Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I hire a midwife?

Midwives are experts in normal childbirth. They believe in the woman’s ability to give birth naturally. Statistically, the safest place for a low-risk woman to give birth is at home or in a birth center with a  trained midwife. (1) Midwives specialize in natural home births and waterbirths. When working with a trained midwife, a woman can eat and drink and move around freely. She will have continuity of care throughout her pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum experience. She is more likely to be treated and her progress evaluated as an individual, rather than being sacrificed to protocols or statistical averages. She is much less likely to need pain medications and the risk of cesarean section is greatly reduced. She will not be subjected to routine procedures such as continuous electronic monitoring or routine use of IV fluids and she’ll see a decrease in postpartum depression. (Back to top)
Happy mother home birth.

What is a midwife?

Midwives specialize in normal pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care for women and babies. They believe in a woman’s ability to give birth naturally. When working with a licensed midwife, a woman will have continuity of care throughout her pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum experience. She is more likely to be treated as an individual with unique needs and preferences. She is much less likely to need pain management medication and the risk of cesarean section is greatly reduced.  She will not be subjected to routine procedures, and she is less likely to experience complications or require interventions. (Back to top) 

Are there health requirements to be a SCV Birth Center candidate?

If you are having a normal pregnancy, with no complications or major pre-existing conditions, you are considered “low risk, and are a candidate for home birth.” Each of our clients are evaluated to ensure that out-of-hospital birth is the best choice for them. Contact us to discuss your specific circumstances or to set up a free consultation with our midwives. (Back to top)

Can I have a baby with the SCV Birth Center if I’ve had a previous C-section?

If you’ve had one previous c-section and it was over 12 months ago, you may be able to come into our care.  If you’ve had multiple c-sections, we refer you to an appropriate care provider.  We are committed to supporting women in finding the best care for their individual needs. (Back to top) 

What happens if I need to go to the hospital?

The SCV Birth Center is well-equipped to handle the very rare unforeseen emergency. Our midwives carry emergency medications and equipment and are trained and certified in Neonatal Resuscitation, Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support and Obstetrics (ALSO), and Advanced Fetal Monitoring.

In spite of our best efforts, complications do arise. An individualized transfer-of-care plan is established during your prenatal care. This plan designates a specific collaborating physician and hospital that will warmly accept you in the event a transport to a hospital is necessary. Although at that point our midwives are no longer the primary care provider, we will remain with you and function as in-hospital labor support. Most transports are not “911” emergencies, so we simply put the mother in the car and drive to the hospital that we have previously designated. (Back to top) 

Six babies in circle.


Do you monitor the baby during labor?

The midwives at the SCV Birth Center carefully monitor you and your baby’s safety in accordance with the standards set by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).  We practice intermittent fetal monitoring.

Hospitals use continuous fetal monitoring. The evidence against continuous electronic fetal monitoring is so clear that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation saying that continuous electronic fetal monitoring should NOT be used in low risk women. Even ACOG has endorsed intermittent auscultation as an “appropriate and safe alternative” to electronic fetal monitoring. (Back to top) 

Who is in attendance at my birth?

For the safety of the mother and the baby, we have two midwives, or one midwife and a senior midwifery student, attend each birth.  Each are trained in Neonatal Resuscitation, Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support and Obstetrics (ALSO), and Advanced Fetal Monitoring. All of our midwives have extensive experience in home births and waterbirths. (Back to top)

Can my older child(ren) be present at the birth?

You can have whomever you feel comfortable with at your birth. Children generally do great with natural birth, especially when they’ve been adequately prepared. (Back to top)
Two happy smiling children.

What’s the difference between a doula and a midwife?

Birth doulas offer emotional support, encouragement and wisdom throughout labor and birth. Postpartum doulas support women and families through the transformation that a new baby brings to a family. 

Midwives are trained health care professionals who provide maternity and gynecological care. They are licensed by the medical board, and are responsible for the health and safety of mom and baby, just as a doctor is. (Back to top) 

Do you offer a payment plan?

We are a cash pay practice and offer a flexible payment schedule.  We do ask that we are paid in full by your 36th week of pregnancy.  Please call our office if your situation requires further accommodation. (Back to top)

Does insurance cover the cost of having a baby with the SCV Birth Center?

Most PPO insurance plans will cover a portion of your birth, depending on your deductible. Before you begin care, we will help you verify your benefits so you will have a good indication of what your plan may pay. (Back to top)