Frequently
Asked
Questions Charlotte, born 09/05/2005

What is your philosophy of care? How is a midwife different than a doctor?
What does your care include?
Do I see an OB (Obstetrician ) and CNM (certified Nurse Midwife) prenatally?
What's your view on Alta Bates?
Will you deliver a baby vaginally after I've had a Caesarean?
What care is provided after birth?
To what degree can my partner be included?
Can siblings be involved at a birth?
What different alternative approaches do you know about?
What insurance do you accept?

What is your philosophy of care? How is a midwife different than a doctor?

With Midwifery, women receive more than just medical care; midwives offer extensive emotional support as well. We spend a lot of time with our clients, as much as four or five times what an obstetrician traditionally spends. It doesn't take much time to listen to a heartbeat, measure uterine growth or take blood pressure. We focus on an awareness of the emotional changes and help you connect with the great opportunity for growth during pregnancy and birth. Our desire is to see women and their families go through these changes with a strong sense of trust in themselves and in their bodies. We support each couple in finding their own way to give birth. We see ourselves as facilitators; we prefer offering suggestions that allow women to listen to their bodies rather than directing a birth according to strict procedures. Birth is as safe as life gets. We encourage you to trust the wisdom of birth. Jeri's C-section rate is incredibly low (8%, versus 30% for most doctors).

What does your care include?

There is an initial consultation for you to decide whether our services are right for you. We recommend that prenatal care begin between the sixth and eight week of pregnancy to determine the baby's due date and whether there may be twins. It is also important to begin developing a trusting relationship with Jeri and to meet her associates. Regular monthly visits to the midwifery clinic continue through the seventh month. In the eighth month, the visits are twice a month and increase to once a week in the ninth month.

Do I see an OB (Obstetrician ) and CNM (certified Nurse Midwife) prenatally?

An OB is always available if needed for consultation prenatally. It is not required or necessary unless your pregnancy becomes high risk. Once labor starts, 2 board certified OB-GYNs are available. The OB will be appraised of your process every few hours and will offer a friendly helping hand as needed. Jeri is proud of being a part of a supportive warm team of doctors who embrace and support each woman's unique needs. Calm, natural birth is the goal of all involved.

We have trauma specialists to help as you seek out a better birth experience. We work with dr Gayle Petersen in Berkeley.

What's your view on Alta Bates?

Alta Bates Medical Center has a 5 star rating and the nursing care is outstanding. It offers a very supportive environment for midwives. Jeri has been happily practicing there since 1996.

Will you deliver a baby vaginally after I've had a Cesarean?

This is our speciality. We have assisted at many vaginal births after Cesarean (VBAC) with great success. We welcome clients interested in having a vaginal birth after they have had a Ceasarean, and we provide tailored childbirth preparation for VBAC. Our VBACs have an encouraging success rate of 92%.

What care is provided after birth?

Jeri will visit you on the first day postpartum. Following hospital births, a midwife will visit you in the hospital on the first day of postpartum (this does not apply if you have an early discharge from the hospital). You will then visit the midwife at the clinic two weeks postpartum, mainly for emotional support. There is also a final check-up after six weeks.

To what degree can my partner be included?

We are aware that partners tend to feel left out during a pregnancy and that their needs easily go unnoticed. Our approach is to encourage their participation at each prenatal visit. They can get involved by helping measure the baby's growth, and counting his or her heartbeat. We will talk together about the changes that come in each trimester. This will help clarify your partner's feelings and experiences as well as your own. We work with partners who want to "catch" the baby, as well as those who prefer being only intermittently present during labor and birth. We encourage participation but don't pressure the partner.

Alta Bates offers "Boot Camp" for fathers, which comes highly recommended by our fathers. Other support groups are available through maternity education at Alta Bates (510.204.4444) or visit absmcparented.org

Can siblings be involved at a birth?

We encourage family participation at the time of birth and throughout pregnancy. We make ourselves available to talk over your child's individual needs and to help you make the best decision for you and your family.

What different alternative approaches do you know about?

We work with a variety of alternative care providers, including acupuncturists, herbalists, homeopathic physicians and cranio-sacral therapists. Please ask at the desk for more information.

What insurance do you accept?

Almost all major insurance companies, such as Blue Cross and Hill Physician, HMO and PPO, and some smaller companies will reimburse for the services of a certified nurse-midwife. If you are a member of Kaiser, you will not be reimbursed.

Please call your insurrance carrier.

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