Frequently Asked Questions

New to Home Birth?
These might help answer some general home birth questions. Click on each title to download and open each pdf.
Having a Baby – Ten Questions to Ask (2015) from CIMS.
Rights of Childbearing Women from Childbirth Connection.
Home Birth: Annotated Guide to the Literature

Typical Visit Schedules
What is your typical prenatal visit schedule?
Generally, I do visits every 4 weeks until you are 36 weeks, then every 2 weeks until you are 40 weeks, then each week after that until you have the baby. Situations may arise that call for a change in the visit schedule. Some people might prefer more frequent visits in the last few weeks. We can discuss that at an interview and figure out what will work best for both of us.
What is your typical postpartum visit schedule?
I do visits at 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, 3 weeks, and 6 weeks. Again, situations may arise that call for a change in the schedule. We will figure that out when and if the time comes.
Prenatal
What happens at a typical prenatal visit?
I will ask a series of questions that will help me assess how you are doing, discuss any concerns that you might be having. I will check your vitals, fundal height, assess baby’s position, and listen to baby’s heartbeat.
Do you use a Doppler or a fetoscope?
I try to use a fetoscope whenever possible. If there are concerns and I cannot find the heartbeat with the fetoscope, then I will use the Doppler with your consent.
What about ultrasounds? Do I have to have one? Where can I get one?
In general, ultrasounds are not always necessary. There are occasions when they can be very helpful. Please research the safety of them before deciding if you are going to get one. If it is decided that you need one, we can discuss your options. It may depend on where you live.
Do I need to have OB co-care or backup care?
No, you don’t have to. Some people feel more comfortable having it. It is up to you. Be aware that some of the OBs in this area have contracts with their hospitals that state that they cannot provide co-care with an out-of-hospital provider.
Labor
When do you come when I go into labor?
Most women wait until labor is well established. A good rule is when your contractions are 4-5 minutes apart, about a 1 minute long, and strong enough that you can’t talk through them.
Do you have a birth pool that I can rent?
Yes, I do have several birth pools that I rent to my clients only. It is $250 and includes a new liner, the use of the pool, an air pump, a clean fill hose, a drain pump, a dirty hose to use with the drain pump, and my time cleaning it up. I usually drop off the pool, liner, air pump and clean fill hose at the 36 week visit so that you can set it up whenever you are ready before I get there. To avoid contamination, I don’t bring in the drain pump and dirty hose until after your baby is born and I am ready to take the pool down. I do all of the clean up and taking down of the pool.
What if you don’t make it in time?
It isn’t ideal, but it happens. We will talk during your prenatal visits about what to do and not do if the baby arrives before I do.
Do you do coached pushing?
No, I prefer physiological pushing, gentle, following your body. If something emergent happens, I may coach you in pushing.
Birth/Immediate Postpartum
What happens after the baby is born?
It always depends on the situation, but I observe the baby first to make sure he or she is transitioning well and base further actions on that. I try to interfere with your bonding as little as possible. At some point, when you are ready, I will get your’s and the baby’s vitals, weigh the baby, help you to the bathroom, and start cleaning up.
What if the cord is around the baby’s neck?
That usually isn’t as big of a problem as the media likes to portray. If it is truly hindering the baby’s birth, it can usually be helped by holding the baby’s head toward the mother’s thigh so the body can roll out.
When do you cut or burn the cord?
Generally, after it has finished it’s job and is what and flat. It tends to be whenever mom is ready to get out of the pool or get up to go to the bathroom.
What is cord burning?
This video is a really good demonstration of cord burning. I have a cord burning box, very similar to the one used in the video. I usually wait until the cord has finished it’s job and is white and flat. It can take several minutes to burn through the cord.
Postpartum
What happens at a typical postpartum visit?
I will ask a series of questions about how you and your baby are doing, check your vitals and fundal height to make sure your uterus is shrinking back down. Then, I will check your baby’s vitals, weigh, and measure them.
How do we get a birth certificate for our baby?
We will complete the Ohio birth certificate paperwork at the 3 day postpartum visit. Then, your partner, a family member, or I can take it to your county’s health department to have it filed with the Ohio Health Department. I will let you know if there is anything else you need to take with it.
Can you do the CCHD screening?
Yes, this is usually done at the 1 day visit, the baby should be around 24 hours old when the test is done. CCHD stands for Critical Congenital Heart Disease. The test is performed by placing the newborn pulse ox sensor on the baby’s right hand, to assess the oxygenation of the blood before it goes to the heart, and then on one of the baby’s feet, to assess the oxygenation of the blood after it leaves the heart. It is painless, but can be annoying for the baby as I may have to hold their hand or foot for a bit to get my pulse ox to read them.
Can you do the Newborn Screen?
Yes, I am registered with the Ohio Department of Health to be able to get the Newborn Screening (NBS) from your county’s health department. If you want the test done, I need to know by 38 weeks so that I have time to make sure that I can get one in time. then, I bring it to the 1 week postpartum visit and do the test at the end of our visit. It usually takes about 2 weeks to get the results back. There is more info about this test here.
How do we get our son circumcised?
I do not do circumcisions, nor do I support that choice. These websites can provide more information: Intact America and Your Whole Baby.
Financial
Do you accept payment plans?
Absolutely! There is a deposit of 20% of your midwifery fee that is deducted from your total. The deposit is due at your first prenatal visit. You can make 4 more payments of the same amount as your deposit and you will be paid in full. You can pay lower amounts, as long as the total is paid in full before the 6 week postpartum visit.