The choice of a birth place is a personal one, and must be made by a person and their support system after careful consideration. Birth in the hospital setting is actually relatively new, if one looks back at our whole human history; prior to the 20th century the majority of people gave birth at home, attended by midwives and other community members. The focus of birth in America has shifted slowly over the past century and half to include male attendants, prioritizing obstetric care over midwifery care, and assuming that a hospital is safest. In fact, research shows that, for low-risk people planning home birth with a trained attendant, home birth is as safe or safer than birth in the hospital. The reasons for this are numerous: home births offer fewer interventions likely to interfere with the natural progress of labor, people are often more relaxed in their own homes and their labors reflect this comfort, and people laboring at home are not exposed to the powerful and virulent germ environment of many hospitals. Beyond the statistics, we have witnessed and believe that home birth should be available to all people as a choice for their pregnancy and birth, and that pregnant people should choose to give birth where they will feel best cared for. For more information and resources specifically about the safety of homebirth, please see http://www.mana.org/research/homebirth-safety or http://www.mana.org/blog/home-birth-safety-outcomes
What communities do you serve?
Brainerd Lakes Midwifery provides homebirth to families within approximately 90 miles of Brainerd, MN. This would include the communities of Brainerd/Baxter, Nisswa, Motley, Pillager, Crosby, Deerwod, Staples, Aitkin, Grand Rapids, Walker, Wadena, Bemidji, Garrison, Milaca, Little Falls, St Cloud, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, Emily, Browerville, Lincoln, Cushing, Crosslake, Fifty Lakes, Pine River/Backus, Pierz…...don’t see your community’s name on the list? Not to worry. Call and talk with us and we can either tell you about our services or direct you to a midwife closer to home.
Regardless of your home town, all prenatal and postpartum appointments are scheduled at our Brainerd office, aside from your 36-week home visit. If you are interested in birth at A New Story Birth Center, 1-2 of your prenatal visits would be scheduled there, as well as a full facility tour. Your 1-, 3-, and 7-day postpartum appointments are also in the home.
What will my family and friends think?
Although home birth is slightly on the rise, it is still a choice that fewer than 2% of pregnant people make in America. Sharing this choice with friends and family can elicit a mix of excitement and trepidation; often the best tool for communication is education. Pregnant people can share books or films on home birth with curious or skeptical friends and family; a concerned grandma may want to accompany a couple to a prenatal appointment and have time to ask questions of their midwife.
Isn’t it messy?
This is a common concern. Between the supplies in your home birth kit and the skill of your attendants, most families are surprised at how quickly and easily any elements from birth are cleaned up. Your midwife and her assistants tidy up from a birth quickly, tuck you into clean sheets, and start your laundry and dispose of any trash before leaving. If you have had a water birth, we also bring equipment to drain your pool so that your family can concentrate on rest and bonding with baby.
What about emergencies?
Skilled midwives are trained in the normality of childbirth and in how to recognize when situations deviate from the normal. Our time together prenatally provides a foundation for safe, low-risk birth. During the course of care we provide ample time to answer your questions about emergency scenarios and our training and equipment/medications that help in these situations.
CAN MY CHILDREN/SISTER/NEIGHBOR/DOULA/PHOTOGRAPHER PARTICIPATE IN MY BIRTH?
This is your birth experience, and we support your choice to have anyone present at your birth that is an important support to you. During the course of care we discuss prenatal, birth, and postpartum support, family concerns, and help you navigate what will most help you when labor draws near.
Do you accept insurance?
Possibly! Insurance companies and plans are varied in their coverage of midwifery care. At your initial visit you will complete paperwork so that we can begin the process of benefits verification with your healthcare plan. Even if your insurance plan does not cover home delivery, some reimbursement for your prenatal and postpartum care is often available. Every effort is made to obtain optimal insurance coverage for your care. We do require payment in full by 32 weeks. Your birth and prenatal/postpartum care is billed after your 6-week postpartum visit and any reimbursement due to you from your insurance company will be processed as promptly as possible. Families choosing birth center birth arrange for insurance billing and/or facility fees with the birth center separately from their midwifery global fee. Many families find that, with or without insurance coverage, home birth is more reasonably priced than uncomplicated vaginal birth in hospital and sometimes even lower priced than the average hospital co-pay.
CAN I USE YOU AS A MIDWIFE AND HAVE MY BABY IN THE HOSPITAL?
Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) are specifically trained to be skilled attendants at out-of-hospital births. As a CPM/LM I do not hold privileges at area hospitals or do deliveries as part of a hospital team. If transfer of care to the hospital becomes necessary during labor for any reason, your midwife will stay with you in a support role and ensure that the medical staff have all important information in order to continue your care in a complete, compassionate manner.