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Midwifery Care & Doula Services Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Lay Midwife?

The term "Lay Midwife" has been used to designate an uncertified or unlicensed midwife who was educated through informal routes such as self-study or apprenticeship rather than through a formal program. This term does not necessarily mean a low level of education, just that the midwife either chose not to become certified or licensed, or there was no certification available for her type of education (as was the fact before the Certified Professional Midwife credential was available). Other similar terms to describe uncertified or unlicensed midwives are traditional midwife, traditional birth attendant, granny midwife and independent midwife.

What is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)?
A Certified Professional Midwife is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the midwifery model of care. The CPM is the only international credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings.

What is a Licensed Midwife (LM)?
A licensed midwife is a midwife who is licensed to practice in a particular jurisdiction (usually a state or province).

What is a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)?
A Certified Nurse Midwife is an individual educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery, who possesses evidence of certification according to the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. CNM's primarily practice in hospitals and in hospital-based birthing centers, some CNM's do provide homebirth services.

What is the Midwives Model of Care?
The Midwives Model of Care™ is based on the fact that pregnancy and natural childbirth are normal life processes.

What are your fees?
We have several different fee structures depending on the service you are in need of. We have fees for homebirth & complete prenatal care, doula/labor support in the hospital and well woman exams. Please view our services to choose the right service for you.

How much does a consultation cost?
Consultations are free for everyone. At that time we will determine whether you are eligible for a homebirth under our care. We only accept low-risk pregnancies but don't rule yourself out just because you have a medical history. There is no way to know if we can help you until we meet so contact us to schedule your consultation.

Where do I go for prenatal appointments?
If you live in Tehachapi, Stallion Springs or Bear Valley Springs prenatal appointments are done in your own home. Service areas outside of the Tehachapi area (Palmdale, Lancaster, Bakersfield, etc.) will receive prenatal care in our comfortable home office.

Do I have to see a physician during my pregnancy?
If you are choosing homebirth, we provide all regular prenatal care and can do routine pregnancy tests also. We do have a back-up physician and we do require you to have one appointment with the back-up physician so that they will be on-call for you in the rare event of a transfer.

How safe is a home birth?
The largest study of homebirths attended by Certified Professional Midwives, as published in the British Medical Journal, has found that home birth is safe for low risk women and involves far fewer interventions than similar births in hospitals.

What do I need to provide for a homebirth?
Besides good nutrition and a healthy home for your growing baby, there are some supplies that will be necessary to have on hand. Most are simple and will be things you will already have on hand.

Do you offer waterbirth?
Of course we offer waterbirth and we recommend you have a tub available to you during labor and birth. It is difficult to know how a laboring woman will feel. Some women who love the water don't like it during labor and some do. Other women who don't have a particular attraction to water find great relief from the water during labor and childbirth. Most women find that water offers significant comfort.

Do you have birthing tubs available?
We definitely do. We offer AquaDoula portable tubs. We consider these to be a luxurious spa-like experience because AquaDoula birthing tubs have a heater and a lid to keep the water at a comfortable temperature. Rental fee does apply.

Why would I choose waterbirth?
Water is considered to be the most gentle method of natural childbirth. Visit our Waterbirth FAQ page for more information.

Why do mothers transport?
Typically transport is due to a long labor where the mother needs pharmacological pain relief so she can rest and give birth to her baby.

Do I need to hire a doula for labor support or do you provide that also?
Because this is your birth you can make the decision of whether you feel you would like a doula also but I do also provide emotional & labor support for the laboring woman. I believe that developing a friendly relationship during pregnancy is important and that is one of the things I aim to do during our time together at prenatal appointments. If you have very young children, you may want to consider having someone to help take care of them.

Does a midwife help clean up after a home birth?
Typically when I leave the house it is three to four hours after the birth and I do help clean up. The house looks just as it did when I arrived and I am careful to protect your home and your possessions.

When do I call the midwife for labor?
Once your contractions have been five minutes apart or less and are lasting at least a minute long for an hour. Or if your water breaks.

Can you attend my birth in the hospital?
We do offer doula / labor support for hospital births.

Do you take private insurance or Medi-Cal?
We accept self-pay and will file insurance for you. We do require payment in full by our clients because it is much easier to get the insurance company to reimburse you more money, faster than they would a midwife. We are saddened that we cannot accept Medi-Cal but the law does not allow it.

What if I have another question?
We welcome your questions and will be happy to address them with you. Just contact us.

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