San Diego County
Midwives

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q – How will I get a birth certificate for my baby?

A – After your baby is born your midwife will make an appointment to register the birth with the Office of Vital Records and Statistics. Your midwife will provide the required paperwork for you. All you need to bring is your baby and a valid photo ID.

Q – Can I birth my baby in the water with my partner?

A – We are very supportive of water birth, and encourage our parents to use a birth tub during labor if they would like to. We have attended many water births and are happy to make that a part of your birth plan. Partners are more than welcome to accompany mom in the tub. However, we cannot promise the birth will occur in the water, as sometimes mom doesn’t happen to be in the tub when baby decides to come.

Q – How can I avoid complications?

A – The best way to make sure that you are at your very best for your labor and birth is by actively participating in all of your prenatal visits, sharing with your midwife any problems that you may experience, following your midwife’s recommendations regarding nutrition, rest, and exercise, and by listening to your own intuition. However, there are times when a complication may arise. We make sure that you are aware of possible complications and how to handle them. You are encouraged to call your midwife any time that you suspect a problem or have a question about your pregnancy. You will be given all phone numbers necessary to contract your midwife directly.

Q – Can you tell the position of my baby?

A – At each of your prenatal visits your midwife will palpate your belly and check for your baby’s position. Your midwife is trained in this art, and she can usually verify the “wisdom of her hands” by locating your baby’s heartbeat. If there is any question, she may refer you for an Ultrasound to verify baby’s position. Babies do move around, sometimes right up to the end of the pregnancy. Your midwife is always watching, feeling and listening so that she is knowledgeable of your baby’s whereabouts!

Q – What if the baby doesn’t fit?

A – Your pelvis and hips are constructed with an amazing ability to stretch and move as your baby descends to the pelvic floor. Most babies will “fit”. However, there are occasions when a pelvis, for a variety of reasons, is difficult for baby to negotiate; or babies can sometimes get in positions that make it challenging to negotiate the birth canal. Midwives will usually try to correct the problem by helping mom to assume different positions. If that does not provide a solution, your midwife will discuss other options with you and together you will make a decision on how to proceed.

Q – What if my baby needs help breathing?

A – Approximately 90% of newborns will not require any help to begin breathing. For the small number of babies who do need assistance, your midwives are certified in Neonatal Resuscitation and Adult and Infant CPR. They know how to recognize the need and respond. Your midwife will bring all necessary equipment to your home, including oxygen, in the unlikely event that resuscitation is required.

Q – Do you have any medications?

A – Your midwife has been trained to use herbal, homeopathic and allopathic medicines. She will have them available at your birth.

Q – Can we have other family members at our birth?

A – Yes, we love to see our moms and dads supported by their loved ones. During your prenatal visits we are happy to help you clarify what you would like your birth to look like. We will do a home visit at approximately 36 weeks of pregnancy, and at that time we like to meet with the other members of your circle who plan to be at the birth. If you plan to have your other young children at the birth we do ask that that you have an adult whose sole responsibility it is to be there for them.

Q – What if the cord is around baby’s neck; what will you do?

A – Parents are often surprised to hear that a cord wrapped around a baby’s neck is not an unusual situation. Most of the time, as the baby’s head is born, the midwife is able to gently slip the cord around the baby’s head and the baby births without any problem. On the rare occasion that a cord may be too tight to slip over baby’s head, your midwife has options that she is trained to utilize.

Q –How messy is a birth in the home?

A – Midwives know that every part of a birth is essential to the whole and do not see birth as “messy”. However, we are prepared for the little spills and thrills that happen along the way and have a “clean as you go” method of operating. We teach you how to prepare your bed so that after the birth, with a little midwifery “slight of hand” you can climb back into nice clean sheets with your baby. We do a thorough clean-up before we leave, so your home looks pretty much the same as before we came, except for the new family member in your arms!

Q – Will you bring other assistance with you to my birth?

A – Yes, there will be at least two, often three midwives at your birth. Our practice is a teaching practice, so there will generally be two Licensed Midwives and a student at each birth.

Q – Who will be my midwife if you are with another mom in labor when I call?

A – Since we have more than one midwife in our group, we make sure you meet the other midwives and students. Should your primary midwife be at another birth, she will make every effort to have one of the other midwives you have met and an assistant that you have been working with in attendance at your birth.

Q – If I need a doctor, who will that be?

A – As required by the Medical Board and according to California Standards, we will consult with you and prepare an Emergency Care Plan.

Q – Do you require me to have any tests or laboratory work? If so what are they, and what do they tell us?

A – Yes, we do require some lab work, as lab work is one of the best indicators of the health of you and your baby. Some of the tests we do will help us to know, among other things, your blood type and Rh factor, if you may be anemic, how well your blood clots, if you are at risk for Gestational Diabetes, or if you may have any signs of infection. Depending upon the last time you had a Pap smear, we may suggest one as well. We only test for those things we know can have a direct effect on your pregnancy. Our goal is to give you the best prenatal care possible.

Q –What if I need stitches? Is that something you can do?

A – Yes, your midwife has been trained in perineal repair and will bring everything necessary, should it be required

Q – What issues to you feel would indicate a transfer to hospital?

A – There are many factors involved in making a decision to go to the hospital. Your midwife will make sure that you understand what those factors are, and she will collaborate with you in the decision-making process. Most transfers are due to a failure of labor to progress. In spite of everyone’s best efforts the labor “stalls out” and that can be tiring for mom and baby. It is very seldom that a transfer is an emergency.

Q – Does insurance cover midwifery care for home birth?

A – Insurance companies have their own sets of rules and procedures regarding home birth. Some PPO’s will cover and some will not. HMO’s will not cover home birth.  Please consult you insurance company for more information.