Considering Home Birth? Frequently Asked Questions
What is a midwife? A midwife is a skilled caregiver who provides childbearing families with prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. There are two types of midwives in Colorado: Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) who practice in hospitals, birthing centers, and private homes; and Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs), also known as Registered Midwives or Direct-Entry Midwives. CPMs in Colorado provide services in private homes.
How do I find a midwife near me? Most folks probably find a local midwife via internet searching or word-of-mouth referrals. Ask your friends and colleagues about their birth providers. It’s a great idea to interview several midwives so you find the best fit for your family.
Why have a water birth at home? Water immersion can be a soothing balm for the intensity of labor contractions, helps your tissues stretch with ease, and it facilitates a gentle transition for babies, too. Most homebirth midwives offer a specially designed "birth pool”—ask about this when interviewing!
What are my options for pain relief? Pain relief at home is non-pharmacological and can include water (shower or bath), position changes, heating pads, massage, acupressure, counterpressure, and herbal and homeopathic remedies.
The perception of pain is related to how safe or fearful you may feel; often being in your own space, surrounded by loving people, reduces feelings of anxiety and pain.
Can you suggest some good homebirth videos? There are so many good ones out there! A recent favorite is These Are My Hours
What’s in a typical home birth kit? What home birth supplies do I need? A birth kit will contain things your midwife needs to keep your birth hygienic and to keep you as comfortable as possible including underpads, sterile gloves, an herbal “sitz bath” blend, mesh underwear and a peri-bottle. In preparation for your birth you may be asked to gather and set aside some common household items such as: a mixing bowl (for the placenta), your favorite water bottle with a straw, a large stock pot (for boiling water), a strainer (for herbs), and a large stack of towels.
Is homebirth messy? Birth is not as messy as people think it is! Midwives are quite good at containing birth fluids, cleaning up, and will even start your laundry before we leave.
What can I eat and drink during labor? You can typically eat and drink whatever you’d like; at home there are no restrictions. Some easily digested, high-energy foods to support labor include coconut water, fruit, toast with nut butter, miso broth, smoothies, kefir or yogurt.
My friend said she was eating her placenta—is she serious? Probably! Placenta encapsulation has become quite popular in the past decade. Some midwives (like me) provide this service to their clients; others will give you a referral to an encapsulation specialist in your community.