Great Expectations Midwifery Care     
Your Homebirth Midwife for Safe, Gentle, Comprehensive Care              


Here are a few frequently asked questions. If you have questions you would like answered, contact Allyson by clicking here to schedule a free one hour consultation.

What is a midwife?

"A midwife is a trained professional with special expertise in supporting women to maintain a healthy pregnancy birth, offering expert individualized care, education, counseling and support to a woman and her newborn throughout the childbearing cycle.

A midwife works with each woman and her family to identify their unique physical, social and emotional needs. When the care required is outside the midwife's scope of practice or expertise, the woman is referred to other health care providers for additional consultation or care." Citizens for Midwifery

What does a midwife do?

Allyson provides prenatal care to pregnant women, attends women one-on-one in labor continuously (meaning no shift change, no strangers) until a few hours after the baby is born, provides postpartum and newborn care for women and their babies in the first 2 months after the baby is born, and offers well woman care (such as annual exams, Paps, etc) and preconception planning.

What happens at a prenatal visit with the midwife?

During prenatal visits, Allyson does clinical tasks such as: take full health history, physical exams as needed, check blood pressure, check urine for health, evaluate the baby's growth, listen to the baby's heart, and palpate to ascertain fluid levels and the baby's position. Allyson can also order lab work or imaging/ultrasounds, as needed. In addition to the clinical tasks, the other focus of one hour long prenatal visits is the opportunity for getting to know each other, learning the family's preferences, discussion options during prenatal care, and teaching about educational topics for the family. With the permission of the mother, siblings and partners are incorporated into midwife visits.

Why should I consider hiring a midwife?

Each family in the care of Great Expectations Midwifery Care has chosen a midwife for different reasons. Most have chosen care with a midwife because they feel it is the safest, healthiest option for themselves and their babies. Other reasons clients cite for choosing a midwife are:

  • longer visits - visits are scheduled for 1 hour
  • the availability of having someone on-call 24/7/365 during pregnancy and postpartum
  • a focus on health, wellness, and prevention
  • the personalized care and relationship that comes from one-on-one care with a midwife
  • the emphasis on education
  • the promotion of informed choice and becoming an active participant in making health care decisions
  • affordability
  • the encouragement for the mother to give birth with the people she wants around, in the ways that will bring her comfort and strength
What schedule do I see the midwife during pregnancy?

Clients visit Allyson on the same schedule as you might see an ob/gyn during pregnancy: monthly until 28 weeks, every two weeks from 28-36 weeks, then weekly until the baby is born. After the birth, Allyson cares for both the mom and baby. She checks in by phone at 12 hours postpartum, comes back to the family's home at 24-48 hours, checks in by phone at 3 days, and sees the family for postpartum and newborn visits at 1 week, 2 weeks, and 6-8 weeks. Of course, more visits are available, if needed.

Do you accept insurance?

Yes, Allyson works with a medical biller to bill insurance companies. Many insurance companies reimburse at the out-of-network provider rate.

What kinds of pain relief options are available during a home birth?

There are many, many options for pain relief during a home birth, however, preparation begins during pregnancy. Knowledge and understanding of labor and birth processes are key! With knowledge, a woman feels less fear about labor and, thus, less pain. Some of the comfort measures available to laboring women are: warm water (with a bath tub, rented birth tub, or shower), breathing strategies, massage, aromatherapy, counterpressure on the low back and hips, support of a doula (a labor support coach), the ability to eat and drink (having low blood sugar leads to higher levels of pain), position changes, walking and moving, the presence of any support people you would like, the feelings of security and calmness that come from being at home, warm and cool compresses, guided relaxation, meditation, music, use of a birth ball, coaching with support and encouragement from midwives/doula/partners, and much more! 

Is home birth messy?

Not really. Families will purchase a birth kit with disposable supplies for the birth (about $40-$50), including plastic backed absorbent pads (Chux pads), which Allyson will utilize to protect the area where the mom chooses to birth. After the birth, Allyson tidies up the birth area, disposes of any waste in a single, small kitchen trash bag, and she often starts a load of laundry on her way out postpartum.

What is your transport rate?

The transport rate for Great Expectations is about 6%. Most of these transports are not emergencies (i.e. maternal exhaustion/request for pain relief or the baby's heart rate is beginning to show signs of stress) and are achieved by private car.

How will the midwife know if something is wrong during pregnancy or labor?

Allyson does a continually risk screening process with each mother and baby every time she sees them for a visit or in labor. This risk screening process ensures that the mom and baby are staying low-risk for care with a midwife. Allyson evaluates clinical information (such as lab work, ultrasounds, mom's and baby's vital signs) in combination with conversations, history taking, and feedback from the mother to determine that mom and baby are still good candidates for midwifery care. The vast majority of time there are signs that occur before a problem develops, whether during pregnancy or labor, which allows plenty of time for decision making and action. Not every sign of a problem means a transfer to the hospital; many times, there are things we can do at home to keep mom and baby healthy.

What does the midwife do if a mom or baby are not good candidates for midwifery care?

If mom and baby are not good candidates for midwifery care, then their care will be transferred to another provider. Allyson is extensively trained to immediately recognize when anything is outside the range of normal, whether during pregnancy, birth, or beyond. Many times, if something is outside the range of normal, Allyson can make suggestions for changes for helping the mom and baby stay low-risk. If it is determined that the mom and baby's care needs to be transferred, Allyson is trained to keep mom and baby stable until the transfer of care is established.

How do I get a birth certificate and Social Security Number?

Allyson will file the baby's birth certificate and request a Social Security Number, once the family has decided on the baby's name after the birth. After that you will be able to order copies of the birth certificate online and the Social Security Card will come in the mail.

How do I know if I am a good candidate for a home birth?

To find out if you are a good candidate for a home birth, schedule a free consultation visit with Allyson. The short answer is, most women are good candidates for home birth, statistically speaking!
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