Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Midwives Model of Care?

The Midwives Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.

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
  • Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention

The application of this woman-centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.

Is an out-of-hospital birth safe?

Out-of-hospital birth (at the birth center or in your own home) is as safe as, or safer than, a hospital birth for the majority of women. Florida licensed midwives complete 3 years of hands-on education before sitting the licensing exam written by the North American Registry of Midwives. Licensed by the Florida Department of Health, Florida LMs must adhere to the midwifery law, regulating standard of care and ensuring that LMs only attend low risk women who are appropriate for out-of-hospital birth. 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.

Citizens for Midwifery has a printout you can read and share with your family and friends.

What are the benefits of home birth?

Childbirth is a natural biological function, not an illness or disease requiring medical intervention. The benefits are endless, but here are a few…

  • You are in charge of your birth
  • Your body can work at its own pace; you aren’t put on any time limit.
  • No need to travel during labor or long car rides home.
  • You can eat and drink according to your need; food and drink are not restricted.
  • You can cope far better with labor in familiar surroundings with familiar people supporting you.
  • You can labor in whatever positions and attire you find most comfortable; no stirrups and no hospital gown
  • There are no unnecessary medical interventions at home
  • Siblings or other family members can be present and the experience can be very personal and private.
  • You or your partner can even “catch” the baby
  • Daddy or an older sibling can cut the cord.
  • Babies born at home are drug-free and trauma-free due to the gentle handling of a midwife
  • There is less chance of infection at home for you and your baby
  • More time can be taken for you and your family to get to know the baby, instead of him being whisked off to a nursery; all baby exams are done in your presence on your bedside
  • Breastfeeding can be more successful because it can be done at your own pace and you won’t be interfered with by well-meaning nurses quick to offer a bottle of formula
  • Best of all, your midwife is with you at all times; there are no shift changes and there is no one else there having a baby but you.

What about the pain of labor?

Our bodies are 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 emergency equipment and medicine do you have or bring?

Basically, we carry more emergency equipment for a mother and newborn than what is found on an ambulance (paramedics provide the safe ride). We have all of the equipment necessary for resuscitation (includes oxygen and suction) and postpartum hemorrhage (includes IV fluids and medication), among many other things. Because our supply list is so extensive, we answer any specific questions you have at your consultation upon request.

Birth centers are not mini-hospitals — your labor will never be induced or stimulated with oxytocin (Pitocin), and c-sections, instrumental deliveries and monitoring with electronic fetal monitors are not done at birth centers or at home. But birth centers and midwives are equipped with IVs, oxygen, medication, and infant resuscitation equipment, so if need be, emergency care can be started while you and your baby await transport to the hospital.

How much does an out-of-hospital birth cost?

Homebirths and birth center births are considerably less expensive then delivering in the hospital because you do not have to pay for the cost of the hospital. Our fee for midwifery service includes all prenatal care, labor and delivery, a 48-hour postpartum check and the newborn metabolic screening, an additional 2 week postpartum visit, and your final 6 week pospartum visits. Blood work and lab fees are billed directly to Medicaid, your insurance, or to you.For more information about fees, please contact usat The Ocala Birth Center via email or by phone.

Does insurance cover midwifery care?

In Florida, if you have maternity coverage on your policy, the law mandates coverage for Licensed Midwives. PPO Insurance covers homebirths and most HMO’s also do. Although your policy may cover midwifery and homebirth, many insurance companies do not pay the total fee for services, in spite of what they claim to do. We do our best to help you get the maximum reimbursement from your insurance company. We also currently accept Florida Medicaid for midwifery services.

I am pregnant and started prenatal care with 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 to us.

What about the mess of a homebirth?

Birth is not quite the mess you see portrayed on TV. We protect your bed or carpet with waterproof liners and pads, which make for easy clean-up. Your birth team makes sure to take out the trash and run a load of laundry for you before leaving your home. We leave your house just as clean as we found it!

How do I get a birth certificate or Social Security number?

We 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 we provide you with the request forms to obtain a copy of the birth certificate from your county’s health department.

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.

Who may I have with me at the birth?

You may have anyone you like at your birth and who is supportive and inspiring to your choices. We strongly urge our clients to surround themselves with positive, helpful people. We will help maintain your vision of birth. Please remember that this time is all about you and your family. When choosing who to have present, please consider “How will this person aid in this process?”, “Do they provide loving energy?”, “Can they help with my children or prepare food?”. Remember, you need to be able to let go during birth, with absolutely no inhibitions.  A prepared birth team and family with love and support make for a wonderful birth!

What books do you recommend?

There are lots of pregnancy books that I love, and some I love a lot less. One of the ones I would not recommend is the ever-popular “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. That book focus on fear-based information and is not the most appropriate for those planning out-of-hospital births.The books we recommend most for Pregnancy, Labor, and the Postpartum period are listed here under our Client Resources.