What is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)?

A CPM is a midwife educated in the specialized care of out-of-hospital birth. They are accredited by the North American Registry of Midwives. CPMs provide care throughout a client’s pregnancy, is the trained attendant throughout labor and at the birth, and through six weeks after the baby is born.

Will insurance pay for a home birth?

Please see our insurance section.

Is home birth safe?

Studies show that planned home births of low-risk clients with trained midwives are just as safe for mothers and babies as planned hospital births. Multiple studies show that planned home births result in substantially lower rates of episiotomy, forceps and vacuum delivery, caesarean births as compared to planned hospital births. Please see Resources for peer-reviewed studies from around the world.

Who can have a home birth?

People of any age who are experiencing a low-risk pregnancy are able to have a home birth. Conditions that risk you out of our care include:

  • Preexisting conditions including heart conditions, epilepsy, insulin-dependent diabetes
  • Complications that may develop during pregnancy that would require you to find another birth provider include: baby being breech, having twins or multiples, development of severe high blood pressure, uncontrolled gestational diabetes or preeclampsia

Can I have a VBAC?

You may trial VBAC with us if you birth in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, Maryland regulations stipulate that we cannot attend VBACs in MD.

Do you catch twins/multiples?

We do not provide birth care for twins and multiples. If you are interested in co-care, we can provide that during your pregnancy and postpartum. Please see our Services section for more details.

Can I have a water birth at home?

Yes! If you have a tub at home that is big enough, you can use your bathroom tub. If you prefer a purpose-built tub, we can help you get one to set up in your home.

Can I eat or drink during my labor at home?

Yes.

What kind of pain relief can I get at home?

Research shows that people feel pain more acutely in labor when they are stressed and anxious, as this leads to a tensing of muscles, which is counteractive to the work your body is doing during labour. Feeling of relaxation and a sense of safety allow your labor to progress without the hinderance of interruptions, stress and anxiety. Being in your own home, feeling in control, laboring where you please, maintaining strength by eating and drinking what you want when you want, using your shower or birth pool, listening to your music, adjusting the lighting as you wish, being with your family in your safe space, being alone with your partner, all contribute to a more manageable labor. In addition, doulas and midwives can offer massage, acupressure, position changes, position support, verbal and emotional encouragement and gentle guidance throughout your labor. Childbirth education classes offer guidance and training for relaxation and labor support for you and your birth partner to practice in advance. These are your pain coping mechanisms, and they work well. We are not able to offer an epidural, narcotics or nitrous oxide to you during a birth at home.

What about the mess?

The midwives clean up the mess before they go including wiping things down and cleaning up any mess, breaking down the birth tub (if you have one) and doing laundry. We also discuss plans for preventing mess, including the use of tarps and coverings on carpets or other surfaces.

How do I get pregnancy labs and ultrasounds?

Rock Creek Midwives can do all blood work and labs with you, and give you recommendations on where to get an ultrasound.

Who will attend my birth?

Two midwives will attend your birth. Beyond them – you choose! Your partner, your dogs? Sure! Mom? Why not. Doula? Yes! Photographer? Yes! Your kids? Absolutely. You are welcome to have whomever you want present. On rare occasions – when life happens – if two Rock Creek Midwives cannot attend, another midwife or skilled birth assistant would come as the second attendant.

I’m over 35. Can I have a home birth?

We are able to attend clients, regardless of age, as long as they remain healthy throughout their pregnancy and labor. We do not consider someone over 35 or even 40 high risk based on age alone.

What happens if there is an emergency?

With excellent prenatal care, it is very rare that there is a true emergency during birth, but it does happen. These rare instances are why midwives are intensively trained on how to manage emergency situations and get clients to the hospital as quickly as possible. The midwife will always go with the client to the hospital.

What do you bring to the birth?

We bring everything you need to have a safe birth: Sterile equipment and gloves, IV supplies, antibiotics for GBS, equipment for a newborn exam and anti-hemorrhagic medications, oxygen, and neonatal resuscitation equipment to safely handle emergencies in the rare event that they occur.

Do you offer vitamin K, erythromycin eye ointment, hepatitis B vaccine, and metabolic screening for my baby?

Yes, we offer all of the above, except the Hepatitis B vaccine. You can get that from your pediatrician if you so desire.

Do you offer child birth education classes?

We do not offer classes at this time, but we strongly encourage all first timers to take a class with your birth partner focussing on natural child birth. The Bradley Method, Hypnobirthing, and Birthing from Within are just a few options that are excellent for natural birth.