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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Homebirth Safe? What if something goes wrong?

Research has shown that planned, out-of-hospital birth with a qualified midwife leads to fewer interventions and complications for both the mother and baby. Normally, birth is uncomplicated and does not require any intervention.

Healthy women with normal pregnancies generally stay healthy and have normal births. Most problems that develop during pregnancy or birth have clear warning signs well ahead of time, and we can calmly plan for preventing or managing a problem. In addition to the standard midwifery training that I received, I went through an intensive Birth Emergency Skills Training. This course is specifically designed to train out-of-hospital providers to be able to quickly identify and manage any situations which are outside of normal. If a complication arises, I have emergency equipment including oxygen, medications to stop hemorrhage, and resuscitation equipment. I stay up to date on emergency procedures, including CPR and neonatal resuscitation.

I require all of my moms to meet with an OB at least three times during their pregnancy and together we will work on coming up with a solid back up plan prior to labor. If a hospital transfer becomes necessary, we will have a plan in place for transfer and I will accompany you to the hospital where you can receive the obstetrical care that you require.

Transfer Rates: During a normal year (15-30 births), I will end up transferring a small handful of moms. The most common cause of transfer is maternal exhaustion. Other causes may included fetal malposition, meconium, and fetal distress. Of the moms transferred, a small percentage will end up with a cesarean section. At the end of the day, I would so much rather look back and think "we could have stayed home" than to ever have to look back and think "why did we stay home?"

What is a Direct-Entry Midwife?

There are several different kinds of midwives in Mississippi. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are available and covered by many insurance companies. However, in Mississippi, CNMs are only licensed to practice in a hospital setting and thus are unavailable to women desiring a homebirth.

Homebirth midwives are divided into two groups - CPMs (Certified Professional Midwives) and DEMs (Direct-Entry Midwives). The majority of CPMs and DEMs within the state are independent practitioners

who were trained through independent studies, apprenticeship, a midwifery school, and/or a college program that is not a nursing program. CPMs are midwives who have taken a National Exam. Because the NARM exam is not recognized or required in MS, many DEMS like myself have chosen not to pursue this and instead focus on serving the women in our communities. The Mississippi Midwives Alliance is in the process of developing a Community Midwife Certification program. Because I serve on the board of the MMA, I am involved in the development of this program. 

Although not certified by a state or national organization, direct-entry midwives are trained to provide the Midwives Model of Care to healthy women and newborns throughout the childbearing cycle primarily in out-of-hospital settings.

How often will I have appointments?

My clinic day is on Saturday. You will have appointments monthly until 28 weeks, every 2 weeks until 36 weeks then weekly until you deliver. I do a home visit around 36 weeks. You come to me for the rest of the visits. Our visits will consist of discussion, education, preparation for your upcoming birth, concerns and questions, and checking on the well being of you and your baby. Each visit typically lasts one to one-and-a-half hours.

When do you come to my home during labor?

We will come to your home when you feel the need for support. We will labor with you and help you deliver your baby. We will stay 4 hours after delivery or until both mom and baby are stable and breastfeeding is established.

What about post-partum care?

I will return to your home between 24-48 post partum, and at 7-10 days post partum. 3 & 6 week check ups on both mom and baby will happen at my office.

How many midwives/assistants are on your birthing team? What role do they play?

In addition to myself, I usually have one to two assistants  plus a Student Midwife working with me. They attend births with me and occasionally attend prenatal, post partum visits. At the birth we work as a team, monitoring heart tones, setting up the birth space, providing labor support, cleaning up afterward, and attending to clients postpartum.

How many births do you generally do a month?

I limit my practice to 4-6 births per month to avoid burnout and overlap.

What happens if there are two women in labor at the same time?

I serve an average of 4-6 women per month and there are 30-31 days each month :-)32 so two births at the same time is an unlikely scenario. However, I am prepared in the event it does happen. Throughout your pregnancy you will also get to know my assistants; if two women need us at once, we will split up, with an Advanced Level Student and an assistant staying with the mom who is furthest from delivering while I go with another assistant to help the mom closest to delivery. Once baby arrives, my student and I will swap places while the assistants stay with the mom they were originally assigned to. 

How Much does a Homebirth Cost? Will it be Covered by Insurance?

Midwife care offers a significant savings to you. According to www.healthcarebluebook, the total cost for routine prenatal care and an uncomplicated delivery can range from $7,695 - $10,386 before insurance. Even if you have insurance, The fees for midwife care and homebirth are usually similar to what you would pay out of pocket for obstetrical care and a routine, vaginal hospital birth. Your care with me includes all prenatal exams, labor and delivery, initial postpartum care, complete newborn exam, filing of the birth certificate, and six weeks of postpartum care for Mother and Baby including 2 home visits during the first week and 2 office visits later.

Please call me for specific information regarding my current fee schedule and any discounts that may apply.

I cannot accept payment via insurance and will not bill insurance directly. What I can do is provide you with a receipt with the appropriate codes so that you may submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

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