I hear you, mama… you have never thought about having a midwife or a home birth until now. Still, with all that’s going on, especially with it being a very real possibility of some hospitals restricting and not allowing even partners or your doula in the hospital with you, it’s a question you are considering.
I’ve heard from many of you over the last 3 months asking questions about midwives and home birth and what that would look like.
If you are one of these mamas or you know someone who might be wondering about this, I’ve outlined some things that might be helpful.
How do I Find a Midwife?
This is a great time to join groups on Facebook or search for a midwife in your city. Word of mouth is the best way to find out who the midwives are in the area and what experience other mamas have had. I’d recommend reaching out to three or four, or you might only find two, and that’s okay. You will want to meet with the midwives in your area and interview them to see if they are a good fit for you.
Don’t depend on your memory. Write down all the questions and concerns you have about her practice and different scenarios.
Trust your gut; trust your heart. You will know when you resonate with a particular midwife. After meeting with the midwives in your area and you still feel at peace with homebirth, then the next step is transferring care from your OB to your midwife.
Your new midwife will probably have a financial contract for you to sign, a homebirth consent form, and a release of records to request your records from your now previous OB doctor.
How Do I Get My Partner or Family to Support Home Birth?
Typically a partner or family member just needs more information for them to be supportive. Often that nonsupport looks like fear. Asking the right questions to your midwife is the best thing you can do to eliminate that fear. I recommend sitting down with your partner and come up with all the questions and concerns your partner may have and let “them” ask those questions to your midwife. It’s often the lack of education that promotes fear.
Ask what the midwife would do in an emergency. When questions can be answered appropriately, then that fear can be dispelled and replaced with trust.
So let’s ask that question right here.
What Does a Midwife Do if There is an Emergency?
This is probably the questions I am asked at EVERY interview, and it should be.
In a homebirth situation, when a flag of concern comes up, we are addressing it immediately. In almost every emergency situation, there is a red flag. It starts as yellow, this is a warning, and if this happens, we address it immediately. If it comes up again and what we’re doing isn’t working, then we consider transport to the hospital. The good news is transport is usually not a true emergency; it’s often because mama is exhausted or she needs pain relief that we can’t give at home.
If transport is necessary then your midwife would call the hospital of your choice, let them know you are coming in so they can have a room ready for you and she would stay with you throughout your labor and birth. She would now take on the role of your doula, offering 100% birth and postpartum support.
Does Insurance Cover a Midwife?
Actually, many insurance companies will cover midwives. Usually, you will have to pay your midwife upfront and then submit paperwork to be reimbursed. Most midwives offer a monthly plan as long as it’s paid in full by 36 weeks. No one wants to collect money after your baby is here. She might also offer a discount when you pay in full right upfront. Many midwives provide a sliding scale according to your income. I have personally even accepted a trade for my services. I know plenty of other midwives who have done this also. These are all excellent questions to ask.
Hopefully, this has given you some food for thought when it comes to considering a home birth. I realize it’s not for everyone. Midwives will only take very low-risk mamas, but if you are low risk and you’ve wondered if a homebirth would be a good option for you, then I encourage you to find a midwife in your area and ask the questions.