Frequently Asked Questions about out-of-hospital birth, midwives, and more…
What is a midwife?
A midwife is a person who is specially trained to take care of women and families during their pregnancies. Midwives replace doctors in normal, healthy pregnancies, providing all of your prenatal, birth, and postpartum care.
How does birth center birth work?
Birth at the birth center is a very simple affair, usually. When a mother goes into labor she calls the midwife and they decide when she should come to the birth center. The center is equipped with all the necessary supplies and equipment needed for the safety and comfort of the mother and baby, and also lifesaving equipment in case of emergency. The mother labors in her suite, soaking in the tub, moving around, using the birth ball or stool, etc… and when the time comes, she gives birth in the position of her choosing. Delayed cord clamping and immediate skin-to-skin is the norm. Any required newborn care or examination is done within arms reach of the mother. Afterward, the midwife monitors the mother and baby for several hours to make sure they are healthy. Finally, once everyone is ready, the new family goes home.
What about labs and ultrasounds?
The lab work and ultrasound schedule is the same as it would be in most doctors offices. Usually your insurance covers these costs but if you do not have insurance a cash discount price in available. Unlike many medical practices you are able to opt out of most testing if you choose to.
Do you need to see a doctor if you have a midwife?
No, if you have a midwife she will provide all of your care unless you develop complications of pregnancy.
Do you take insurance?
Yes. Usually your labs and ultrasounds will be covered by your insurance company if you have maternity coverage. You birth fee may or may not be covered, depending on your insurance. For the convenience of families who wish to use their insurance benefit to pay for their homebirth, I contract with an out-of-hospital billing specialist who has years of experience in convincing insurance companies to cover out-of-hospital births.
To find out whether or not your insurance will cover your birth fee, you can submit a Verification of Benefits request at this web address: https://larsenbilling.com/verification-of-benefits.html and enter PIN 16548. You will be billed $20 and they will attempt to verify that your insurance company will pay for your birth expenses.
Alternately, some clients have chosen to submit claims to their insurance companies for out-of-pocket expenses after the birth. Instructions on how to do this will be available from your insurance provider, who you can usually reach by using he phone number on the back of your insurance card. Most of the families who have chosen to do this have received some reimbursement from their insurance companies. I am happy to provide any documentation requested by your insurance company.
Do you take Medicaid?
Sadly, SoonerCare and other forms of Medicaid do not cover OOH birth in Oklahoma. There are discounts available if you are paying out-of-pocket, though, so if your dream is an OOH birth, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
How do you get a birth certificate?
We file for your baby’s birth certificate with the State of Oklahoma.
What about the SSN?
When we file your birth certificate we are able to give permission for the State of Oklahoma to share information with the Social Security Administration and request that a SSN be issued to your baby. This is done automatically when the birth certificate information is filed unless you request otherwise.
What happens if there is an emergency?
Midwives are trained to identify and manage all manner of major and minor obstetric emergencies, including the home management of postpartum hemorrhage and neonatal resuscitation. Depending on the situation a minor emergency may be handled in the home or the mother and/or baby may be transported by car to the hospital. In the very rare case of a major emergency, the midwife will take lifesaving action, the EMS system will be activated, and the mother and/or baby will be transported to the hospital for additional care.
Is homebirth safe?
Yes. Homebirth is a safe option with a very low risk of adverse outcomes. Like any choice it has a unique set of risks and benefits that are hard to judge for anyone except yourself. For more information about the statistics of homebirth please visit: http://mana.org/pdfs/DOR-Outcomes-Paper-Fact-Sheet-on-Risk.pdf
What kind of training do you have?
All of our midwives have graduated from an academic midwifery training program, in addition to a hands-on apprenticeship. They are all certified by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) as Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs).
In addition, all midwives and assistants maintain certification in Neonatal Resuscitation, AHA BLS (CPR/AED) for Healthcare Providers, and participate in NARM approved continuing education opportunities each year.
I have another question.
Please feel free to call or email us and ask any question that you have. We are always happy to answer.
I would like to meet you to discuss my care.
Consultations are always free. You can book yours at http://birthcenter.youcanbook.me or call 918.932.8164 to set up an appointment with any of our midwives.