Read over our

Most frequently asked questions

Would I need to see a doctor, or only you?

As Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) we are qualified to provide care to our healthy, low-risk clients throughout their pregnancy, birth and postpartum without the need for a doctor. Sometimes the need arises for a client to see another healthcare provider such as an obstetrician, chiropractor, or pediatrician for assessment, treatment or monitoring. We work collaboratively with other healthcare providers to ensure that our clients remain healthy, low-risk homebirth candidates. 

What if we need to go to the hospital during labor or birth? 

Over the course of your prenatal care we monitor for the well-being of mother and baby. If we see concerning signs arise during labor or birth we work to determine what might be happening, respond appropriately, and transport to the hospital if birth at home is no longer a safe option. We transport to the hospital by car or by ambulance (in the very rare case of emergency), and at least one Nest midwife will remain with the client throughout birth and for a short time afterwards. In the case of a hospital transport, we will share your chart with the hospital staff taking over your medical care, continue to help you advocate for your needs, provide labor support and information as the birth unfolds. We will provide continuity of care after the birth, and will come visit you for your postpartum visits!

Who will be there for my birth?

At least one experienced, licensed Nest Midwife will attend your birth, along with an assistant midwife and/or a student midwife. Our priority is to ensure we have enough hands to assist you and baby during the birth and in the first hours afterward.

What about the mess of a homebirth? Who cleans that up?

We clean up your home after the birth while you’re feeding and bonding with your baby. Of course our first priority is monitoring the wellbeing of mom and baby for the first hours after birth. But feeding you a meal, changing your sheets, starting your laundry, removing the birth tub (if you used one) and cleaning up any birth remnants are a natural part of our care. We understand that it’s hard enough to sleep when you just want to stare at this wonder you just met!

What do you do with the placenta? 

We actually discuss the delivery of the placenta, so that we are informed as to what you’d like to do or have done with your baby’s placenta. You do not need to do anything with it, or even see it, for that matter! We are happy to dispose of it after examination, and we also support our clients choosing to hold onto their placentas for various reasons- some nutritive, some ceremonial, some don’t know quite why but want to hold onto it and decide later.

We have a big family and I’d like to have them at my birth- is that okay with you?

Absolutely! Your birth experience is only yours, and you get to set up the environment to be the most supportive to your anticipated needs. This being said- we will thoroughly discuss your ideas around birth attendants with you and help you process the who and when and why in your family, trying to emphasize that each person present should bring something to offer you as the hard working birther! 

I’ve seen pictures of women catching their own babies, and they look euphoric! Is that possible?

Yes! We spend a lot of time talking with you in your last weeks of pregnancy about your birth, and want to hear all about what’s most important to you and your partner in the experience. We’ll do our best to facilitate just that! We also spend lots of time talking about the unpredictable nature of birth and how we often don’t have the birth we’d envisioned, and yet it somehow ends up being just the perfect birth we needed.

What if I need stitches?

We provide a thorough assessment of your bottom after delivery and discuss what we see. Often there is only minor damage, but if any tears need stitches we come prepared to do repairs with a local anesthetic, suture material and sterile instruments to take care of you. 

What supplies will I need for a homebirth?

What a great question! We will give you a birth supply list around 24-28 weeks in pregnancy, and ask you to gather these supplies prior to your home visit, which is the beginning of your due time. We carry birth kits including all medical supplies, such instruments and emergency equipment. Some items are things you’ll already have, such as towels, extra bed sheets, baby blankets and diapers, and thermometer. Other supplies you’ll need to buy, borrow or make (We love the DIY approach!). We also ask you to buy a customized birth kit from Radiant Belly Birth Supplies.

What if I’m hoping for a waterbirth? 

Let’s talk more about what a waterbirth could look like! If you are hoping to labor and give birth in the water, you can use either a deep soaking tub or we can rent you a portable birth tub. You will need a few extra supplies (listed on the Birth Supply List), including a potable water hose, a sterile tub liner, and some extra towels. We will bring the birth tub to your home visit at around 36 weeks so that you’ll have it ready when your labor begins. After the birth, we will drain, clean and remove the tub so you can focus on cuddling your baby!

Is having a homebirth safe? Where can I find the most current, evidence-based statistics?

A 2014 study of almost 17,000 planned homebirths in the United States showed that for low-risk, healthy women, having a homebirth with an experienced midwife is as safe as giving birth in the hospital. In fact, homebirthing individuals in the study had a very high rate of vaginal birth (95%), and low rates of intervention. For more details, check out: Homebirth Study One-page Fact Sheet