We’re here to answer any questions you might have. Bring a list to each appointment at the baby birth center and we will happily customize your 45 minute appointment to answer your specific questions.
We will see you on the same schedule an obstetrician would. We can begin care as soon as you are ready, although most mothers chose to start between 10-12 weeks. After our first visit, we will meet every 4 weeks until 28 weeks, every 2 weeks until 36 weeks, and then every week until your child is born.
We believe postpartum care is as important as prenatal care, particularly for first time mothers. So many changes in such a short time means most mothers need lots of support. Your postpartum doula will come to your home 24-36 hours after the birth, and we will see you in the office at 1 week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks and finally at 6-8 weeks. During this time, we are able to make sure both you and your new baby are healthy and thriving.
We can order any labs that are necessary. We usually recommend a prenatal panel at your first visit, a glucose test at 28 weeks, and then a CBC and a Group B strep test at 37 weeks. Some mothers need a few more tests, and some choose a few less. We never require an ultrasound without a medical reason, but we are happy to order one for you, if you desire. If our clients only want one ultrasound, we usually recommend it to be done between 18-20 weeks. The baby is fully formed by then, which minimizes any risk, and allows us to get as much information as possible (and even determine the sex of the baby, if you want)
Your certified midwife always bring her heart, hands and experience—and a big birth bag. We have water proof dopplers to monitor the baby throughout labor, all the equipment to watch your vital signs, sterile tools such as scissors to cut the cord, resuscitation equipment, baby scales, herbal tinctures, homeopathy, medicines…our supplies are virtually limitless.
YES! Here at Embrace we love water births, and you are welcome to push your baby out under water. We recommend that all our mothers consider at least laboring in water. The birth center has extra deep, soaking tubs that are spacious enough for you and your partner, and also offer home water birth options.
We recommend doulas to everyone, but especially to first time mothers, VBAC mothers, and mothers who have never had an unmedicated birth. A doula will “mother the mother” and keep you feeling comfortable. Embrace Midwifery Care & Birth Center has a doula internship program that allows every mother to have a one at her birth at no additional cost. And of course, you are always welcome to bring a doula you’ve hired independently of us.
Only a small percentage of our mothers transfer for pain relief, and those are usually due to babies who are in troublesome positions. When mothers are educated, supported and in familiar surroundings, those endorphins do their work and mothers do great.
Although out-of-hospital natural birth is safe for low risk mothers, sometimes we do have to transfer. Usually these transfers are not urgent, and we just need to go to the hospital for some help and on some occasions pitocin, if contractions have stopped. Very few baby birth center transfers are urgent, and we are happy to say that the birth center has EMS available 24 hours a day, just across the street. Chippenham Hospital is a little over 3 miles away and we have a very detailed transfer plan in place should we need to go to the hospital quickly.
Your certified nurse midwife will have IV’s for fluid replacement, because some mothers vomit during labor and can become dehydrated. We have antibiotics for Group B Strep positive mothers. We keep antihemorrhagic medicines, in case you bleed more than normal after the birth. All of our medicines are ready at every birth, but only used if needed. For the baby, we offer erythromycin ointment to prevent eye infections and we offer Vitamin K by injection or oral drops.
The average cost of a uncomplicated vaginal birth, in the hospital with a doctor, is almost $12,000 in Richmond VA. After deductibles, co-pays and items not covered by insurance, many families find midwifery care to be less expensive than filing a claim. In comparison, natural birth center and even home birth costs are a small fraction of that and is inexpensive for the amount and quality of care received. Here’s a rough estimate of our average time spent with a client:
Each birth is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Most people budget and plan for things they really want, because it’s worth it. Birthing a child the way you want to is as important as the special things a wedding, new home or car, college funds, and vacations.
See our fees and insurance page for more information.
“If I don’t know my options, I don’t have any.”
We are used to saving and paying for lots of things that are important to us. Engagement rings and weddings. Cars and down payments on houses. Vacations. That dog you’ve been dreaming of. New furniture. We spend our money on things that are important to us, things that enrich our lives, things that are once in a lifetime, things that create beautiful memories. You only will birth the baby you are carrying once. Ask any woman, even one 80 years old, what her birth was like and she will tell you her story. She will tell you the details, and tell you the victory, and yes, tell you the troubles. Your baby being born gently and with love is priceless.
Let’s talk about insurance. There are several things you need to know before you decide where to give birth.
1. Insurance may come with co-pays for visits, deductibles, and coinsurance.
2. If your pregnancy crosses over a period where you change insurance, as in an open enrollment period, or if you pass your plan’s renewal date, you will likely be responsible for 2 deductibles.
3. You can often use your FSA or HSA for your birth!
4. If your baby is well, all charges should go under your deductible. But if your baby needs any kind of extra care, he has a deductible of his own.
We are often asked if insurance will pay for our care. It might! We have contracted with Blue Ridge Coding and Billing Solutions to assist you with this. You may enter all your insurance information on this form:
There is a $25 fee for verification of your primary insurance. If you need to verify a second insurance, please contact us directly and we will assist you with the $15 additional fee. They specialize in midwifery and birth center billing and will apply for a pre-authorization of benefits and a gap exception (which is the request for your insurance company to pay as if we are in-network, as there are no other freestanding birth centers in RVA). You will receive a letter with your insurance company’s decision, as well as your deductible and co-pay.
We accept payments by cash, check, debit card and credit card payments. Credit card payments are currently subject to a 3% service fee.
We offer also offer MedLoan Financing, which offers as long as 18 months interest free, OCA.