Community Midwifery Response to Coronavirus Outbreak
Hello and thank you for your interest in community midwifery. We know in this current climate things are changing fast. It is easy to feel anxious over the future and worried about COVID-19. As a result, many people are considering the option of homebirth and midwifery care. Due to the increase in volume of inquiries, your local midwives in Columbia, Missouri have designed this response to help answer some of your initial questions and see if midwifery care is right for you.
What are my options for midwifery services and community birth?
Katy Miller CPM, Dawn Finney CPM, Sarah Davis CPM, and advanced student midwife / assistant Julie Ferdman have long-standing practice relationships and have formed a collective to better serve the increased needs of the community at this time. For our new clients, this will look like a group practice in which prenatal care may include more than one midwife. It is our practice to have two midwives in attendance at each birth. We will be sharing on-call time for births and we cannot guarantee exactly who will attend your birth as this will depend on many factors. We ask for flexibility in these circumstances. That being said, we will do our best to honor specific requests that you may have about which midwives might attend you. Ideally, you will have the chance to meet all the midwives involved in your care before delivery (in person and/or virtually), but it may not be possible to meet all four of us in the course of the shortened time frame of your prenatal care. We attend clients within a one-hour radius of Columbia, Missouri.
We provide full-scope prenatal care according to the standard schedule for low-risk pregnancies, home birth services, and postpartum follow up visits for both mother and baby until 6 weeks after birth. This includes extensive breastfeeding support, weight checks for babies, and all routine testing for newborns.
If you are further than one hour from Columbia, the following midwives have their own independent practices: Robin Massey CPM (Prairie Home), Sabrina Bias CPM (Hallsville), and Susan Wilson CPM (Russellville). They may be contacted individually for questions related to their services and availability.
Who is a good candidate for midwifery care?
Midwifery care can cover a broad range of needs. It is best suited to those experiencing a normal, healthy pregnancy, labor and birth, and postpartum recovery. Broadly speaking, if your pregnancy is not complicated by health conditions requiring medications, genetic disorders in the baby, or other serious health complications, you might be a great candidate for our care! Please note that if you develop symptoms indicative of influenza or COVID-19 during prenatal care, labor, or postpartum, your care will need to be transferred to a physician and/or hospital.
What is the cost?
The out of pocket cost for global midwifery care starting in the first or second trimester is typically about $3000. This includes all prenatal visits, labor and birth attendance, and 5-6 in-home postpartum visits for evaluating both mother and baby. If you are transferring care to us in the third trimester, this total may be reduced because you have already received some portion of your care elsewhere. Individual visits for prenatal care or postpartum follow-up vary between $75-100 per visit, depending on specific provider and services offered. Clients should expect to pay a majority of the cost out-of-pocket. Flexible payment plans may be considered.
What does midwifery care look like during this time of Physical Distancing?
The health and safety of mothers and babies is at the center of everything that we do. We are making some adaptations to our practice in order to protect our clients and their families, as well as ourselves as health care providers. We will plan to attend at least one prenatal visit around 36 to 38 weeks in your home. Your labor, birth, and postpartum visits will all occur in your home as well. Other routine prenatal visits may be conducted either in your home, at the midwife’s home, or via teleconferencing using services such as Skype or Zoom. Ordinarily, it is our priority to meet and spend time in person with all of our clients before their birth, but these times call for creative adaptation and flexibility for us all. In the case of telemedicine appointments, your midwife may request that you use basic equipment to assist with monitoring you and your baby’s health. You will be provided with real-time coaching and assistance in these circumstances. Visits usually last about 45-60 minutes.
What should I do next?
Please fill out our Midwifery Care Contact Form here. One of the midwives will contact you to arrange an interview to discuss midwifery care, home birth, postpartum care, etc., and get all your questions answered. It is optimal if both partners can attend this appointment which can be arranged in person or through a Zoom meeting or other online, real-time interface. It will be important for us to have your records from any medical provider or other midwife you have seen during this pregnancy. These can be emailed or faxed to us by you or your provider’s office, accessed via an online patient portal, or given/sent to us as paper copies.
Call your insurance provider. Speak to a representative about your insurance benefits regarding homebirth. Whether they think home birth midwifery care with a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) will be covered or not, collect information regarding where to send your claims and how to request reimbursement. If you are concerned about the out of pocket cost of midwifery care, it can be informative to look at your maximum out of pocket cost for the year, as well as what the deductible and maximum out of pocket cost will be for your baby. Adding these up can give you a sense of your total out of pocket cost if using hospital services for birth. (This is a surprise for many people - home birth midwifery care can wind up costing less out of pocket than in-hospital care with insurance.)