Frequently Asked Questions
Many of the most common questions received are answered below.
However, if you don’t find the information you are looking for, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.
Is it safe to give birth outside the hospital?
Yes. Many studies have been done that prove the safety of out-of-hospital birth. For a low-risk woman with a low-risk pregnancy, outcomes are just as good, if not better for planned out-of-hospital births with a Certified Professional Midwife than for hospital births, and are associated with fewer interventions and a much lower likelihood of cesarean birth. Below are some links to some more information about the safety of out-of-hospital birth:
- New Studies Confirm Safety of Home Birth With Midwives in the U.S.
- The Farm Midwifery Center: Outcomes of 2,028 Pregnancies: 1970-2008
- British Medical Journal Study: Outcomes of Planned Home Births With Certified Professional Midwives: Large Prospective Study in North America
- Birth by the Numbers (Statistics About Birth)
- British Journal of Gynaecology (BJOG) Article: Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity in a Nationwide Cohort Low-Risk Planned Home and Hospital Births
- A Good Midwife Makes Giving Birth at Home as Safe as in the Hospital
What is the fee, and do you work with insurance?
Our fee is what we bill insurance. However, we require less than that from you before your birth. If you are uninsured, or if your insurance does not cover our care, we will work with you to help you find a way to make your dream of an out-of-hospital birth a reality. In order to come into care with us, we initially require a $500 administrative fee. For some, that may be all you will pay for your birth with the duration covered by insurance. Although, we do work with insurance, each insurance company is different, and each plan within a particular insurance company is different as well.
Some of our clients have HSA (Health Savings Accounts), and choose to use those funds to pay for their birth or the administrative fee. That way, any out of pocket expense would be covered by your HSA funds. Insurance is billed after the birth.
You may also qualify for a longer term, low interest loan option to pay for your birth expenses. Contact MedLoan to learn more about this option. We understand that the financial aspect is an important part of your decision in choosing a care provider. It may be challenging to pay for these services yourself when insurance may cover up to 100% for a different provider or a hospital birth. We believe having a baby is a special event that is an investment and is well worth the expense. We are here to help how ever we can to ensure you receive the birth of your choice.
What’s included in your fee?
For Birth Center births, our fee includes all of your prenatal care, the birth, the facility fee, postpartum care for you, and well baby care for your baby through the 6-week postpartum period. It does not include any services from other providers or companies, such as labs or ultrasounds you may need or desire. For home births, you will also need to purchase a birth kit, which is a box of disposable supplies you will need for your birth. It is about $70. Clients choosing to give birth in water at home may need to purchase or rent a birthing pool. The cost of the birthing pool is not included in our fee.
I’ve been seeing another provider. How do I start the process of transferring to NOVA Natural Birth Center? What are your policies for accepting clients transferring later in their pregnancy?
Transferring care is usually an easy process. We will need copy of your prenatal records to date. You can request them yourself, or we can send a records request to your previous provider. Ideally, we like to see women starting in the first trimester. We know that sometimes, as you learn more about birth, your priorities and beliefs about how you intend your birth to be may change, and your provider may not be the right fit for you anymore. Also, some people come to us later in their pregnancy due to a move. We’ve had people come here from other countries as far away as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Nigeria, China, and Turkey to have a natural birth at the birth center. To date, our latest transfer was 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant.
I need to travel out of the country shortly after my baby is born, so I will need to get a U.S. Passport for my baby. In order to do that, I need a copy of my baby’s birth certificate. How long does it take to get the birth certificate?
We cannot guarantee a definite processing time for the birth certificate. Generally, we complete the birth certificate at the birth, and file it with the Health Department the following business day. It takes about a week for the Health Department to process the birth certificate before they send it to the Department of Vital Records in Richmond for processing there. According to the Vital Records website, it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks for the birth certificate to be issued, and we do not have a way to expedite that process.
Do you offer VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)?
Yes, we do offer VBAC under most circumstances. Certain VBACs may be higher risk and require more than our midwifery care model affords. We would assess your particular situation in order to see if VBAC is something we can offer you with confidence.
Do you work with Obstetricians? If so, how does that work?
Although our credentials do not require us to have a physician involved in your care with us, we are now proud to say we have a collaborative practice where we can successfully co-manage your care with our reputable physicians, if needed. In the event it becomes necessary to seek consultation with an obstetrician, we can now do that in house without having to transfer you out completely. We have an ongoing collaborative relationship that allows us to work as a team in providing your care per your desires. If there is a need for you to go to the hospital urgently, your midwife will go with you and be there with you and work along with a physician from our team in most circumstances.
What is the plan if we need to transfer to a hospital? Do you have a relationship with a hospital?
We are required, by law, to develop an emergency transport plan for every client we serve. In that plan, we determine the nearest hospital, as well as your hospital of choice (for non-emergent situations). In an emergency, we would call 911 and transport via ambulance. The midwife would accompany you or your baby in the ambulance, and would continue to provide care until care was transferred to the doctor on call at the hospital. The vast majority of our transfers are non-emergent. In a non-emergent transfer, we would normally travel by car to the hospital. Once we arrive, we would manage the transfer of care as described above. Every labor and birth is different, and it is difficult to detail every possible condition that would require transfer. Again, most transfers are non-emergent. We consider the situation, discuss it with the couple, inform them of the risks and benefits of the various options available, and we make the decision together about transporting.Since we are autonomous care providers, we do not have a formal relationship with any particular hospital. We have certain hospitals we prefer to use during transfers, if possible, but the choice of hospital is ultimately up to you or EMS. We can transfer to any hospital.
More Questions? Ask them at our next Info Session!
Learn more about In Hospital, Out of Hospital, and Birth Center Birth
Our Service Area: NOVA Natural Birth Center midwives serve families throughout the entire Northern Virginia area and about 50 + miles surrounding our Chantilly location. We are near the Dulles International Airport and serve the following communities, Aldie, South Riding, Centreville, Dulles, Fairfax, Falls Church, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Leesburg, Arlington, Alexandria, Annandale, Burke, Springfield, Manassas, Woodbridge, Gainesville, Haymarket, Bristow, Richmond, Fredricksburg, Stafford and beyond. We also attend home births in these areas. Some couples come to the birth center from Washington DC, Maryland and beyond. If you live near the border of our service area, we may, depending upon your exact location, still be able to help you or refer you to a midwife who lives closer to you.