Frequently Asked Questions
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Will my insurance pay for a home birth?
Home birth with a CNM is covered on many plans. I use a biller to make sure that you are reimbursed to the full extent of your out-of-network benefits. I am not an in-network provider. The insurance biller is an expert at finding out what your personal insurance will cover. Contact me and we will have them run a "Verification of Benefits" to get the most accurate estimates of your coverage. I am a Tricare certified provider.
What does a home birth cost?
The midwifery package for a home birth includes prenatal care, labor, birth, birth assistant, initial newborn care and postpartum care (both immediately after the birth, home visits in subsequent days and later in the office). This package costs $5200. Additional out-of-pocket costs associated with home birth are childbirth classes, a doula (especially recommended for first births) and birth supplies.
Can I use my HSA/FSA to pay for any of this?
Yes, all home birth expenses are usually allowable expenses for a health spending/ flexible spending account.
Can I pay by credit or debit card?
If you pay by credit or debit card there is a 2.75% fee. Checks should be made payable to Fairfax Home Birth, LLC.
Is home birth safe?
Yes, for healthy women with normal pregnancies. Home birth is not for everyone, but it is a safe option for most women. Current studies continue to show the safety of home birth. Home birth greatly reduces the incidence of c-sections without compromising safety outcomes for mothers and their babies. Statistics for Fairfax Home Birth can be found here.
Why do women choose home birth?
Do you attend water births?
Yes. Over 30% of my client choose water births. If you desire a water birth, and do not have a large enough tub at home then you should rent or buy a birth tub. Please include this in your birth plan and discuss at prenatal visits.
Who will attend my birth?
In addition to me (and anyone else you invite), there will be one other trained attendant called a Birth Assistant at your birth.
What is a birth assistant?
She is someone who attends your birth to assist the midwife. Just as someone giving birth at the hospital would have both an OB (or CNM) and a nurse, a home birth client is attended by both a CNM (me) and a Birth Assistant. This is not the same thing as a doula. The birth assistant helps with labor and postpartum support, vital signs, charting, and is trained to assist the midwife in the event of an emergency. Your birth package includes a birth assistant.
Can I have a doula at my home birth?
Yes! I encourage you to have anyone at your birth whom you want there. It is wonderful for you to have the added support of a doula, whose sole job is your labor support. Because she is not there in a medical role, a doula will not replace your birth assistant.
Does home birth leave a mess?
We do a very careful job of assuring that it does not, with the use of disposable underpads, plastic fitted sheets and lots of experience!
I live in a small apartment. Can I still have a home birth?
Yes. We need your home to have water, electricity and room enough for midwife and birth assistant. Your apartment is probably larger than the typical hospital labor and delivery room. As for noise, your baby will make far more noise for your neighbors over the next year than you make in a few hours of labor. It is rare for a neighbor to hear anything from your labor.
How many people can attend my birth?
You may have whomever you wish at your birth. If you are inviting your child to the birth, you should have someone there (other than your main support person) who is responsible for the child's care. You should prepare any people you invite by telling them that if you find you need more privacy for any part of labor you will ask them to leave.
What if I need to go to the hospital?
Transfer to the hospital is, of course, not something that a mother planning a home birth wants. However, in your prenatal care, we always discuss our contingency plans. Fairfax Home Birth is pleased to have both a CNM and an OB willing to receive our clients who transfer. If you need to transfer during labor, we will try stay with you for your birth at the hospital.
What is the most common reason that a woman would need to transfer to the hospital?
The most common transfers are non-emergent transfers for very long labors in which the midwife and couple together determine that a hospital intervention is needed or desired. No arbitrary time limits are put on labor. I am very comfortable with slow progress at a home birth if mother and baby are doing well. Women who choose home birth do so because it is best for them and for their babies. In the few cases where a woman chooses to transfer to the hospital, she does so because of some development that has caused her (with the input of their birth team) to conclude that in this case a hospital birth may be best for herself or her baby. 94% of my clients who plan home birth (as of 2020) have a home birth.
Will I need childbirth classes?
If you have not already had a natural birth, you should take childbirth classes to prepare. They need to be classes, such as Bradley Method or Hypnobirthing, that are focused on natural childbirth. Hospital-based childbirth education is usually not natural childbirth specific. I would be happy to refer you to local teachers.
Where will I get my ultrasound?
I will refer you for ultrasounds to one of the many local radiology offices.
How do I get a birth certificate and social security card?
I submit the appropriate forms to the Department of Vital Records for you to be issued a social security number and birth certificate.
What if two of your clients are in labor at once?
I limit my practice to four or five clients per month to make it very unlikely that this will happen. In the event that it does happen, a fellow solo-practice midwife and I back each other up so that you can still have your home birth in experienced hands. It is highly unlikely that both of us would be at births when you go into labor.
What is your home birth service area?
My home birth service radius is 10 miles from Fairfax City (22030). This includes: Annandale, Arlington (N), Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Dunn Loring, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Falls Church, Herndon, Manassas Park, Merrifield, Oakton, Reston, Springfield, and Vienna.
In months with more inquiries than spaces, priority is given to clients who are geographically closer. Limiting my services in this way allows me to be more available to the clients I serve.
What lab tests will I have during my pregnancy?
At your initial prenatal visit we will do a standard panel that checks for anemia, atypical antibodies, blood type, rubella immunity and infections. If you are due for a pap smear (cervical cancer screening) or desire genetic screening we will do those. At 28 weeks we will do another blood count (and an antibody screen if you have a negative blood type) and a screening for gestational diabetes. At 36 weeks we will repeat your blood count if you've been anemic and do a test for Group B Strep. Any additional laboratory testing is done as needed. Read more about prenatal care.
Can you prescribe medications?
Yes, I am a Certified Nurse Midwife with the additional licensure needed to prescribe medication. This also means that I am licensed to carry medications that could be needed at your birth for safety.
How often will my prenatal visits be and what do we do at them?
What kind of postpartum care will I receive?
Can I get my pap or other GYN services from you?