You will need to have the following items ready and easily available by your 36 week visit (with the exception of food):
6-8 washed receiving blankets
6-8 clean towels
8-10 clean washcloths
Crock pot for warm compresses
Olive oil for perineum
Full roll of paper towels
Large bottle of hydrogen peroxide
Heating pad (if you don't have one, please let me know and I will bring mine)
Tall trash can with liner
Flashlight and extra batteries
Camera/video camera with full battery
Sanitary napkins, overnight sized
Juice and electrolyte replacement drink such as Gatorade
Healthy food and snacks for mom, birth attendants, and guests
2 vinyl liners for your bed (see below)
To make your bed ready for the birth/postpartum period (to be done in early labor): You will need two clean sets of sheets, as well as two plastic liners (such as vinyl tablecloth, shower curtain liner, etc.) to work as barriers to protect your mattress and bottom layer of sheets. First, you will place a liner directly on the mattress, then make your bed as you normally would with the fitted and top sheets. Next, cover that layer of bedding with your other liner, and make the bed all over again with the second set of fitted and top sheets. Having two separate layers of sheets is so that if the top set gets messy from birth or in the immediate postpartum, we can strip away the entire top layer and have a whole new set of clean bedding.
Home Birth Kit
Please order your customized home birth kit from one of the following sites by 34 weeks to allow time for shipping:
Precious Arrows - use this site if you are using my birth pool since it gives the option to add the liner that you will need
What is a midwife? "A midwife is a person who, having been regularly admitted to a midwifery educational programme, duly recognised in the country in which it is located, has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery.
The midwife is recognised as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife’s own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventive measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures.
The midwife has an important task in health counselling and education, not only for the woman, but also within the family and community. This work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to women’s health, sexual or reproductive health and childcare." -International Definition of a Midwife
What training does a Florida Licensed Midwife have? A Florida Licensed Midwife is a graduate of a state approved three-year academic Midwifery program. As a student, the Licensed Midwife had to:
Provide prenatal care to a minimum of 75 women
Perform 20 initial prenatal visits
Observe 25 women during labor and birth
Act as primary midwife under the supervision of an experienced midwife for 50 women during labor, birth, and the during the postpartum period
Conduct 50 newborn exams
Provide continuity of care to 3 women
Upon completion of the program, she must pass the state board exam which is the North American Registry of Midwives national certification examination. Florida Licensed Midwives also must maintain current certifications in CPR and neonatal resuscitation (NRP).
Are home births safe? The safety of homebirth is one of the best-kept secrets in this country. Several studies have researched the issue of the safety of home birth in various countries around the world. The best research continues to show that home birth for women with low-risk healthy pregnancies, attended by a qualified birth attendant, is no more risky than birth in the hospital. Not only that, but in the U.S., women choosing home birth with a midwife have far fewer interventions during their labor, birth and immediate postpartum period, contributing to easier healing, breastfeeding and bonding with their new babies. Please take a moment to click here for a wonderful list of resources regarding the safety of home births.
What about pain during labor and birth? Our bodies are beautifully designed to give birth, with the release of endorphins and other hormones that help us open to the process of birth. This natural process works best when we create the most positive atmosphere possible, and surround the mother with confident, loving support. Having the ability to be upright and mobile during labor, instead of being confined to a bed can make a dramatic difference in pain perception. Also, laboring in the water, tub or shower, can provide natural pain relief.
What if the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby's neck? When the baby emerges from the birth canal, the midwife feels around the baby's neck for a cord. If a cord is present, she gently unloops it over the baby's head. If it is tight, she clamps and cuts the cord, while the baby is on the perineum. One in three babies are born with cord around the neck. It may be considered a complication, but not an emergency.
What happens if there is a complication? The level of technology available at a home birth is very similar to that available at a small, rural hospital. Florida Licensed Midwives all carry oxygen, infant resuscitation equipment, drugs for stopping hemorrhage, IV fluids, and equipment for suturing.
What about insurance? PPO Insurance covers homebirths and most HMO’s also do. In Florida, if you have maternity coverage on your policy, the law mandates coverage for Licensed Midwives. Although your policy may cover midwifery and home birth, many insurance companies do not pay the total fee for services, in spite of what they claim to do. We will work together to try to get the insurance to cover as much of the cost as we possibly can. You can click here to check and see what your benefits are with your insurance. The exception to this is Tricare, which will only cover care by Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs); however, I am willing to work out a payment plan for military families - please contact me for more information. I am no longer accepting Medicaid due to ongoing struggles with getting paid for my services. I am willing to work out a payment plan for those that qualify for Medicaid instead.
I am pregnant and have been seeing another practitioner. Can I still choose your midwife services? Absolutely! Transfer of care can be done even in the late stages of pregnancy. You will need to fill out a ‘records request’ form that allows your previous provider to send your medical records.
I'm concerned about the mess involved with having a birth at home. Birth is not quite the mess your see portrayed on TV. We can protect your bed or carpet with waterproof liners and pads, which is easy to clean-up. My assistant and I will take out your trash and run a load of laundry for you before leaving your birth. We want to leave your house just as clean as we found it!
I am Rh negative blood, is this a problem? No, I offer you 28 week Rhogam injections and post-birth baby's cord blood testing for blood type and Rhogam if the baby is a positive blood type.
How do I get a birth certificate or Social Security number? I file all the necessary paperwork to register your baby's birth with the State of Florida. The Social security card will be automatically mailed to you, and I will provide you with the request forms to obtain a copy of the birth certificate.
I live in a small apartment/house. Do I have enough room for a home birth? Yes! Babies can be born just about anywhere. As long as you have freedom to move to respond to your body’s cues, you feel safe, and the birth place is reasonably clean and warm, your home is a fine place to give birth.
I’m over 35. Can I have a home birth? Yes! As long as you are healthy and wish to take an active role in your maternity care, you are a good candidate for a home birth.
I am interested in having a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). In order to have a primary VBAC (your first vaginal birth after a cesarean), you would need to have a consult with a physician who would agree that you are low risk for a vaginal birth. At this time, I do not have a physician to consult with for primary VBAC. HOWEVER, if you have already had a successful VBAC, then the need for a physician consult is not applicable, and I can provide your care as long as you are otherwise expected to have a normal pregnancy, labor, and birth. Feel free to contact me for more information.
I still have more questions that aren't answered here. Please feel free to call and schedule a free consultation, and we can go over any other questions or concerns you may have.