Midwife Services: Understanding the Process

midwife services

What Are Midwife Services?

For people who are newly pregnant, there are a lot of things to consider and think about, and if it’s their first pregnancy, there are so many new decisions to make! One of the first decisions anyone must make when they are going to have a baby is what kind of care provider they want for their pregnancy. For people who are interested in natural, holistic pregnancy care, midwife services can be a great option. Midwife services include all the typical prenatal offerings that someone would get in standard OB care, including labs, ultrasounds, prenatal genetic screening, physical assessment, and ongoing risk management. In addition to the basics, midwife services also include a whole-person approach to prenatal care and pregnancy. Midwives tend not just to the physical, but also to the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of pregnancy. Midwife services are focused on caring for the person as they are in the world. Midwives want to know how someone is feeling in their relationship, at work, and in their family structure. What are their hopes and plans for their birth? How is the transition of becoming a parent going for them? What are their fears about birth and the postpartum period? How are they sleeping and what is giving them anxiety? What do they feel proud of or what accomplishments surprised them? All of this is part of midwifery services because midwives recognize that pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes have to do with the context in which the pregnant person lives, not just the lab values and ultrasound findings. 

Midwife services include prenatal care, the birth, and postpartum care through six weeks for both mom and baby. With midwife services, clients will be seen on the standard prenatal schedule. Midwife services include 24-7 on-call availability as well as birth attendance, followed by in-home postpartum visits for both the birthing person and the baby. Midwife services, in short, include all the standard care for maternity care, with a personal and individualized touch and attendance at home for people desiring a home birth. Midwife services frequently include waterbirth, medical consultation and referral as needed, and continuous support by midwives in the event of a hospital transport. Clients can expect continuous care and support during labor, birth, and the first hours after birth as a standard part of their midwife services. 

Additionally, midwife services include a full physical exam of the newborn, comprehensive breastfeeding support, and access to all the standard newborn procedures, including newborn screening, Vitamin K, neonatal eye antibiotics, and weight and jaundice assessment. 

How Much Do Midwife Services Cost?

Midwife services vary in cost. At Hearth and Home Midwifery, we really want everyone who wants a midwife to be able to access one, so we work with individuals on payment plans and offer a discount for eligible people. In general, midwife services are less costly than a hospital birth because midwifery care is generally lower-intervention, and often interventions can be expensive. For people with private insurance, midwife services can be billed as an out-of-network expense, and typically applies toward the deductible (but doesn’t go over it.) Our clients usually receive a check at the completion of midwifery services after paying our global fee at the start of care. If you have questions about midwife services and whether you can afford them, please contact us directly so we can discuss your particular care! 

How Do You Know You’ve Found the Right Midwife?

Everyone is different, and each person will need something different from their midwifery services. This is the crux of midwifery care: it is individualized, and it is different for everyone. In general, the right midwife will make someone feel at ease. They will feel heard during appointments and have their preferences and goals understood. They will feel that their midwife is professional, caring, and experienced. In all maternity care settings, if someone does not feel comfortable and confident that their provider is the right one for them or they are not getting what they really need from their experience, they can always interview elsewhere to get more information. When it’s time to give birth, it’s very important that each person feels comfortable with their provider. If that isn’t the case, it may be time to switch to either a different midwifery service or a different provider of another kind. 

Midwife Services in Portland, Oregon & Beyond!

Hearth and Home Midwifery is now taking appointments for free, one-hour consultations in our offices in Portland and Hood River. We offer midwife services for people planning a home birth who want complete care with us. We also offer midwife services for people planning a hospital birth who want the benefit of midwifery during the prenatal and postpartum period, with the option to have us attend your birth as a support person in the hospital. We encourage anyone interested in midwife services to schedule a consultation with us to see how we can best take care of you!