Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of midwives work at Family Birth Services?
At Family Birth Services our midwives hold a Texas license (LM) and national certification by NARM (The North American Registry of Midwives) as Certified Professional Midwives (CPM).
Who can deliver with a midwife?
Women who are low risk as defined by state guidelines. In Texas we have excellent laws that provide reasonable and clear screening instructions for licensed midwives to follow in this area.
What makes me low risk?
Generally, if you do not have any outstanding health problems requiring a regular prescription, you are probably low risk. Two common issues that would prevent you from having care with us would be insulin dependent diabetes, or high blood pressure requiring medication. For a full health screening, call today for a free consultation with one of our midwives.
What if I had complications in a previous delivery?
Not all complications indicate risk for future deliveries. Quite often women in our care have peaceful uncomplicated deliveries in spite of experiencing problems in previous labors. Your midwife will discuss your obstetrical history with you at length during your free consultation to determine if your previous complications might reoccur, or potentially be prevented with a different approach.
What about lab tests and sonograms?
You can have your necessary lab work and sonograms at Family Birth Services.
Do I need to see a doctor too?
Not necessarily. If you have no issues in your pregnancy, your midwife can handle all of your care. If a problem comes up outside of her scope of practice, your midwife may arrange for you to see a doctor or other practitioner, or you may choose to see your regular physician.
Do you take women seeking VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean)?
Yes, after screening them to ensure they are good candidates, and discussing the current recommendations for VBACs from ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists).
Do you offer water birth?
Yes. We follow the Texas water birth guidelines which we go over with you in advance.
Do I need a doula?
Not necessarily. All of our midwives are prepared to stay with you throughout labor, and offer the full range of practical and emotional support. Our midwifery model of care encompasses the physical assistance and emotional encouragement that people generally hire a doula to provide. While women in a hospital setting can greatly benefit from the help of a doula, your FBS midwife enjoys including that in her care for you during labor.
Do I have to pay an additional fee an assistant for my birth?
No. At Family Birth Services the assistant fee is including in your global fee. Well-trained FBS interns will assist at your birth at no extra charge to you.
Who can be at my birth?
You can have anyone you want at your birth. We do encourage you to select people who are supportive of your choices, and not to have more people in your space than you will feel comfortable with.
What if something goes wrong?
FBS midwives are trained to handle many of the most common complications that may occur in labor and delivery. These include positional changes for posterior babies, managing postpartum hemorrhage, and being fully trained in neonatal resuscitation. If you have a complication in labor that is outside our scope of practice, we will accompany you to the hospital for management.
Do you offer pain medication?
Not the pharmaceutical kind. We do not offer medications or epidurals for pain. However, we have a large range of comfort measures to offer including massage, counter pressure, heat, positional changes, a bath or shower, a full water birth, essential oils, homeopathics, and most of all reassurance and emotional support. Most of our clients find that in spite of the intense sensations natural childbirth can produce, they are more comfortable when they feel safe and supported than when they have medications in a hospital setting.
What about the birth certificate?
We will file the state birth certificate for you, the same way it would be done if your baby was born in a hospital.
I have relatives who are worried about the fact that we are birthing a midwife. How can I reassure them?
When people are not familiar with the midwifery model of care, they may have some concerns. We have found one of the best ways to address these concerns is with facts. Here we have included some links to the largest studies on the safety of home birth and birth with midwives.
- This study of 5418 low risk women who delivered out of hospital with CPMs showed lower risk of medical intervention and no greater intrapartum or neonatal mortality than their low risk counter parts delivering in hospitals : http://www.bmj.com/content/330/7505/1416
- An even larger study of 16,924 planned home births in the United States, by The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jmwh.12172/abstract
- And finally a 2009 study of 529,688 low-risk planned home and hospital births in the Netherlands: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19624439/
If home birth is that safe, then why do I even need a midwife?
As these studies show, the main factor that makes out of hospital birth safe is the presence of a well-trained midwife. Although birth is natural and normal, sometimes women still need help. Without a trained midwife present, there is no one to monitor the baby or the mother to ensure that everything is remaining low risk. Should a complication occur, the presence of a midwife is what ensures a safe outcome at home, or a timely transport for medical attention in a hospital. One way to confirm this is to look at the countries with the highest infant and maternal mortality rates- the one factor they all have in common is women who are regularly giving birth unattended, without midwives or doctors. For this reason, we do not recommend unattended home birth.