Frequently Asked Questions
I'm interested in homebirth, but just how safe is it?
Studies consistently show that planned homebirth with a skilled midwife is safe for low-risk clients. Up until recently the only studies available were studies using birth certificate data which included many births that were not planned to be at home or for which the family did not have adequate prenatal care. The Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) has been collecting high-quality data on planned homebirth as part of the MANA stats project. Studies using this data are demonstrating that planned homebirth is a safe option with a trained and qualified midwife.
What if my home/apt is small, or I rent my home/apt?
You can absolutely plan a home birth. However, in some situations when space is tight, we may not have room for a birth tub.
Will you accept VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) clients?
Yes, if certain practice criteria are met. I only attend VBACs after 1 previous cesarean.
Isn't home birth super messy?
Birth can get messy, but we have ways of handling that. We use chux pads, towels, and a cover for your mattress. We recommend an old set of sheets and towels that you don't mind getting messy. After the birth, we do all the clean up for you. We change your sheets, start the laundry, take out the garbage, as well as empty and take away the birth tub. We joke that your house is sometimes cleaner after we leave than when we arrive.
Do you offer water birth?
We sure do. Many of our families utilize water in one way or another during their births. This may be as simple as showering during labor. Sometimes folks will use their own large bath tub in their bathrooms. Others will use a blow up birth tub with a liner filled by hose. Some only use the tub for relaxation and pain relief during labor. Others will actually give birth in the tub. The choice is entirely yours.
What happens in an emergency?
Emergencies that require immediate medical attention at a homebirth are uncommon, but do happen. Proper screening, risk assessment during pregnancy and birth, appropriate monitoring, and close personal care reduce the risk of encountering an emergency at home. Licensed Midwives can carry medications and equipment to help stabilize parent and/or baby while waiting for more advanced medical care or while in transit to a medical facility. I am trained in CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation. While some emergencies require a call to 911 for medical transport, MOST hospital transports from homebirths involve a non-emergent need such as exhaustion during labor and the need for medications to relieve pain in order to get adequate rest, need for medications to augment a slow labor after trying everything we're comfortable trying at home, or early indications that client or baby could need more advanced care during labor and/or birth. In the case of an emergency or non-emergency transfer to the hospital I will remain with you and/or your baby as long as necessary to provide support and help you navigate the situation if allowed.
Can you be my midwife for a hospital birth?
Nope! I am a homebirth midwife. I do not have hospital privileges. I do not work under the supervision of a physician. In the event that a client needs to transfer to the hospital from a planned homebirth, their medical care is transferred to the on-call hospital doctor or midwife. In case of transfer to the hospital, I stay with my client even though I am no longer the medical care provider for their birth to provide support and continuity. I resume care after they leave the hospital if appropriate.
What is your fee?
It varies based on whether you have insurance or not, what your benefits are, and which insurance company. I offer a significant discount for Medicaid eligible families. My full fee is due before 36 weeks and then you will need to work with your insurance company for reimbursement. The company and your deductible play a big role in how much your insurance will pay. My fee includes all your prenatal care, on-call availability 24/7 for urgent issues or emergencies for the duration of your pregnancy and postpartum period, my attendance at your birth and immediate postpartum, the use of my equipment and supplies at your birth, newborn care and examination, newborn procedures and screenings that you choose, postpartum visits for you and baby around days 1, 3, and 7 in your home, and office visits at 2-3 weeks and 6 weeks. A $500 non-refundable retainer is required to hold a spot on my calendar. I only take a very limited number of clients each month. Full details will be covered as part of the financial agreement that we will sign before we start care. Limited payment plans are available if not approved for United Medical Credit Loan.
Do I get a refund if I need to go to the hospital?
If your care needs to be transferred to a doctor or hospital in the last few weeks of pregnancy, during labor, or just after birth, we do not offer a refund. We will continue to provide support while you are in the hospital and offer postpartum care as planned once you are back at home. If you need to transfer care before 36 weeks, we will bill for each prenatal and postpartum appointment individually instead of the full fee as outlined in our contract. I will provide postpartum care (if medically appropriate) for you and baby even if you have a hospital birth. If you choose to have me come to the hospital with you, my full fee applies.
Can you be my midwife at a birth center?
No. Currently there are no legal free standing birth centers in Northern Nevada. There is one in Southern Nevada.
Are there additional costs outside of your fee?
There are a few expenses which are not included in my fee. Sage Springs clients are responsible for the cost of any labwork or ultrasounds. Labs and ultrasounds can be billed to insurance. Additionally, you will need some supplies for the birth. I will provide you with a list of these items. I have created a premade kit for my clients to purchase. The cost of the kit is $50-135 depending on your needs. I always bring an assistant to birth with me. She has a separate fee due directly to her at your birth.
Can you bill my insurance?
My full fee is typically due by 36 weeks. I provide a superbill when your care is complete so you can have your insurance company reimburse you. You can choose to hire my biller and they can help you bill your insurance. You may also choose to work with your insurance company directly yourself.