Frequently Asked Questions
A midwife is a person who has successfully completed midwifery education and demonstrates competency in the practice of midwifery. A midwife has acquired the qualifications register, license or legally practice midwifery and use the title ‘midwife’ in the country or state they practice in.
The midwife is a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with birthing families. Midwives give necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period. Midwife’s are responsible for conducting safe care during births, and for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventive measures, promotion of normal birth, detection of complications in mother and child, accessing advanced medical care and carrying out emergency measures if needed.
The midwife performs health counseling and education, not only for the birthing person, but also within their family and in the community. This involves prenatal education, childbirth education, and preparation for parenthood and may extend to include reproductive health, sexual health and childcare.
A midwife may practice in any setting including the home, community, hospitals, clinics or health units. In Utah, Direct Entry Midwives may practice in a privately own birth center or at home.
We happily accept most Health Savings Accounts.
Alternative Birth Services does not accept insurance, but some insurance companies will cover midwifery care and home birth. You can contact your insurance provider’s Verification of Benefits Department and ask if they will cover our services. We can provide a bill at the end of care for you to submit to your insurance company. Some clients have been successful at being reimbursed.
For those that do not have insurance coverage, we have secured low cost options for labs and ultrasounds. We always want to work with the client on finding the most cost effective option for their needs.
We do accept the following forms of payment: Cash, Personal Check, PayPal, Venmo, Master Card, American Express, Visa, and Discover.
Do you provide care in a hospital or birth center?
Do we still get a birth certificate?
I’m currently seeing a doctor, is it too late to switch to midwifery care?
Do you offer VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) care?
What happens if I am no longer low risk or if there is an emergency?
What are my options for pain relief? What happens if I want an epidural?
What newborn procedures are available during a home birth?
What about labs and ultrasound?
Do you have a backup doctor?
Do I need to see a doctor during my pregnancy or postpartum?
Do I qualify as low risk?
What if we live in an apartment, rent, or have roommates?
What if two people are in labor at the same time?
What does your prenatal care include?
What does your postpartum care include?
It is never too late to switch. We are happy to take clients at any time in their pregnancy. Many OBs do not take late transfers to care, but as long as you have received regular prenatal care throughout your pregnancy, have complete copies of your medical records, and fall into the “low risk” category, we would love to share in your birth experience. Since we limit the number of clients we serve, acceptance into care will depend on availability.
We do not offer care provider services in the hospital or in birth centers.
We do offer Hospital Monitrice Services. As a monitrice client we will provide your medical prenatal care, early labor support at home, then transport to the hospital where our backup doctors (Maternal Fetal Medicine) become your medical provider and we continue in a non-medical support role. This option is excellent for clients who are too high risk for home birth, or clients who may qualify for home birth and desire personalized prenatal and postpartum support as well as expert labor guidance, but are not yet comfortable with the option of home birth.
In the state of Utah, Out of Hospital birth centers do not differ in equipment or safety from home birth, add unnecessary cost and may give to a false sense of security. As such, we do not currently offer birth center services.
Yes! We are happy to offer care for low risk VBAC clients. To discuss planning your VBAC, schedule a complimentary consultation and we can discuss your specific needs.
Yes! Nearly 100% of our client’s labor in water. Many of our clients choose to birth in water as well.
We love the giving our clients the most options in labor. We offer professional grade birth tubs (Birth Pool in a Box) to all our clients, included in our birth package.
The short answer - no.
In more detail, birth is generally not very messy. Our clients typically chose to birth in our professional grade birthing tubs with their own sanitary liner. This contains would-be messes and is simply pumped out, drained, the liner is thrown away, and tub wiped down and sanitized. When our clients do birth outside the tub, we work hard to prevent messes from being made.
We would never leave a client’s home messy; we always try to leave it in better condition than we found it - which means we also do our best to prevent messes.
We can order all necessary labs and ultrasounds. There aren't any tests available in obstetric care that we cannot offer you, or help you access. All labs, ultrasounds, or tests are provided or requested with your informed consent. We will never draw your blood, test your urine, or perform any procedure without ensuring you understand the test and have given explicit consent.
Many people think that they have to own and live in a single-family home to birth in their home, but that is just not the case. We have assisted many people who have lived in apartments, rented, have roommates, or even live in student housing. Legally speaking, you can birth in your home, regardless if you rent or own. We are really good at working with each family's personal living situation and making a great birth space regardless of the location or size of the home.
Thankfully, two births happening simultaneously has never happened in our practice, but in the event that it did we have contingency plans in place. Laura would attend one birth, while Deanna would attend the other. Each would have a qualified assistant with them.
Midwives give the same clinical component of care you would expect from an OB.
Clinical prenatal care includes things such as listening to you baby and checking your blood pressure. Our clinical prenatal schedule may be familiar to clients who have already had a baby. We see you monthly until 28 weeks, every two weeks until the last month, and then weekly from 36 weeks until birth. Our global fee includes all standard prenatal appointments as well as any additional required or emergent visits.
At Alternative Birth Services, our prenatal appointments occur in our private, professional office and always last one hour. During prenatal appointments, we spend about 15 minutes on the standard clinical procedures including blood pressure/pulse, temperature, weight, fundal height, urinalysis, fetal heart tones, and belly mapping. If needed, we can perform NSTs (non-stress tests) in our office as well.
The rest of the appointment covers questions, childbirth education, informed consent, nutrition counseling and building our relationship. *Family, friends and older siblings are always welcome at appointments.
We are working toward certifications and acquisition of a portable Ultrasound machine for bedside, point of care ultrasounds in our office!
*Due to Covid-19, we are currently restricting prenatal visitors to 1 support person per client, and temporarily restricting children from the office until further notice. Thank you for understanding these temporary changes.
Midwives give the same clinical component of care you would expect from an OB.
Postpartum care is dear to our hearts. From the first moment of your baby’s life, to your 6-week checkup and beyond, Alternative Birth provides attentive, personal support and education for you and your baby.
Postpartum care always includes in home visits at 1-2 days, 3-4 days, and 7-10 days postpartum. Then continue in our office at 3 weeks and 6 weeks postpartum.
During these appointments, we do newborn procedures, check vitals on both you and the baby, discuss your bodies healing and mental health, weigh the baby, discuss parenting, and provide feeding support tailored to your goals including breastfeeding, pumping, combo feeding or more.
Our postpartum care is included in our global fee.
Most potential clients who contact us to discuss concerns about their risk factors are in fact low risk. We recommend scheduling a free consultation and planning to bring any relevant records or health information about your specific concerns. During a consultation we can review your history in detail and discuss your personal risk factors and how they may or may not be relevant to out of hospital birth. We give incredibly detailed, personalized care focused on prevention and decreasing risk. For clients who may not qualify for home birth due to risk factors, we are happy to offer Monitrice or Doula services.
Yes! We have family physicians, obstetricians, and pediatricians we refer to and consult with. For high risk pregnancy needs, we refer to and consult with Dixie Maternal Fetal Medicine.
You don’t need to see anyone else during your care with us - unless you would like to. Occasionally, we request a consultation or referral with another provider to confirm our clients are low risk. At times consultation or referral is required to ensure you are low risk.
When monitored by trained midwives, home birth is a medically safe option for low risk pregnancies.
For many families home birth is not only a medically safe option but even emotionally or culturally safer than the hospital.
As your midwives, we aim to be a lifeguard at your birth. Lifeguarding birth means standing back, observing and monitoring you while supporting your family through the journey and stepping in with intervention only when it is desired or needed.
It is our shared belief that birth should be respectful of your wishes, humane, emotionally uplifting, and as medically safe as possible. These beliefs are the driving forces behind our practice protocols, training, and continued education.
Each of our Midwives completed intense apprenticeships prior to entering private practice. Both Laura and Deanna are healthcare provider CPR certified, NRP (neonatal resuscitation) certified, and engage in regular continued education, peer review, and skills training. Deanna is also proud to hold AWHONN’s lifelong Intermediate Fetal Heart Tone monitoring certification, which is required for most Labor and Delivery nurses, but is typically not held by Direct Entry Midwives. All assistants and apprentices maintain healthcare provider CPR and NRP as well. Together we have the combined experience of nearly two decades and over 700 births.
Most complications during pregnancy and childbirth have warning signs and unforeseen emergencies are rare. As trained, experienced midwives, we are prepared to recognize and manage risk factors that may contribute to preventable complications as well as recognize and treat unforeseen complications. We strongly believe that while home birth is our initial plan, it is not always the best plan and should not remain the plan if there are unnecessary risks. As such, we do not hesitate to change plans when needed by transporting a planned home birth to the hospital.
In order to maintain the highest level of safety for both the laboring parent and the baby, we never attend births alone. Typically, we attend births together as a team, one midwife for mom, and one midwife for baby and an apprentice to assist.
For some babies and parents who are at higher risk for complications, a hospital birth may be the medically safe option. We work closely with high risk Maternal Fetal Medicine, Dixie Regional Medical Center and Valley View Medical Center to ensure our clients are low risk. When needed, we ensure our client receives hospital care that is as close to home birth care as possible.
We believe the safest place to give birth is wherever the birthing person feels safest, most supported, and most empowered. When home is a medically safe option, we deeply believe the culture and structure of midwife attended home birth is most optimally suited to support the needs of low risk birthing people.
Most obstetric emergencies have warning signs, either prenatally or during labor.
Risking out of home birth before labor begins is rare. In those instances, we continue to provide supportive prenatal care while our clients receive co-care from another provider (an OB or High Risk MFM.) During your pregnancy, we consult and collaborate closely with the co-care provider to make a delivery plan that meets your medical needs and respects your wishes.
During labor we monitor you closely for signs of risk factors or complications. Unless there is a true emergency (which is rare) the decision to go to the hospital in labor is made calmly, collaboratively and preventively. There is time for us to share our concerns and for you and to ask questions. Together with UWNQC and IHC, we have mutually agreed upon, collaborative transport procedures in place with the hospitals our clients may transport to. If we do go to the hospital, we call ahead, bring your records, and go with you.
Intermountain Healthcare is familiar with receiving home birth transports, they know and respect us, and are familiar with our policies. Your reception from providers is warm, friendly, and non-judgmental.
Once we are at the hospital, we stay with you throughout the birthing process as support people (we will no longer be your medical provider) and help you navigate choices as they come up. We work together as a team with the hospital to reach our shared goals: to respect your preferences and meet your medical, mental, and emotional needs. After your birth, we continue postpartum care as planned.
When low risk labors begin naturally at home with support of loved ones and experienced midwives, most laboring people do not want pharmaceutical pain relief including epidural and don’t ask for anything more beyond comforting positions, touch, and words of affirmation.
During prenatal appointments we discuss labor comfort techniques and teach your loved ones how to support you. We may demonstrate or practice positions, words of affirmation, comforting ways to touch a laboring person, and laboring breathing techniques.
Once we arrive to your home in labor, we have many additional labor management skills including water immersion, that help you stay comfortable.
We support our client’s rights to autonomy in birth and want you to feel empowered. We never push you to stay home if you are in more discomfort than normal, or more than you would like to be in despite our skills and techniques. We never shame clients for wanting pain relief that isn’t available at home. In the event that a laboring person wants or needs an epidural, we facilitate transport to the hospital, give report to the doctors, and stay with you as labor support until after the baby has been born and fed for the first time. If a client opts for an epidural, postpartum care continues as normal.
We offer or have providers we refer to for all newborn procedures that are standard or required by the state.
Yes! We file your baby’s birth certificate and, if you want, request their Social Security card as well. It is typically ready about two weeks after your birth and can be requested at vital records by the parents.
Phone (435) 557-0575
Fax (435) 215-2461
368 East Riverside Drive Suite 3B
St. George, Utah 84790