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Frequently Asked Questions & Information  for Download


What is a licensed midwife?

  • Literally speaking, midwife means, “With Woman.”  A midwife is a person who views pregnancy and birth as healthy, normal processes, albeit ones that call for supervision and care. In the midwifery model, the childbearing woman has the central role. Midwifery care addresses the psychological and emotion health as well as the physical health of the mother. The midwife seeks to empower the woman by helping her master the challenges of pregnancy and birth.
  • In practice we assess new clients much like a physician does. We complete thorough histories and exams. We also offer all the usual laboratory testing and provide complete information on all prenatal & newborn procedures in order to help  our clients make informed decisions regarding their care.  We follow the same schedule for prenatal care as physicians, to monitor the health of both mother & baby, and we consult or refer to a physician when a significant deviation from normal occurs. While in labor, women are also monitored very closely and early consultation is made if a deviation from normal occurs.


What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?

  • A midwife is a trained and licensed professional who provides prenatal care, delivery of the baby, care of the mother post-partum and newborn care. The midwife is responsible for the safety of mother and baby. Some kinds of midwives also provide family planning, annual exams, and other kinds of well-woman gynecology.
  • Certified doulas do not provide any kind of medical care. For instance, they would not listen to the baby’s heart beat or do a vaginal exam or deliver the baby. They do provide emotional and physical support for the laboring woman and her family and/or post-partum care of the mother and baby. Doula care has been shown to improve outcomes for both moms and babies in many studies.


Is this a safe way to have my baby?

  • Professional midwifery care has been steadily growing in California state since the early 90’s.  As licensed midwives, we have very definitive practice guidelines that keeps our practice limited to low risk women. We consult with a physician when anything abnormal comes up during the prenatal, birth, and postpartum periods. If it becomes necessary to make a transport during labor, we call the physician to update them on the client’s condition and then meet them at the hospital.   Study after study (see below for downloads) shows for low risk women home birth is as safe as hospital births when attended by a trained midwife.
  • The vast majority of hospital transfers are not of emergent nature we transfer to the doctor or hospital of your choice.   In the small percentage of cases where time is of the essence, we would choose to transport to the nearest hospital.  In either case we would, of course, accompany the client, making her medical records available to the appropriate hospital personnel.

If I have a homebirth, will it be messy?

  • This is one of the first questions that often comes to mind when someone considers having a birth at home. Surprisingly, birth is not at all like it is portrayed in the media and it really isn’t very messy. You will order a birth kit which includes large flat pads to help protect your bed and floor. Your midwife will start the laundry and clean up any sign of your birth before she leaves your home so your visitors won’t even know where the birth happened! There isn’t even very much trash, often barely enough to fill a kitchen sized garbage bag. You may have a second bag of trash if you are using a birth tub with a large plastic liner.

What equipment do you bring to a birth?

  • Midwives carry instruments and supplies for the birth which include a Doppler for monitoring the fetal heart beat during labor and pushing and standard equipment for monitoring mother’s wellbeing.  Midwives also carry select medications, IV equipment, suture material and local anesthetic for stitches. Midwives are trained in resuscitation and life support and carry oxygen and resuscitation equipment to every birth.

Medical research about home birth for you to download and read.

CPM2000 ( Planned Home Births Are Safe) – The largest study of home births attended by Certified Professional Midwives, as published in the British Medical Journal, has found that home birth is safe for low risk women and involves far fewer interventions than similar births in hospitals.
Home Birth Netherlands - This study shows that planning a home birth does
not increase the risks of perinatal mortality and severe perinatal morbidity among low-risk women, provided the maternity care system facilitates this choice through the availability of well trained midwives and through a good transportation and referral system.
Outcomes of planned home birth  – from the The Canadian Medical Association Journal.  Planned home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death and reduced rates of obstetric interventions and other adverse perinatal outcomes compared with planned hospital birth attended by a midwife or physician.