, then just have you come do my birth?
The success and safety of midwifery care depends on comprehensive, holistic preventative care that you will not receive during brief doctor visits. Also, we must build a solid relationship of mutual trust in order to birth safely in the home environment. Clients who come late to care will not receive a discount because we must squeeze the same amount of preparation into a short period of time to get ready for the birth. There are no short cuts!
But my house isn't very big. And I don't have a tub!
Your house does not need to be big or immaculate to have a homebirth. All you need is basic cleanliness, phone or cell service and hot water. We bring sterilized equipment and a portable tub fitted with a brand new disposable liner.
Who will clean up the mess?
Don't worry, we clean up the mess. We also offer an optional linen service.
What if something goes wrong?
We will be closely monitoring your labor for any signs of complications. If at any time you or baby are not handling labor or postpartum well, we will transport to the hospital. Most hospital transports are not emergencies. The most common reason for going to the hospital is when a mother is too tired to cope with labor and needs pain medication to rest.
We are trained and equipped to treat common obstetric complications such as postpartum hemorrhage, shoulder dystocia and respiratory distress. With that being said, in the case of a true medical emergency, we will not be able to treat you with the same level of medical care as in the hospital. You and your family must take the risks and benefits of both hospital and homebirth into consideration when choosing your place of birth.
If I go to the hospital, can you still deliver my baby?
If we transfer to the hospital, my role will switch from primary care provider (midwife) to labor support (doula). I will do my best to have one of our team members stay with you until you deliver or for as long as you need our help. I will resume caring for you in the postpartum with in-home visits.
Who is going to be at my birth?
Only the people you both know and invite will be at the birth. A stranger won't come walking in and put their hands on or inside your body. You will have one midwife throughout, as well as a birth assistant or a 2nd midwife to help with labor support and clinical tasks. Doulas are also a great addition to the birth team.
As for family and friends, you can invite whomever you want. But, I strongly suggest that you exclude "spectators" and have as few people possible present. Just like animals, women labor best in darkness and privacy.
Can I have a home birth oN the Coast Guard base?
Many babies have been born on the Kodiak Coast Guard base. Home birth is allowed.
I am high risk and have to go to the hospital to give birth. Can I still see you?
Absolutely. I offer collaborative care to VBAC mothers and those with risk factors planning a hospital birth. All expecting mothers can benefit greatly from the attentive care of a midwife. As they say in England:
"Every woman needs a midwife but some women need a doctor, too".