Is home birth safe?
Homebirth has been shown to be a safe option for healthy women and healthy babies whose normal pregnancies are full term at the start of labor, and who are monitored and attended by professionally trained midwives. You can find out more scientific data on homebirth here. We suggest you visit the Why Not Home website for more information and to watch an informative documentary on homebirth.
What is a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife)?
A Certified Professional Midwife is a trained professional certified by the North American Registry of Midwives, who is qualified to provide the Midwives Model of Care. CPM’s are the only maternal care providers who are required to receive training in out-of-hospital settings. Midwives specialize in supporting normal, healthy pregnancies and births. They provide individualized care to women and their newborns throughout the childbearing year.
What does homebirth care look like?
Homebirth Midwifery is personalized care. Women who plan a homebirth with a midwife generally receive care that is based on the midwifery model of care . The Midwifery Model of Care sees pregnancy and birth as normal life events. Midwives who practice using this type of care monitor a woman’s physical, psychological, and social well-being. They provide individualized education, counseling, prenatal care, hands-on-assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum care. Appointments are a combination of office and home visits.
What equipment is brought to homebirths?
• Basic Monitoring equipment: Stethoscope BP Cuff, thermometer, Doppler for fetal heart tones.
• Oxygen and resuscitation equipment (adult/newborn)
• Antihemorrhagic drugs to stop excessive postpartum bleeding
• Newborn treatment/screening (Vitamin K, Eye Prophylaxis, Pulse Oximeter, and Newborn Metabolic Screening Kits)
• IV and suture equipment
• Herbs and natural remedies
• Midwives and Birth attendants are trained in Basic Life Support and Neonatal Resuscitation
What's the difference between home and birth center birth?
The fundamental difference is location. Some moms really want to get away from their home (children, pets, neighbors, whatever) to birth, and some really want to be in their own space with their own bed, and they don’t want to drive anywhere during labor or after the birth. There is no safety difference between the two. The medical equipment is the same at both locations. Some moms who live far from a hospital prefer to deliver in the birthing center so they can have the out-of-hospital birth they desire, but they are close to a hospital in the event of complications. It really comes down to where you feel comfortable having your baby.
Is homebirth messy?
Not as messy as you might imagine it to be. Yes birth can be unpredictable but the midwives leave your home as clean, if not cleaner than it was when they arrived.
I live in a small apartment/house. Can I have a homebirth?
Yes! Babies can be born just about anywhere. As long as you have freedom to move and respond to your body’s cues, you feel safe, and the birthplace is reasonably clean and warm, your home is a fine place to give birth.
Can I have a water birth?
Yes, water birth is a lovely option for clients who desire it. Many families choose to have birth tubs for comfort in labor, regardless of whether the family plans to have the baby in or out of the water. We have birth tubs available for our clients.
How much does homebirth cost?
Our practice charges $6500 for the global maternity fee. Global fees are a common way for maternity care to be billed. Which includes prenatal, labor/birth/ and postpartum care. This is comparable to the other homebirth practices on the Kenai Peninsula. There are discounts for advanced deposits, payment plans, and sliding scale fees for those who qualify.
Does my insurance cover homebirth?
Yes and No. Some insurance companies are a bit quicker to cover homebirths. Other insurers haven’t realized that homebirth is much more cost effective, with better quality care, for it’s clients. Alaska Medicaid does cover homebirth. If you have insurance and are interested in seeing what your coverage is, please feel free to contact us and we can get you a verification of benefits.
What happens if something goes wrong?
Although homebirth is statistically safe, it does not guarantee a problem-free pregnancy or birth. If problems arise during pregnancy, a consult and /or transfer of care with an obstetrician may be needed. Midwives are trained to handle certain complications at home, and trained to recognize complications that mean a hospital birth/transfer is advisable. Since we only provide care for healthy women and intervention during labor is limited, the chance of a true emergency is low. In fact, most transports are for non-emergency situations, such as long labor without progression or the laboring woman’s desire for pain medications. If complications develop during labor and birth that are beyond our scope of practice, you will be transported to the hospital. We will continue to provide support for you there, but care will be transferred to a physician. We have established good connections with the hospitals on the Kenai Peninsula, in order to provide the smoothest transports possible.
If I have a hospital birth or transport to the hospital before/during/after labor, can I still continue my postpartum care with Mountain Sea Midwifery?
In most cases yes! There are some situations where care is out of the midwives scope of practice. But many clients come back to continue their care with us. In some cases clients start their care with us in the postpartum peroid, even if they’ve had surgical births. They enjoy the individualized care that we offer in our practice.
Is Homer too far for my birth team to make it to my Soldotna/Kenai birth?
This is a common concern among our Soldotna/Kenai clients. We serve many clients up in that area. We are prepared on various levels, to accommodate our clients and their needs during their labor/birth. It’s not uncommon for homebirth midwives to travel to serve their clients. There is an office space in Soldotna that is used for prenatal/postpartum appointments.
Culture and Religion
Our job is to care for you and your baby by ensuring you're both medically healthy and mentally and physically comfortable. Part of this process includes you educating us on your religious and cultural needs. If you have specific requests please let us know as soon as possible, no matter how obvious they may seem. We look forward to learning about and respecting your faith and background.
What about the birth certificate? Social Security Number?
Your midwife will complete a “Registration of a Live Birth” form within 7 days of the birth. One of the questions on the form is for assigning a social security number at birth. If you check that box, you will receive a social security number for your child. You will mail in a birth certificate request form, along with a payment of $30 to receive the official state-documented birth certificate.