Click on Each Section to Read FAQs:
“What do Midwives do?“
Midwives are experts in NORMAL birth and are the standard and preferred maternity care providers throughout much of the world, not coincidentally in countries where health outcomes for moms and babies are ranked the best.
Midwives view pregnancy and birth as healthy, normal processes that call for supervision and care. In the Midwives model of care, the childbearing woman has the central role. A midwife addresses the psychological and emotion health as well as the physical health of the mother and seeks to empower the woman by helping her master the challenges of pregnancy and birth.
The Midwives Model of Care™ is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events. The Midwives Model of Care includes:
Monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
Minimizing technological interventions and;
Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention
The application of this model has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section. The Midwives Model of Care definition above is Copyright © 1996-2001, Midwifery Task Force, All Rights Reserved.
“What kind of training do Midwives have?”
Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM®)
CNMs are registered nurses with graduate education in midwifery. They have graduated from a masters nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). This education includes a university degree as well as hands-on clinical training by practicing CNMs. They also have passed the national certification exam of theAmerican Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). CNMs provide general women’s health care throughout a woman’s lifespan. These services include general health check-ups and physical exams; pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care; well woman gynecologic care; and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. CNMs are able to prescribe a full range of substances, medications, and treatments, including pain control medications. CNMs work in many different settings, such as hospitals, health centers, private practices, birth centers, and homes. Most midwives in the United States are CNMs.
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
CPMs prepare for a national certification exam administered by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) in different ways. There are two primary pathways for CPM education with differing requirements: apprenticeship training alone or an accredited formal education program. The health care services provided by CPMs are not as broad as those of CNMs and CMs. CPMs provide pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care for women outside of the hospital—often in birth centers and homes. CPMs are not able to prescribe most medications.
Here at New Beginnings, our staff is composed of both experienced Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives, and all are licensed to practice in the state of Idaho. We are dedicated to providing evidenced-based midwifery services to women of all ages.
“Will I have one Midwife or do Midwives rotate call?”
It is important to the midwifery staff that you have an opportunity to meet all of the Midwives here and to insure that you will be comfortable and familiar with everyone that will be attending you for your labor and birth. Getting to know the staff happens during prenatal visits.
“When during labor should I call the Midwife?”
This will be answered for you during your prenatal visits as one standard simply cannot be applied to every woman.
“What is a doula, and do I need one?”
A doula is a professional labor support person. We love doulas! We easily integrate good doulas into the birth as we find them to be so helpful to both the partner and the mother.
How do I get started?
First, schedule a complimentary consultation appointment to ask any questions and make sure you feel comfortable with us and our services. When you are ready to schedule your first prenatal visit simply contact us and we will happily help you begin your journey!
“How soon should I be seen?”
Most of our clients schedule their initial appointment between week 8 and 12 of pregnancy. Please do not hesitate to schedule your first visit when you feel it is necessary even if it is before 8 weeks.
“How often will I have prenatal visits?”
Unless you have issues or concerns that would require more frequent visits, our prenatal schedule is every 4 weeks until you are 28 weeks along, then every 2 weeks until you are 36 weeks along, then every week until you have the baby. If there are any concerns and we need to see you more often, we’ll do so.
“What happens at a prenatal visit?”
At these visits your midwife will check your vital signs, weight, and urine. As it becomes possible to do so, she will check the baby’s heart rate and the position and growth of the baby. Ample time is provided to answer your questions and address your concerns, but as with all care at New Beginnings, if you feel you need more time to discuss a particular topic, please just ask. We tailor all our care to meet the specific needs of the family. Some mothers (especially those with other children) appreciate that we are able to be thorough and quick in their appointments, others need the full appointment time to cover all their needs.
“Can I get an ultrasound?”
At New Beginnings we are glad to provide limited ultrasounds for our clients in our facility, though they are not required. Please understand that our Midwives are not certified Sonographers, but have been informally trained. Our ultrasounds are not diagnostic. Examples of why we may do an ultrasound are to confirm the due date or find out the sex of baby if this is important to you.
“Do you offer childbirth classes?”
We now offer childbirth classes! Please call for more on class details. We also do recommend a variety of independent childbirth educators whom we feel provide excellent classes. Please see our list of childbirth educators and feel free to contact them for information.
“How many people will attend my birth?”
You can expect to have a mixture of Midwives and/or students present for birth. We want to assure you we are not all in the room with you all the time, but also to assure you that we are diligent about monitoring mother and baby. We monitor you unobtrusively and work hard to maintain an effective balance to our presence in your space and your need for privacy.
“Can I invite other people to my birth?”
Of course! This is your birth. You may invite anyone you wish to be there. However, there are good reasons and “not as good” reasons to invite people to your birth and we hope you will seriously weigh the pros and cons to having other people in your birth. Please only allow people who are supportive of you and your plans for your birth. Fear is a powerful force that can impact your body, your birth and your baby adversely. You need strong support and encouragement during your labor and you absolutely do not need to be taking care of other people’s needs, nor should you need to perform for them. It may seem like a good idea to have a lot of people you love with you in birth, but you should ask, what if it takes well over 24 hours? Will you be concerned about those people? Only invite those who will truly strengthen, affirm and help you. It IS all about YOU this day. This is YOUR birth.
“How do I deal with family members who may not understand/support my birth plans?“
Every family is different and most family members of New Beginnings clients (especially the returning ones) are so supportive. If you have family who need education and reassurance, we invite you to bring them with you to one of your appointments and give them that opportunity to ask questions and view the birthing center. Usually, this puts fears to rest. You can check out books and videos from our library to share with them if you feel that would help.
Some clients choose to keep their choice of how, and where they are giving birth private until after the baby arrives, but ultimately, you know your family best, and you know best how to interact with them on this topic. One last point about this: It is our job to protect everyone in our birth center—our staff as well as our other laboring families. We reserve the right to limit the number of people in the birth center during a birth. We may ask them to wait in your (or their home) for your baby to born.
“What if something goes wrong?”
A midwife is an expert in normal birth. She is trained to keep things normal, and if complications do occur, to recognize and correct them. The most common complications in birth can be safely handled by the midwife. In the rare case that a complication arises she cannot correct, your midwife will quickly get you to a hospital where you can get the best medical attention.
“Can my partner catch the baby?”
We will be happy to help your partner through the process if that is your common desire. Four handed “catches” with a midwife’s hands supporting are welcomed as well. Just let us know if that is what you’d like and we’ll do our best (depending upon the circumstances at the time) to make sure it happens.
“Can/should my children attend?”
Of course your children may attend, but whether you want them to depends on both you and your children. Most children do very well at births, especially if they are prepared (through books and videos, which you can check out from our library). However, very young children may be too little to understand and may be frightened, frustrated, or bored and they may require your partner’s attention just when you want it most. The laboring mother is most important and so to allow you to concentrate on your own needs during your labor, having another adult who is charged solely with the care of the small children is very important. They should be ready, willing, and able to take the child (children) out of the room if necessary.
“Will the baby be monitored?”
Yes, we will diligently monitor your baby using an intermittent method in regular intervals (and, additionally, anytime we feel it necessary. We use a hand-held doppler which gives you freedom to move and assume any position you wish. We also have water-proof covers for our dopplers so that monitoring you if you choose to labor and/or birth in the water is possible.
“Do I have to have an IV?”
No, although IVs are available for things like the treatment of group B strep (GBS), general hydration and emergencies, we do not routinely use an IV in labor.
“Will I have an episiotomy (a cut to enlarge the vaginal opening)?”
We are committed to protecting your perineum from tearing. In our opinion, an episiotomy should only be done as an emergency measure and while we have done it as necessary, it is extremely rare in our practice.
“How early is too early to have the baby?”
The definition of “pre-term” is before 37 weeks gestation (3 weeks before your due date). Because there is a significant risk that the lungs will not be mature enough for the baby to breathe without help, and other organ systems may also be underdeveloped.
“What if I go overdue?”
Many times babies are “overdue”, especially first babies. Contrary to popular opinion, the risks of postmaturity do not begin to increase significantly until at least 2 full completed weeks after the due date. We are content to let babies come when they will. Induction by any method entails risk. However, there are times when a health problem or other issue makes it worth it to take those risks. In Idaho, licensed Midwives cannot assist at the birth of a baby after 42 completed weeks. If you find yourself in this situation, speak with your midwife about your options.
“Do you have a birth ball?”
Yes, we have birth balls. The birth ball is very helpful to lean over while in hands-and-knees position, to sit on, or to push against. We also have a birth stool and we love its presence in the birthing room! The supported squat is remarkably helpful during pushing.
“Am I allowed to labor in the water?”
At New Beginnings Birth Center, each of our 3 private birth suites has its own large birthing tubs. Often referred to as “the Midwives epidural”, there are many benefits to laboring in water:
- Reduces sensory stimulus, thus producing less stress-related hormones
- Increases production of pain inhibitors, i.e., endorphins
- Decreases blood pressure – Increases ability of the mother to focus
- Reduces the sensations of pain
- An analgesic effect
- Increases skin elasticity, reducing the amount of perineal tearing
- Makes it easy for mom or dad (with midwife assistance) to “catch” their own baby because of the buoyancy of water
- Gentler birth for baby unless circumstances require another position, you may give birth in whatever position or place feels best to you.
“Do you offer waterbirth? What is the tub like?”
Yes! We love waterbirth. The birthing suites have wonderful tubs. Please view all the photos on our website for glimpses of the birth tubs and women laboring in them.
“What makes New Beginnings Birth Center special?”
Just ask our families. We have served many local families with outstanding outcomes. We are proud to say most people learn about us from their friends, families and colleagues. We are grateful for the continued and consistent direct word-of-mouth referral from our families – the best compliment we could get.
“Is pain relief available?”
Pharmacological or drug pain relief (such as epidural) is not available. What we offer are many natural methods of comfort and pain relief. For example, laboring in one of our 3 birthing tubs is highly effective for relief and comfort but we also use many other tools and techniques to help you work through and with your labor. While most women agree birth is hard work, women are varied in their perceptions of pain levels during birth and it may be helpful for you to know that historically, less than one percent of our clients require transfer to hospital for pain medication.
“What if I have had a prior Cesarean Section? Can I have a VBAC?”
Yes, the vast majority of women seeking VBAC meet the criteria for Idaho licensed Midwives to be able to care for them in pregnancy and childbirth . We have cared for many women who wanted a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). All were excellent candidates and had successful vaginal births with excellent outcomes for each mother and baby. We welcome you to come and visit with us if you are interested in a VBAC.
“What if the baby is breech?”
Breech deliveries are riskier than vertex (head first) . We will check the baby’s position at every prenatal visit during your last two months. If your baby turns breech, we will do everything we can to return it to a head down position. For example, we will give you various exercises and techniques you can use to help encourage the baby to turn. Idaho law does not allow Licensed Midwives to catch breech babies.
“Can you catch twins?”
No, Idaho law does not allow licensed Midwives to care for a women who is pregnant with twins.
“What happens at a postpartum visit?”
The first postpartum check occurs in the first day after birth. Subsequent visits are usually at two weeks and six weeks after birth. Your midwife will check both you and the baby to be sure you are recovering normally. You’ll also have a chance to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. If we are doing the Newborn Metabolic Screening for you, your midwife will do them at the first and second postpartum visits. We are also available by phone 24/7 to address questions and concerns.
Cost of Care
“Do you take insurance?”
New Beginnings Birth Center does accept and bill for healthcare insurance. We have a truly unique process of billing insurance providers. Our insurance clients pay their family deductible for the baby birth year to the birth center and that’s it! Please see our Health Insurance page for more information about this topic.
“What if I can’t afford it?”
We realize it can be tough to pay for your maternity care. We have tried to implement several payment plan options to make it easier. For your convenience we also take all major credit cards (Visa, M/C, Discover, American Express) payable online 24/7.
“Do you give a discount if I enter care late in my pregnancy?”
No. We have found if we offer a discount to latecomers, some women choose to delay or skip prenatal care in order to save money. We do not want to encourage this practice because we believe good prenatal care is fundamental to a good birth outcome. So, we offer our services in packages that include prenatal care, whether it be many visits or few.
“What is your refund policy?”
Generally, if you withdraw from our care for any reason prior to the onset of labor, you are entitled to a refund of all monies paid minus the cost of each prenatal visit, ultrasound, and blood draw. Please see the Refund Policy page for more details on this topic.