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5 Tips to Stretch Your Dollar

Posted By Kelly W. Shaw, Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Updated: Monday, July 17, 2017

5 tips to stretch your dollar

We are excited that you are planning on joining us in Anchorage, Alaska for this year’s Birth Institute!  Here are a few ways that you can make your dollar go even farther:

  1. Take advantage of member discounts.  Early bird ends Thursday, July 20!
  2. Share a room.  Tell people you are interested on the member forums. And you might make a friend!
  3. Your conference registration includes breakfast and lunch.  Check out sites like Groupon, livingsocial, and others for discounts on local restaurants for dinner.
  4. Try a morning or evening stroll on the Coastal Trail – It’s FREE!
  5. Set a price alert on your favorite travel site to find the best airfare!  And remember, it’s really not that much farther or more expensive than most flights (check out the flight and cost info here )
  6. Bonus – no sales tax in Alaska!

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So you want to go to the AABC Birth Institute?

Posted By Kelly W. Shaw, Wednesday, July 5, 2017

So you really want to go to the AABC convention this year and you need to make the case to your employer 

OK, let’s focus on the return on investment.  You’ve heard about this, it’s ROI. Here are five tips on making the case to your boss, plus a sample letter that you can customize that helps you make your case.

1. Focus on what you will specifically bring back to the organization as return for the investment. So maybe you decide after you look at the program that you will attend some of the clinical and some of the administrative sessions. So make a list of 2 or 3 things you want to get out of each session.  Highlight those specific items in your letter.
2. Offer to prepare and deliver a short presentation and Q&A to your colleagues to share what you learned. That way other people at your birth center will get the benefits of your attendance, too. Bring pictures, the conference program and talk about the specific things you learned about the general, clinical, administrative sessions, pre and post conference workshops, the birth center tour and how the gala helps to grow more birth centers.
3. Share the syllabus and speaker handouts with your colleagues. As an attendee, you have unlimited access to materials posted by speakers. Maybe you can even contact some speakers to do presentations for your birth center.
4. Offer to share a room to reduce hotel expenses by finding a roommate. We can let you know who is also looking to share a room.  And who knows, that experience alone could be very beneficial. Remember birth center leaders attend this conference so your roomie could have tips on getting a better insurance contract or how to organize the best schedule.
5. Be sure to check out the registration page where all the various rates are listed to see if you qualify for any of the lower rates or discounts.

Sample Letter to Manager

Dear XXX ,    
I would like to attend the 2017 Birth Institute put on by the American Association of Birth Centers, October 4-8 . The conference will enable me to attend a number of education sessions that are directly applicable to my work (give examples) and will allow me to network with a variety of association experts and colleagues from around the country. 

Many of the presentations are tailored to the (clinical and/or administrative side)  and give information on how to (give examples) . After reviewing the conference brochure, I have identified a number of education sessions which will allow me to gain knowledge and understanding about how we can improve our birth center (list these). The presentations are facilitated by both industry experts and association colleagues who have faced similar challenges. I chose each of these presentations because it is directly related to an issue we are dealing with. 

I am seeking sponsorship for the registration fee, travel expenses to the conference, and living expenses during the conference. A detailed cost breakdown is included below. The full price conference fee is ($       ) , but can be reduced $XXX  by registering before the early bird deadline. 
Here is the breakdown of conference costs: 
Hotel: xxxx 
Conference Fee: xxxx 
The total costs associated with attending this conference are: . 

The opportunity for me to develop better contacts and gain knowledge in specific areas of makes my attendance at the 2017 Birth Institute put on by the American Association of Birth Centers, a wise investment, which will yield rich dividends for our birth center.

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Birth Institute: The Lowdown on All of the Sessions

Posted By Kelly W. Shaw, Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Have you been thinking about attending the convention since you read the blog last month? Of course you have!  Now you want to know what amazing programs we’re offering this year.  Well here you go!



A presentation of the latest research and the new clinical guidelines followed by a panel of birth centers reviewing their guidelines and problems they have seen in their birth centers.  Tara Elrod, CDM; Amy Johnson-Grass, ND, LN, LM, CPM; Tammy Witmer, CNM; and Susan Stapleton, DNP, CNM


This 2-part session will address maternal postpartum hemorrhage and assessing newborns that are "not normal."


"Adverse Childhood Experiences 101: How Early Life Trauma Shapes Brains & Bodies & What We Can Do About It" will provide an introduction to the science of early life trauma and its effects throughout the life course, and an introduction to resilience science and the concepts of trauma-informed care. Laura Norton-Cruz, LMSW
"Trauma Informed Care for Midwives" will highlight the basic premises of trauma-informed care, how midwives and doulas can identify the needs of women who are survivors of childhood maltreatment and/or interpersonal trauma, and how they might conceptualize trauma-informed care specific to midwifery and doula work. Emphasis will be on putting these concepts into practice in order to foster change. Mickey Sperlich, PhD, CPM


This session will include a presentation from an industry expert on the types of situations that get birth centers into trouble, followed by a panel of birth centers discussing their risk criteria and how they may differ. Owen Bell, MD, APC; Barbara Norton, CNM, WHCNP; MSN, CNS;  Darcy Lucey, ANP;  Kim Pekin, CPM;  David Pulley, MSM-RMI, CPCU, RPLU



This session presented by a fellowship trained urogynecologist and a physical therapist will address the available therapies, from physical therapy to medications to surgery.  Laura Faye Gephart, MD, MBA and Melissa Sundberg, PT, DPT



A presentation of case studies by a panel of billers.  Participants will be asked to submit cases in advance so panelists can address them. Coral Slavin, PhD; Marnie Cabezas, CPM; Arden Hammel, BA


This session will address how changes in the U.S. health care system may affect birth centers and the care they provide.  Jill Alliman, DNP, CNM; Steven Hall, CPA; Christine Haas, MS; and Laura Faye Gephart, MD, MBA


This panel session will have birth center owners that run their business either as a closed model, all of the providers are employees of the birth center or as an open model, all of the providers are credentialed to work at the birth center but operate as independent contractors. Bring your questions too! Dana Brown CDM, CPM; Coral Slavin, PhD; Paula Pelletier-Butler, MSM, LM, CPM; Rochelle McLean, IBCLC, CCE


In this session, participants will learn how to calculate the value of their benefits package and how to effectively communicate this to staff and providers. Erica Beisinger, MBA;  Moira Tannenbaum, MSN, CNM, IBCLC, RNC-LRN, LCCE;  Madi Nolan, DEM; Brianna Bennett, MBA

And we have several pre-conference and post-conference workshops too.



This two day workshop teaches you about how to start your own birth center both clinically and administratively.  You will be taught by two birth center experts, both owners and founders of their respective birth centers.  This workshop also includes a tour of Geneva Woods Birth Center.  Maureen Darcey, CNM; Amy Johnson-Grass, ND, LN, LM, CPM


Need to get recertified?  Look no further!  This half day workshop will get your recertified according to the 7th edition criteria.  Make sure you bring paperwork that shows you have passed the online portion of the recertification to this skills check off.


What is the PDR really for?  What can you get out of it?  What is all this data used for? Join the team to learn and talk about how this data collection helps both your birth center and all of them nationwide.  Susan Stapleton, DNP, CNM; Jennifer Wright, MA


This data registry, developed by AABC over the past thirteen years, is designed to collect comprehensive data on both the process and outcomes of the midwifery model of care. The large prospective data set generated from the registry can make an important contribution to our ability to evaluate and improve the delivery of care to childbearing women and families. Not only will users of the PDR be contributing to important research for midwifery but they will also have the ability to use their own practice's data in a multitude of ways. Think about the value of that information when talking to insurers, legislators, regulators, and the mothers you serve. Susan Stapleton, DNP, CNM; Jennifer Wright, MA


Are you a clinical or administrative director at a birth center?  Then this meeting is for you.  Timely topics in birth centers like staffing, work-life balance, reimbursement and risk management are discussed.  Talk with other people with similar concerns.  Brainstorm solutions to these topics.  Share your experiences that work.




This hands on half day workshop is brought to you by the Industry Relations Committee.  Explore the toolkit they created to help you engage employers, purchasers and insurance plans to include birth centers.  Bring your questions and what has worked for you. Fran Schwartz, JD; Linda Davis, BSN


This half day workshop will focus on several topics including, breastfeeding as a population health topic, failure to latch protocol, diagnosing nipple pain and making more milk.  Join several industry experts to expand your knowledge about these timely topics.


Tags:  administrative  alaska  Birth institute  clinical  post conference  pre-conference  schedule  sessions  workshop 

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2017 Birth Institute: Come for the Education, Stay for the Vacation

Posted By Kelly W. Shaw, Monday, May 22, 2017

Come for Education, Stay for Vacation

The Birth Institute is shaping up to be a great way to earn CEUs, network with movers and shakers in the birth center industry and have fun with your friends and family.

Ten years ago we chose Alaska for our national convention and it was just as good of choice now as it was then. So join us in “the last frontier” to learn and enjoy all the amazing area has to offer.


·        Major speakers – By now, Neel Shah is pretty much a household name in the birth world.  In case you have been busy helping moms and growing your business, Neel Shah is an OB/GYN from Harvard that has spoken and written about both the high cost of health care and how the design of a hospital can greatly reduce the number of c-sections.  He is on the Board of March for Moms and recently spoke at their event on Mother’s Day.  He is a huge supporter of birth centers and joins us in Alaska to talk about the challenge of too much medicine. 


We are also excited to bring you Father Michael Oleska who will talk about how our culture influences the way we understand each other - something all birth center owners, staff and providers must consider.  Mickey Sperlich also joins us.  She is a midwife and expert on changing the narrative of how trauma and mental health challenges can affect a woman’s experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting.


·        Important topics – We have timely topics this year in both the clinical and administrative tracks.  Clinically, you will be able to hear presentations about the best practices in water birth, trauma informed care for midwives, risk criteria and risk management and urogynecology across a woman’s lifespan.

In the administrative tract we have a panel discussion about collaborating and competing with birth centers in your area, ethical and advanced billing, women’s health care in uncertain political times, open and closed staffing models for birth centers and communicating the value of working in birth centers.

·        Pre and post conference workshops – We have added several sessions this year based on your requests!  The How to Start a Birth Center Workshop is perfect for someone looking to create this model in their community or a new employee at a birth center.  There is a workshop on getting started with the Perinatal Data Registry (PDR) and another one on getting the most out of this data set.  Do you need to get recertified in NRP?  We are offering that as well. 

After the convention we are offering two half-day sessions.  One is a breastfeeding symposium where four major topics with be discussed including: breastfeeding as a popular health topic, failure to latch protocol, diagnosing nipple pain and making more milk.  There is also another half-day hands-on session sponsored by the Industry Relations Committee to help birth centers engage employers, purchasers and insurance plans to include birth centers.

·        Invaluable networking – This is THE convention to meet the clinical and administrative leaders in the birth center industry and we give you many opportunities to connect whether that’s the Director’s Networking meeting, several receptions, every lunch, the exhibit hall and of course the birth center tour and progressive dinner of Anchorage’s finest birth centers. For some this is the major reason they attend – to learn something from other attendees.  Maybe it’s a revision of your BMI protocol, maybe it’s a better staffing schedule, maybe it’s a stronger method to collect from insurance companies.  Come network!



We have exciting excursions planned for you so you can enjoy all that Alaska has to offer while you are there.

·        Resurrection Bay Boat Tour and the Alaska Sea Life Center – Full day trip.  I don’t know about you, but there is something about whales that both soothes me and makes me extremely curious.  And being able to catch a glimpse of them in their natural habitat is more than special.  Just to be able to breathe in the crisp sea air and stand out on the deck of a boat in the pristine waters off the coast – sign me up. 

Then spend a little time seeing Alaska’s other sea creatures – otters, seals and sea lions as well as octopi, crabs, sea urchins and the cutest puffins. This center not only showcases a wide variety of Alaska’s sea creatures, it is also involved in research into depleted and endangered native animals as well as teaching all visitors about habitats and breeding programs.

·        Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center – You won’t want to miss this half day trip!  Do you want to meet bear, bison or reindeer?  Do you want to feed birds of prey or porcupine?  This non-profit organization houses and cares for orphaned or injured animals with the intent of releasing them back into the wild.  Those that cannot be released are given a permanent home in their over 200 acres of habitat. Learn about what they do and visit with some of Alaska’s feathered and furry friends!

·        Byron Glacier Trail Hike – This hike is in conjunction with the above Conservation Center trip.  This one mile, one hour hike is designed to be easy, even for children.  It’s not as popular as some of the more famous glaciers so you will have the opportunity to get closer, see more and not have to fight off as many fellow hikers. And the views are simply stunning!

·        Flattop Mountain Hike – This half day trip lets you independently hike for three hours, whether you want to wander and gaze at the views or race to the summit.  You’ll be hiking close to the off season so it will more than likely be very quiet and peaceful. And because it’s that swing season, wear layers to keep warm!

So join us in Alaska in October.  Registration is open now and Early Bird discounts end July 20th!

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March for Moms: Five Questions for Dr. Neel Shah

Posted By Kelly W. Shaw, Friday, April 28, 2017

AABC is a proud supporter of the March for Moms, Sunday, May 14 at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.

Here's an interview with Dr. Neel Shah, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and Board member for the March for Moms on why it's important to show your support in every way you can for this event.

1. There are a lot of marches these days…do we really need a march for moms? The past few months have brought the world a lot of shocking news. One positive consequence of these are uncertain times is that it has stoked a fire of activism in the United States in a way that we have not been seen in decades. We are seeing people of all stripes stand up and advocate for the issues they care deeply about, from science on Earth Day to the well being of moms on Mother’s Day.

Here’s the thing: moms are used to putting themselves last in order to put their families first. We believe it is high time to give our moms the support and public investment they deserve. Right now, one in every three Americans is born through major surgery—twice as many as are medically necessary. At the same time, we have the highest rates of maternal death and injury, the lowest birth weights, and the widest disparities in the entire developed world. If that wasn’t bad enough, we also have the worst paid family leave policies in the entire developed world. My colleagues and I believe the United States of America can do a lot better. That’s why we’re going to be at the Jefferson Memorial on May 14th.

2. What are you hoping to accomplish? We all love our own moms, but the way we treat moms collectively in this country is shameful. Moms are resilient—even when things are tough, they seldom complain. The goal of March for Moms is to ensure they get the support and investment they deserve, whether they complain or not.

3. How are you going to do this? First we created a canvas – the Thomas Jefferson Memorial on Mother’s Day. Then we built a wire frame: a platform of bipartisan issues that everyone can agree are hugely important—from preventing an alarming rate of maternal death, to investing in moms who also work with paid family leave. Within weeks, we had dozens of leading American organizations co-creating the event with us—they are collectively financing and promoting a rally that will gather thousands of families on the National Mall, and feature speakers, entertainers, celebrities, and policymakers. We will also be hosting a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill, followed by a lobbying day directed toward a set of specific bills.

4. Who are you working with? March for Moms started from a conversation between leaders of two professional organizations in maternal health—the American College of Nurse Midwives and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It has since grown to include more than twenty organizations, including Every Mother Counts, March of Dimes, Lamaze International, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and many others.

5. Ok. I’m fired up. How can I be a part of this? Three ways. First, show up. This is a historic event –the first time anything like this has happened—we need you there for it to be as successful as possible. Second, invest—any amount, even just $10, will go a long way towards making sure we capture the attention of policymakers. Third, share. Tell everyone you know—we’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tags:  March for Moms 

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The Business Aspects of Running a Birth Center

Posted By Jennifer Gardella, Thursday, April 13, 2017

Owning and running a birthing center is a very rewarding experience as you help mothers expand their choices to deliver their babies in a warm personal setting. Midwives and others working at birth centers often feel that the attention and comfort they provide is personally and professionally fulfilling. When running a birth center there are business tasks to attend to, that go beyond the training you received in your profession. You may know the famous saying “you have to work on your business as well as in your business.” This means that in addition to the routine appointments with your clients and facilitating the birthing process, you will need to spend some time on the operations. This can all seem a bit overwhelming.


We are here to provide the support you need including access to resources to help you with the business side of your birth center. There are four umbrella areas of running a birth center including finances, marketing, staffing, and your facility. Finances include how you are going to collect payments, process credit cards, work with insurance companies, and also pay the bills for your center. It is important to have the right information so you can manage the finances of your birth center for success. Marketing is often the area that seems too big to even begin to tackle - but just taking small steps towards bigger goals can bring about great results. Marketing will include your website and social media, a logo and even some printed materials. Staffing can be a challenge for any business but harder for a birthing center. You will need to finding the right mix of people to handle required responsibilities yet maintain the values of the center with the right personality. Facilities, equipment and maintenance of your center will need to be coordinated so that the look and feel are aligned with the overall experience you wish to provide.


This will include the physical location as well as the furniture, paint color and making sure it is properly cleaned. We understand your deep commitment to providing clients with a very natural birthing experience. When you have questions regarding the operation of your center we are here to help. The accreditation process and follow-up educational opportunities we provide will help you align your expertise as a midwife with a healthy and successful business endeavor.

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How can physicians and midwives work together

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 30, 2017

 All women want a healthy pregnancy and hope pregnancy and birth both proceed  without complication.  In fact, when low-risk and healthy they may be excellent candidates to work with a midwife. 

 What is a midwife?  Midwives provide basic obstetric care to low-risk women.  They spend more time with their clients. Many prenatal visits are 45 minutes to an hour, focusing on the life and family of the expectant woman. Midwives also take the ‘clinical’ out of the pregnancy and birth experience.  Typically midwives establish close relationships with their clients and many practice in a homelike environment of a birth center (link:

 Midwives are not physicians so when medical issues are present, a consultation with a doctor may be necessary.  Such complications may include high blood pressure and gestational diabetes.  In these types of situations, the expectant woman will be referred to a medical physical (ob/gyn) for further evaluation.  The midwife may already have an established relationship with an ob/gyn or the woman  may select one on her own.   

 In some instances, especially when connecting for the first time, great care needs to be taken in establishing the relationship between the midwife and ob/gyn.  After all, the practice of midwifery is often foreign to trained medical doctors in the US and there are usually stark differences in education and training, client care and management and location of practice. 

 It is critical to the experience of the woman that the midwife and physician work closely together on behalf of the client, especially when the client wants the close bond with the midwife to continue through birth but medical oversight or intervention is needed. 

 How can a midwife and physician work closely together?  A team approach is needed for this work: 


1.       If the health care providers do not know each other, take the time to establish a relationship. Schedule a call or time to meet to share credentials, philosophies and client care strategies.  During this time you can acknowledge difference in practice areas and make a commitment to doing what is in the best interest of the client.  Acknowledge that you both bring a specialty to the table that the expectant woman would like as part of her pregnancy, labor and birth of the child. 

2.       Respect the boundaries of each other’s practice.  If the client is in need of substantial  medical care, the midwife may need to take a back seat to the physician.  Likewise, if the complication is relatively minor, the physician may have a set of protocols for the midwife to follow but release the client to the midwife for primary care. 

3.       Clear communication is key for the sharing of information on how the client is progressing.  When the woman visits with either practitioner, the other should be consulted so all parties are up-to-date.  The client should not be acting as a middle-woman in sharing of test results and progress. 

4.       Being clear in responsibilities will help both the expectant woman and also clearly define your practice areas.  The midwife and the doctor should be clear on who is taking the lead and when the client will need to be seen. 

 Great communication and a plan will help both the midwife and the physician to bring the best level of care to the client.   With the common goal of ensuring that the dyad both remain healthy during pregnancy, labor and birth, it is easy to see how a plan can come together.  While traditional obstetricians and midwives may seem like odd bedfellows, expectant women see value in the services of both and therefore all caregivers should work together.  

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The Top Questions to Ask When Choosing a Birthing Center to Deliver Your Baby

Posted By Jennifer Gardella, Thursday, March 2, 2017

The beginning of your pregnancy is a very exciting and important time.  As you plan for the start or expansion of your family you will need to put a practitioner in place to care for you during your pregnancy from now, through the birth, and your postpartum time.   If you would like to explore using a midwife and delivering a baby in a birth center, you may want to take a tour of the birth center where you will meet providers and see if this is the right fit for you.  

What should you consider when researching and then selecting a birth center?  There are many factors to consider.  As a first step you can search our directory of birth centers ( to get a list of available birth centers in your area.  Next is to look at their websites and call to set-up an appointment for a tour and consultation.  

During your tour and appointment with the midwife it is important to determine if the center and midwife are a good fit for you.  Look around, note the feel of the center and take some mental notes if it feels right to you.  Talk with the staff and consider the following questions:  

About the center/practitioner/midwife:  

  1. What is your birthing philosophy and why did you become a midwife?

  2. What type of training, certification and accreditation have you and your birth center obtained?   

  3. How long have you been a midwife?  

  4. How long has this center been in existence?

  5. Do you accept my health insurance plan?  

  6. Do you offer doulas, breastfeeding consultants, yoga or chiropractic care during my pregnancy and delivery?

About your family:  

  1. We are not a traditional couple, will we feel accepted at the birth center?

  2. I am a client that might be different than those of the birth center.  Will I fit in? How does the center address cultural and religious accommodations.

Prenatal Care:  

  1. Can you describe your prenatal care visits - I have heard that midwives spend more time with their patients, why is that?  What will we talk about?  

  2. What is your position about prenatal screenings and ultrasounds?  

  3. How many clients are you working with at one time?

  4. I’ve heard that birth centers offer home visits a few days after birth.  Do you do that as well?

  5. Do you offer parenting, childbirth education, Centering™, breastfeeding, car seat, baby wearing classes?

Your Delivery:  

  1. Where will I deliver my baby?

  2. When would we need outside consultation during labor and delivery?  

  3. What if there are complications?  (Gestational diabetes, breech birth)

  4. Is water birth an option or can I only labor in the tub?

  5. How will you help me manage my pain?   

  6. I would like my placenta encapsulated.  Do you offer that service?

  7. Can our birth photographer attend the birth as well?

  8. Are there fees for things like nitrous oxide?

After-birth care:  

  1. Will I be able to come back to the birth center for postpartum visits and follow-up well woman care here?  

When you deliver your baby in a birth center you want a family experience for the birth of your baby.  This is a very personal decision for you to make and one that should be done with much thought.  We look forward to support you through the process of finding the right birth center for you and encourage you to do your research on our website!  

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Your Dilemma: When Insurance Does Not Cover a Birth Center

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 25, 2017

You have made the decision to use a birth center as it is the right fit for your family.  You have a low-risk pregnancy and are not expecting any complications.  You look forward to your extended visits with your midwife during your pregnancy and then having her by your side throughout labor and delivery.  You want the home-like atmosphere of the birth center and are ready to involve your family.  

With a push to control general medical care and hospital costs, birth centers can be a great solutions to the high costs of delivery a baby in the hospital.  The problem is that insurance companies still are struggling to cover the costs associated with having a baby in a birth center and the midwife care.  

This is odd because birth center care of the mother and baby through delivery is less expensive than more traditional hospital stays. With childbirth being the single largest hospital expense for employers the birth center should be a welcome addition to an insurance plan.  With lower overhead, lower c-section rate, and mandatory (sometimes unnecessary) medications for delivery, hospitals stays are typically very expensive.  

So, what should you do if your insurance company has denied your initial request to use a birth center or midwife?  

Call Your Insurance Company

Sometimes your request to use a birth center will be denied because of a coding issue in the system or a misunderstanding of a processing agent who does not understand your request.  The birth center should be accustomed to this happening and help you through the process.  Explore options to change and/or upgrade your insurance coverage to allow for the birth center option.  Call your insurance agent, do your research on the company website, and ask questions about others you can speak with as well as options you may have.  

Talk with your Employer

More than likely your employer has selected your health care package to provide comprehensive coverage but within a budget.  It is possible that the individuals making the selections do not think to add a midwife or birth center option because they just did not know to ask.  Allowing this option could in fact save money on the plan since using the midwife and birth center options are more cost effective than traditional routes.  Additionally, your employer may make an exception or allot certain discretionary budget to your request or help you start a flexible spending account to manage the expenses.  You are never going to know if you do not ask.

Can You Manage the Expense on Your Own?  

Your birth center will give you a very accurate picture of the costs.  Costs to vary from center to center, region to region so it is almost impossible to tell you what it “should cost.”  If you are determined to use a birth center you have options for the expense.   Make sure to have a very frank conversation about the decision with the birth center you chose and you are giventhe best rate possible for their care.  Many birth centers can offer payment plans to make the cost more affordable over time.

While we all like to think that our healthcare options are for us to make on our own, sometimes health insurance does prevent care based on the limits to the policies.  Use all available resources at your disposal to work out the best solution for you.  

Tags:  birth options  health insurance 

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Are You A Good Fit for a Birth Center?

Posted By Jennifer Gardella, Monday, January 9, 2017
Updated: Monday, January 9, 2017

There are so many very personal decisions for expectant mothers to make about their birthing plan, and for every decision there are just as many options.  The most important consideration is making the best decisions for you and your family. If you have been investigating other options, you may have heard of a birth center.  

What is a birth center?  While each birth center is a bit different, they have several similar qualities that can benefit a mom as she delivers a baby.  Typically a birth center is a home-like facility dedicated to providing care to mother and child throughout pregnancy and birth.  A birth center caters to a family centered approach to childbirth and allows a healthy woman to have a dedicated circle of support around her.  They are able to handle all necessary testing including all newborn screenings.  Birth center care is given by midwives and a close bond between caregiver and client is created.  

So, how do you make the decision to use a birth center?  

Is Your Pregnancy Healthy?

Birth centers are a great fit for women who are having a healthy pregnancy.  Along with their provider the healthy client is expected to have a natural birth with no complications.  A birth center may not be the right setting for you if gestational diabetes or high blood pressure have been a part of your pregnancy.  

Are You Comfortable with the Idea?  

If you find comfort in a natural approach to the birth of your newborn baby then a birth center may be the right choice for you.  You and your midwife will spend a significant amount of time together and your midwife has extensive experience caring for pregnant mothers, delivering babies and providing after birth care to both mother and child.  If an issue arises, birth center staff are able to start any emergency procedures you may require and arrange for a transfer to a medical facility.  

Do you Want a Client Centered Approach to Your Pregnancy?  

Midwives spend a significant amount of time with their patients.  This includes regular appointments during pregnancy and then throughout labor and delivery.  Your midwife is with you every step of the way with a focus on natural childbirth including the management of pain without medical intervention.

Always Trust your Instinct

As birth centers grow in popularity many more women and their families are choosing to use them.   If you want the focus to be on you and your baby, a birth center could be a great option.  It is best to visit the birth center, take a tour and meet the staff who will be caring for you throughout pregnancy and delivery.  Then you can decide if this is best for you and your family.  

Tags:  Birth Centers  pregnancy 

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