FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT INSURANCE DO YOU ACCEPT?
Most insurance companies, including Medicaid or state health insurance, cover the care provided by Wenatchee Midwife Service. The midwives are in-network providers with most insurance companies and can determine the specifics of your coverage by sending a copy of your insurance card to the billing company. If your coverage has a large deductible or does not cover some aspect of midwifery care, an estimation of your out-of-pocket expenses can be determined. For clients choosing to pay out-of-pocket, discounts may apply for early payment.
ARE BIRTH CENTER AND HOME BIRTHS SAFE?
Many studies have researched the safety of out-of-hospital birth in various countries around the world. The best research continues to show that out-of-hospital birth for people with low-risk healthy pregnancies, attended by a qualified midwife, is as safe as birth in the hospital. Not only that, but in the U.S., people choosing out-of-hospital birth with a midwife have far fewer interventions during their labor, birth and immediate postpartum period. This can contribute to easier healing, breastfeeding and bonding with their new babies. Out-of-hospital birth with midwives is quite common for low-risk women in many other countries (Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, most Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Japan, the list goes on), and the safety of out-of-hospital birth with midwives is well established and accepted. Midwives are trained extensively in normal pregnancy and birth and are often considered to be the “experts” in normal birth.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU HAVE AT THE BIRTH CENTER OR BRING TO THE HOME?
The equipment and supplies at every birth, whether at birth center or home, include but are not limited to:
- sterile instruments for the birth and cutting the umbilical cord
- an oxygen tank and resuscitation bag/masks for mother and newborn
- a suction device for removing mucus and other material from the baby’s nose and mouth
- a Doppler for listening to the baby’s heart rate during labor and pushing
- equipment to monitor mother’s vital signs during labor
- drugs for preventing or stopping the mother from bleeding too much after the birth
- IV equipment and fluids for re-hydration of the mother, and if necessary, to administer antibiotics for Group B Strep positive clients
- equipment and medication for suturing, including numbing medication
- Vitamin K injection and eye ointment for the newborn
WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS DURING LABOR?
About 90% of the time, there are warning signs that occur before a problem develops that allow plenty of time for non-urgent transport to the hospital. Midwives are extensively trained in recognizing the warning signs that tell us that labor has gone outside of what is normal. Not every problem requires a trip to the hospital; there are many things midwives can do to to intervene if necessary. Issues requiring a hospital transfer most often happen during labor, but can sometimes come up in the first few hours after the birth as well. In the event of a transfer to the hospital, whether non-urgent or emergent, your midwife will accompany you to facilitate the transfer of your care and, whenever possible, stay with you through the rest of your labor and birth.
THIS IS MY FIRST BABY, IS A BIRTH CENTER OR HOME BIRTH RIGHT FOR ME?
Yes! If you are having a low-risk, healthy pregnancy, it doesn’t matter whether you are having your first baby or your tenth!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LICENSED MIDWIVES AND NURSE-MIDWIVES?
A Licensed Midwife (LM) is educated in the discipline of midwifery in a program that does not require her to become a nurse first. They are licensed by the Department of Health in the state in which they practice. Some LMs are also licensed nationally by the North American Registry of Midwives as Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs). They usually practice in out-of-hospital settings.
A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) is a person who has been educated both in the discipline of nursing and in the discipline of midwifery. A CNM’s education is accredited through the American College of Nurse-Midwives. They must pass a national exam in order to become certified. Most CNMs work in hospitals.
Laurie Braunstein, Sonya Chamberlain, and Suzie Anderson are all licensed by the state of Washington as LMs, and licensed nationally as CPMs by the North American Registry of Midwives.