Photography by Heidi Sandoval

Photography by Heidi Sandoval

Is homebirth safe?

Numerous studies demonstrate that home birth with a skilled midwife is just as safe as hospital birth, with fewer interventions. During your labor, we will closely monitor you and baby to make sure that everything is within the range of normal. If a medical complication develops that makes the birth higher risk, we are easily able to transport to a hospital setting, if necessary.

Do you offer water birth? Is it safe?

Yes, many of the clients I serve choose to labor or birth in water. Being submerged in water is studied to reduce discomfort in labor. Babies have an innate “dive reflex,” which means that they do not attempt to breathe underwater. This makes waterbirth a safe option for low-risk people.

Does insurance cover homebirth?

Most PPO insurance plans will reimburse for homebirth midwifery care. I work with a skilled team of medical billers who will submit all the bills to your insurance company so that you can get reimbursement for the care that you receive. Unfortunately, Kaiser, HMO, and Medi-Cal clients are not eligible for insurance coverage of homebirth at this time.

How often will you see me for prenatal care?

I follow the same general appointment schedule as an OBGYN during the pregnancy. This includes visits once a month until you are 28 weeks, every other week until 36 weeks, and weekly until you give birth. More frequent visits are offered if indicated.

Homebirth with El Tarver

Where do my appointments take place?

I see you in your home for all prenatal and postpartum visits. This offers increased convenience and comfort for my clients. All appointments are generally an hour in length, or longer if needed.

Do I need to work with an OBGYN if I hire a midwife?

No. I provide all the care needed to see you through a healthy pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. I can provide the same standard tests/screens that an OB would offer. Some of my clients choose to do concurrent care OB during pregnancy, but it is not required or necessary. In some cases, a medical complication may necessitate physician consultation or co-managed care.

Do you offer care to people planning a hospital birth?

Yes. I understand that homebirth is not for everyone: some people choose to birth in the hospital because they have a medical complication or risk factor that makes it a safer option, and some people simply prefer the hospital setting. I can provide full prenatal care, and then go to the hospital with you when you are in labor, resuming postpartum care at home after the birth. Working with a midwife for a planned hospital birth gives you the best of both worlds: a more connected and holistic approach to your care, with the resources of the hospital setting.

Do you work with doulas?

I love it when my clients decide to hire a doula as part of their support team! A doula is a non-medical support person who offers physical, emotional, and informational guidance to birthing people. While not required, doulas can be a wonderful addition to the team. I have a list of referrals for doulas I know and trust, but you are also welcome to work with any doula of your choosing. You are also welcome to have as many or as few family members/friends with you at your labor and birth.

Do you offer the same prenatal tests/screens that I would get from an OBGYN?

Yes, I offer the standard of care in testing and screening during pregnancy and in the postpartum. Each test will be discussed in detail, and you will make an informed decision about which tests/screens you would like to have. I can do all bloodwork during our routine appointments, and bill the labs directly to your insurance. Any ultrasounds will be performed in a reputable ultrasound facility, and will also be billed directly to insurance.

Do you bring an assistant or second midwife to the birth?

I bring a second licensed midwife with me to each birth. Having two sets of skilled hands increases the safety of homebirth, and means that there is more support available to you.

Photography by Heidi Sandoval

Photography by Heidi Sandoval