Frequently asked questions
Do you offer sliding scale for financially challenged families?
Yes. These are financially challenging times and many families need relief. If you can pay my full fee, please do as this allows me the opportunity to assist another family with a discount. Discounts can vary from $500-$1500, depending on your situation. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any specific questions regarding finances.
Do you accept Medicaid?
No. However, most labs and sonograms can be covered by Medicaid. As well, I offer large discounts and extended payment plans to families that qualify for Medicaid, WIC and/or food stamps.
Do you accept insurance?
Not at this time. Home birth is is often denied coverage by most major insurance companies. As well, even if you are in the unusual position of having insurance cover your care, between the deductible and co-pays, you will still likley find the cost is comparable to my fee of $4500.00. Labs and sonograms can be billed to your insurance company and you are welcome to file your own claim for my services with your insurance company after your delivery.
Home Birth Safety
Is home birth safe?
This question is best answered with data. And blessedly, we finally have some good studies that support home birth! Crucially, these studies prove the use of risk assessment and screening as an ongoing process during pregnancy, labor and delivery and postpartum and integrating midwifery care with obstetric back up gives community midwives the best outcomes. In the Austin, TX area, midwives are very fortunate to have developed a strong relationship with area hospitals and some OG/GYN's should the medical need arise for a higher level of care at any time during your care.
What is the most common reason for transfer to a hospital during labor?
In my 15 years as a midwife through observation supported by data, labor transfers are usually first time mothers who are experiencing maternal exhaustion due to a prolonged labor. As a midwife, it is my job to assess the laboring mother/baby dyad at regular intervals during the labor process. A labor can be long, yet not dysfuncational. Dysfunctional labor is usually marked by dehydration and/or unstable maternl or fetal vitals, which complicate the mother's ability to cope with the labor process without medical intervention. In most cases, medicial intervention is pain relief, usually in the form of an epidural and possibly the need for augmentation with pitocin. This is not failure! This happens because birth is unpredictable. These transfers are accomplished usually by private car as they are not emergencies and I will accompany you to the hospital.
What about emergencies?
Emergencies are rare as continuous risk assessment is utilized during your care to prevent emergencies. However, if an emergency arises, myself and my chosen team are certified in both CPR and neonatal resusciation and know how to respond quickly. As well, EMS can be called and will take you to the closest hospital. If you or your family have any specific questions about what type of problems can arise during your care, please ask Victoria during your initial consultation. Specific conversations about transfers and emergencies are always addressed at this first appoitnment.
Do you file the birth certificate?
Yes. The state of Texas requires the birth certificate to be filed within 5 days of birth. This also includes an optional (and recommended) request for a Social Security number for your child.
What happens after the birth?
Typically we will stay in your home for 3-5 hours after delivery, monitoring you and your baby's vitals while supporting the sacred experience that is the first few hours after delivery. We monitor the mother's blood loss, blood pressure, pulse and temperature, baby's pulse, respiration rate and temperature without getting in the way of this special bonding time. At ~2 hours of life, the midwife does a full NB exam complete with weight, length and other measurements. Unless necessary, mother and baby are not separated during the first 2 hours of life. Before departure the team will be sure to leave your postpartum recovery space clean and tidied and get the laundry going!
Will you help me breastfeed?
Yes. Feeding your baby is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of early parenting. Preparation for breastfeeding prenatally is highly encouraged. There are classes within the community as well as La Leche League meetings, which are free and open to pregnant and breastfeedings mothers. Solid family support for your feeding choice has also been shown to increase breastfeeding succesrates. As well, the Austin area is blessed with multiple lactation consultants should you need a higher level of support at any time postpartum.
Should I hire a doula for my home birth?
If you are a first time parent to be, I highly recommend hiring a doula for your labor. These women are AMAZING and provide an extra level of emotional comfort and physical support for you and your partner during your experience. If your finances cannot cover this cost, considering working with a student doula. See www.dona.com for more on doulas and what they do.