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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is home birth messy?
    Birth is not sterile by any means, but I promise that we try to leave your house and bedroom just as when we arrived. It is rare that you have your carpets ruined or mattress saturated with blood. It might look a little messy, but not only do we catch your babies, we clean up EVERYTHING so there is no evidence of a home birth. We tell you how to prep your home for birth to keep your home safe from the blood, sweat, and tears of birth. ;)
  • Who can attend my birth?
    Whoever you want to attend your birth! We will also discuss the dynamics of this in prenatal care and help you carefully select who you would be most comfortable with. It is preferable to meet with whoever will be present at the birth so we can all get to know one another!
  • Can I birth my baby in the water?
    You can birth your baby in the living room, kitchen, outside, or in the water! Now, there are some circumstances where we have mommas step out of the water so we can manage a shoulder dystocia or stop a hemorrhage, but for the most part, having your baby in the water goes as planned. We have a water birth tub that you can borrow and we teach you how to fill it up, how to make sure your water is hot, and how to keep things clean.
  • Do you offer pain meds, I can't do it without pain meds!
    I believe that most everyone having a vaginal birth can birth without any pain meds. We have let our culture define birth instead of biological birth by design, define birth. We do not offer pain meds, but we instill confidence in YOU to do what your body was made to do. The mind is powerful. The support people surrounding you in birth, is powerful. Your hormones for coping, are powerful. There are things that can be helpful to distract or ease the intense pressures you feel in labor. We help to prepare you for that. Will it be pain free? Labor and birth is different for everyone!
  • How much does this cost?
    The total fee for care is $4,000. This includes prenatal care, standard lab work, birth/labor, the midwife/assistant fee, the newborn metabolic screening, and postpartum care. This applies to all services, whether you begin your care at 6 weeks or 30 weeks into your pregnancy. Other costs that you will pay for out of pocket are: your birth kit ($50ish), additional lab work, supplements, seeing other providers, and ultrasounds.
  • Will insurance cover care?
    Often, health sharing accounts will reimburse for our services, and PPOs may reimburse at the out-of-network, or sometimes the in-network rate. My insurance biller will provide you a verification of benefits for a small fee when you begin care so that you may have an idea, but not a guarantee, of what may be covered. Contact the SLB Billing service here: You will need to contact your insurance company to see if they will cover some midwife/home birth care. We provide an itemized bill to submit for reimbursement if your insurance company will consider covering. In my experience, it is a rare thing for insurance to cover home birth, but it is totally worth asking. Regardless of insurance coverage, $4,000 fee is due in full by 36 weeks as your “out of pocket” expense.
  • What are the benefits of home birth?
    There are many benefits of having a homebirth. Some of the ones most commonly reported by families are: Individualized care: All decisions about your care are made together with you, in detailed discussions of your needs and desires, your individual health, and the evidence regarding the options available to you. I respect you as your own - and your baby's - primary care provider. Evidence-based care: I stay current on the research around pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and breastfeeding, so that I can provide the best evidence possible for your decision-making and our skills and knowledge. Your own environment: You choose who attends your birth and who cares for you. You choose what to eat and drink. Walk, dance or sleep uninterrupted if you want to! Bonding with your baby: I am present for helping support the mother-baby connection as it makes the transition from the womb to the mama's arms, to the breast, and beyond.
  • Do I need to see a Nurse Midwife or OBGYN?
    In the state of Arkansas, mothers who are planning to have a home birth will need a "check off" risk assessment appointment with a CNM, OBGYN, or ADH clinician. These are done at or near the time care is initiated with the midwife, at or near the 36th week of gestation, and between 41 weeks 0/7 days and 42 weeks 0/7 days of gestation. Your midwife will set you up with a provider to see that will be supportive of your choice to birth at home. This can be discussed more at the consultation visit!
  • What if there is an emergency?
    Midwives are trained to handle certain complications at home, and to recognize complications that mean a hospital birth is advisable and to transport in those circumstances. One of the most common complications I handle at home is excessive bleeding immediately after the baby is born and we are trained to manage this and carry herbal tinctures that help stop the bleeding. The other, which is rare but still one of the more common complications, is a baby who needs some help to take his or her first breaths. I and my assistants are certified in neonatal resuscitation, and have experienced this scenario. Most babies in this scenario receive a couple breaths from us and then start breathing on their own very quickly. Again, in this scenario, we follow the same standards as the hospital. Our most common transport to hospital happens for a first-time labor that lasts a long time and mom nears clinical exhaustion; we go to the hospital for an epidural so that mom can have several hours of sleep and get her uterus the rest it needs - often she wakes up pushing her baby out! We also listen to the baby with a doppler during labor so that the baby can let us know that he or she is doing well; babies usually give us plenty of advance warning with a change in their heart rate if they need us to go to the hospital for their birth.
  • Who will attend my birth?
    Whoever you invite, your primary midwife, a midwife assistant, and in some cases possibly a midwife student (although that is left up to your choice).
  • What if the midwife (you) can’t make it due to being at another birth, sick, or out of town, or taking vacation?
    There is a back up midwife who would graciously take over if there was a case where your hired midwife could not attend. It is not easy to switch gears mentally to have someone ELSE be in charge, but no worries, you would be in excellent hands! Our goal is to achieve your desires of birth!
  • Is it legal to have a home birth in Arkansas?
    Yes! Feel free to read more at: Act 838 of 1983 provided for the lawful practice of Licensed Lay Midwifery in counties having 32.5% or more of their population below the poverty level. Act 481 of 1987 superseded Act 838 of 1983, and expanded the lay midwifery licensure statewide. These Rules govern the practice of Licensed Lay Midwives (LLMs) in Arkansas. The following Rules are promulgated pursuant to the authority conferred by the Licensed Lay Midwife Act A.C.A. § 17-85-101 et seq. and A.C.A. § 20-7-109. Specifically, the LLM Act directs the Arkansas State Board of Health to administer the provisions of the Act and authorizes and directs the Board to adopt rules governing the qualifications for licensure of lay midwives and the practice of Licensed Lay Midwifery. The broad authority vested in the Board of Health, pursuant to ACA § 20-7-109, to regulate and to ultimately protect the health of the public is the same authority the Board utilizes in enforcing the Rules, determining sanctions, revoking licenses, etc.
  • What is the Client's Responsibility?
    Honesty is and clear communication concerning wishes and desires is expected from the clients. In deciding to use midwifery care, both parties are committing to a mutual standing of informed consent. You, the client, are committing to being a responsible healthcare consumer by weighing the risks and benefits of your choices throughout every step of your care. As your midwife, I commit to informing you of your status and options, discussing the pros and cons of each option, and assisting you in making the best decision based upon your individual situation. In making this commitment, it is expected that you as the client will follow the agreed upon course of action. Regular attendance of prenatal exams, as well as complying with suggested diet, vitamin and supplement instructions are additional expectations. I strongly encourage couples to attend prenatal exams together whenever possible so that both parents can be involved and informed.
  • What is your transfer rate?
    Abby has a 6% in labor transfer rate and a 6% newborn postpartum transfer rate (due to baby needing more respiratory support from a higher care facility, from 2019-2021.
  • Where do you serve?
    Serving Conway, Clinton, Heber Springs, Greenbrier, Little Rock, Mayflower, Maumelle, Jacksonville, Rosebud, Quitman, Benton, Cabot, Searcy, Bee Branch, Russellville, and rural areas that are 60 miles from Greenbrier. If you are outside of this range, but still want to inquire about services, you are welcome to call or email me to discuss the possibility of working together.
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