FAQ's

What areas does Birthstream serve?

We serve families in Yolo, Solano, and Sacramento counties.

 

Who does Birthstream serve?

Most healthy women are candidates for homebirth, including pregnant women of all ages and women with a previous cesarean birth. We attend many births of first babies as well as many adding an 8th, 9th, or 10th baby to a large family!

 

Where are visits held?

We come to you! All prenatal and postpartum visits are held in your own home. In addition to being more comfortable for you, this makes it easier for you to care for your other children during appointments.

 

What is the schedule of prenatal visits?

We see you every month during your pregnancy until 32 weeks, then every two weeks until 36 weeks, then weekly until baby is born. We are available for extra visits as needed for specific concerns.

 

What happens at prenatal visits?

At each visit, we check your blood pressure, pulse, and urine; discuss nutrition and self-care; and check baby’s growth and position. But pregnancy is more than just a physical journey, and we discuss how it shapes your emotional life and relationships. Visits average 60 minutes long and there is plenty of time to discuss your questions and concerns. Partners, children, and other family members are welcome at visits.

 

How will I get lab work and ultrasounds?

We have an account with Quest Labs and can order labs and ultrasounds as needed. We will discuss your options for lab work, ultrasounds, and prenatal screening at appointments.

 

Who will come to my birth and what will you bring?

We typically have two experienced midwives at each birth. We bring a fetal Doppler to listen to baby’s heartbeat during labor (it even works in the tub.) We bring herbs and homeopathic medicines, as well as medications to prevent and manage hemorrhage. We bring oxygen, resuscitation equipment, and suction devices, and we are all trained in neonatal resuscitation. We also carry sterile instruments and local anesthetic for suturing tears, if needed.

 

Do you offer water birth?

Many of our clients use water for labor and/or birth. We have several tubs, which we bring to our clients’ homes around 37 weeks, along with the hoses and supplies needed for the tub.

 

How long do you stay after the birth?

We stay until everything is cleaned up and the family is tucked into bed for a post-birth nap, usually about three hours. During this time, we do a complete newborn exam (after baby has nursed), make sure mom has eaten, and suture any tears (many women do not need sutures). We also offer Vitamin K and erythromycin eye ointment for baby if chosen by the parents. We review postpartum instructions and arrange to return the following day.

 

What about the mess?

We are very good at preventing messes, and we clean up after the birth, take out the garbage, and start the birth laundry. We try to leave your home at least as clean as we found it.

 

What is the schedule of postpartum visits?

Our clients tell us often how much they love the postpartum support they get from Birthstream! We see you in your home on day one, day three, day five, two weeks, four weeks, and six weeks after the birth. Each visit includes care for both mother and baby. We are always available for extra visits if you are concerned about your recovery or your baby’s well-being. We offer the California Newborn Screen at our day three visit.

 

Is breastfeeding support available?

Absolutely! We are experienced in supporting women through the early days and weeks of breastfeeding. Each postpartum visit includes breastfeeding support, and we are available for extra visits if you are facing challenges. We also offer referrals to board certified Lactation Consultants if needed.

 

What is placenta encapsulation?

Placenta encapsulation is the practice of ingesting the placenta after it has been steamed, dehydrated, ground, and placed into pills.  Traditionally, this is taken by the mother and is believed to impart numerous health benefits.  Here is a link to more information. 

 

When do I take the baby to a pediatrician?

Our care includes well-baby care for the first six weeks after birth. Most of our clients choose to take the baby to a pediatrician or family practice physician at around 8 weeks of age.

 

Will there always be a midwife available when I need one?

Yes! You will get to know each of our full-time midwives and will get a call schedule every month so you know who to call for labor or concerns between appointments. Usually there are two or three midwives on call at any given time. There is always a midwife available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for labor or urgent concerns.

 

Will I need a doula?

A doula (professional labor companion) can be a wonderful extra support, especially during longer labors. However, we do provide labor support, and many of our clients do not feel that they need additional support people present other than their partner and the midwives.

 

What is a 'catch class'?

The "Catch Class" is a class to help partners know when to call the midwives, what to do when the midwives are on their way and teach them how to "catch" the baby if the baby arrives before the midwives!  Read one family's account of their Catch Class.

 

What is included in your fee?

We include all prenatal care, birth, and postpartum care, birth tub rental, placenta encapsulation, vitamin K for baby, and having your midwives on-call and available for you and baby 24/7 throughout your pregnancy, birth and postpartum.  We do not include lab fees, genetic screening, ultrasounds, RhoGAM,  erythromycin eye ointment or CA Newborn Screen for baby,  a birth kit or basic home supplies (i.e. baby blankets, paper towels, etc).

 

Will insurance cover my home birth?

Most PPO insurance policies can be billed for our care. We work with a professional medical biller to maximize reimbursement. We are considered out-of-network providers by all insurance companies, but often we are able to help you negotiate reimbursement at in-network rates.

Health share plans such as Christian Healthcare Ministries, Medi-Share, and Samaritan Ministries will cover our fee.

Families can use their FSA/HSA's  to cover our fee.

Unfortunately, we are unable to bill TriCare, HMO insurance or Medi-Cal.  Please contact us about payment options.

 

Are payment plans available?

We offer flexible payment plans to help you fit midwifery care into your budget. Many of our clients continue making monthly payments after the baby is born. We don’t want you to be unable to have a home birth purely for financial reasons. If cost is a major obstacle for you, please call us!

 

“The level of care was above and beyond anything I ever experienced with any other health care provider. And the experience of home birth was SO empowering. I LOVE the record keeping...a nice keepsake! I love the ability to take herbs rather than medications (with side effects) for [stopping] preterm labor and their advice on birth and natural remedies for pain, colds, etc. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience at home. Even when the pain was super intense, they helped guide my birth partners and kept me as calm and relaxed as possible. They mostly worked quietly so I could concentrate but I also appreciated the encouragement, help with breathing/moaning deeply, and the calm atmosphere.”
— Birthstream Client