Scroll down to read the answers to these frequently asked questions:
Is homebirth safe?
What are the benefits of homebirth with Nova Midwifery?
Do I need to see a doctor for my prenatal care?
What about ultrasounds and tests?
Who will attend my birth?
Can I have friends and family at my birth?
What happens if something goes wrong?
What equipment do you bring with you to births?
What about the mess?
Can I have a waterbirth?
What do you do after the baby is born?
How do payment and insurance work with out-of-hospital midwifery care?
Is it worth the money?
How do I learn more?

Is homebirth 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 professional midwives. The most recent studies on homebirth safety in North America are the CPM 2000 study by Johnson and Daviss and the British Columbia homebirth study by Janssen et. al

What are the benefits of homebirth with Nova Midwifery?

Individualized care: All decisions about your care are made together with you, in detailed discussions of your needs and desires, your individual health, and the evidence regarding the options available to you. We respect you as your own - and your baby's - primary care provider.

Evidence-based care: We stay current on the research around pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and breastfeeding, so that we can provide the best evidence possible for your decision-making and our skills and knowledge.

Your own environment: You choose who attends your birth and who cares for you. You choose what to eat and drink. Walk, dance or sleep uninterrupted if you want to!

Bonding with your baby: We hold the space for the mother-baby connection as it makes the transition from the womb to the mama's arms, to the breast, and beyond.

Do I need to see a doctor for my prenatal care?

No, we offer complete care that includes standard prenatal care, birth, and the first 6 weeks postpartum. Our prenatal care includes all the same clinical components as obstetric care, such as listening to the baby with a doppler or fetoscope and taking your blood pressure, but includes about 45 minutes beyond the clinical monitoring that is filled with getting to know you and your health, and addressing all your questions. Postpartum care includes an average of six hour-long visits! We also do well care for your newborn for the first two weeks, and we recommend that their first pediatrician visit occur at about their two-week birthday. We do send our clients to doctors in some instances, such as antibiotic treatment of a UTI. Our care includes recognizing anything that needs the attention of an obstetrician or pediatrician and referring you to one if necessary. 

What about ultrasounds and tests?

We offer referrals to medical imaging professionals so that you can obtain ultrasounds as needed or desired. We are skilled in drawing blood and have a lab account, so that we can order blood and urine tests that you choose to complete as part of your care. We are also able to refer you to other professionals for additional testing if it becomes necessary. There are no tests available in obstetric care that we cannot provide you or help you access. 

Who will attend my birth?

We have a team of at least two people at each birth. Two licensed midwives will be in attendance to ensure that you and your baby are well cared for and safe. Mason and Morgan, our licensed midwives, rotate call so that one midwife is available at any time for urgent concerns and when you go into labor. While it is likely that both Mason and Morgan will be at your birth, we also call in an assist midwife when necessary to cover off call periods, who you will meet during your pregnancy.

Can I have friends and family at my birth?

Yes! We truly appreciate the presence of loved ones who bring positivity and their love for you into your birthing space. We also offer support for setting boundaries when you desire privacy.

What happens if something goes wrong?

We're trained to handle certain complications at home and to recognize complications that mean that a hospital birth is advisable and to transport in those circumstances. One of the most common complications that we handle at home is excessive bleeding immediately after the baby is born, and we carry medications to stop this bleeding and use them the same way they are used in the hospital. The other, which is rare but still one of the more common complications, is a baby who needs some help to take his or her first breaths. All of us are certified in neonatal resuscitation and have experienced this scenario. Most babies in this scenario receive a couple breaths from us and then start breathing on their own very quickly. Again, in this scenario, we follow the same standards as the hospital. Our most common transport to hospital happens for a first-time labor that lasts a long time and mom nears clinical exhaustion; we go to the hospital for an epidural so that mom can have several hours of sleep and get her uterus the rest it needs - often she wakes up pushing her baby out! We also listen to the baby with a doppler during labor so that the baby can let us know that he or she is doing well; babies usually give us plenty of advance warning with a change in their heart rate if they need us to go to the hospital for their birth.

What equipment do you bring with you to births?

Resuscitation equipment: a bag and mask and oxygen

Antihemorrhagic drugs to stop excessive postpartum bleeding

Monitoring equipment for you and your baby, including a doppler, blood pressure cuff and stethoscope, and infant stethoscope.

Supplies for the newborn exam and any newborn procedures that you choose, including a scale, measuring tape, and vitamin K.

Suturing equipment to do repairs if any tearing occurred, and lidocaine to numb for suturing.

What about the mess? 

We aim to leave the house as clean as it was when we arrived! During your prenatal care we will give you a link to a website where you will order a "birth kit" which includes all the disposable supplies for your birth. Many of these supplies are meant to keep your house clean during the birth. While you have family bonding time with your new baby, we quietly tidy up.

Can I have a waterbirth?

Yes, waterbirth is a lovely option for those mothers who desire it. We encourage all our families to have birth tubs for comfort in labor, regardless of whether the family plans to have the baby in or out of the water.

What do you do after the baby is born?

We put the baby up on mama's belly, and for about the first fifteen minutes, we stay right with you and your baby to keep an eye on your bleeding and your baby's adjustment to life outside the womb. After the placenta is out and the baby's cord is done pulsing, we ask you if you are ready to cut the cord and who is going to be the one to do it, and we help clamp and cut the cord. Then, we give you some space for family time, staying close by with an ear out for your needs and checking on you periodically, while cleaning up and preparing herbs and an ice pack for mama's bottom. Whenever your baby is interested in nursing, we offer help with positioning and latch if you would like it. When you are comfortable and ready for a nap with your baby, and we are satisfied that you and baby are healthy and stable, we leave. We then return in about 24 hours for your first postpartum visit.

How do payment and insurance work with out-of-hospital midwifery care?

Unlike a doctor's office that uses a 'fee for service' model, midwives charge a package fee which covers all the care you need within the prenatal, intrapartum and postpartum period. We strive to make midwifery care and homebirth accessible for families. For those with PPO/EPO insurance plans, we can expect to receive reimbursement at the out-of-network rate beyond one's deductible. One's HSA can also be applied to midwifery care. A professional medical biller is your best option to get full reimbursement, and we partner with a very experienced medical biller to facilitate this process. We ask that the agreed upon fee be paid in full by the time you reach your 'due window' at 37 weeks and reimbursements usually come in a few months after the birth. Extended payment plans are made when necessary.

Is it worth the money?

The average cost of a wedding is $24,000, and like birth, a wedding is only one day of your life but is a very important and emotional day. We often get to hear grandmas-to-be and sometimes even great-grandmas-to-be talk about their birth experiences, and it is very clear that birth creates a lasting impression on women that is greater than their wedding day. Women remember their births with deep feelings for their entire lives, and most clearly remember how their care providers treated them. Having been present with women when they tell us with awe how their birth changed them, we can say confidently that it is worth even the full amount out of pocket.

How do I learn more?

Feel free to contact us via email at midwife@novamidwifery.com or by phone at 510-333-8911. You can also set up an initial interview to answer your questions about midwifery, homebirth, and our practice HERE.