Frequently Asked Questions

How is Santa Fe Birth Center different from a hospital or home birth?  

At Santa Fe Birth Center people are clients, not patients.  We espouse the midwifery model of care – meaning that we support birth’s transformative, normal, physiologic process, requiring tender attention but most often little or no intervention.  Santa Fe Birth Center is a free-standing, State accredited center staffed by licensed midwives.  All the staff seek to know every client and family’s unique needs and desires to provide continuity of care prenatally, through birth and postpartum.   Individual attention is our primary intention.

When should I start my care at Santa Fe Birth Center?  

RIGHT AWAY! SFBC is not a place that you come to just at the time of birth.  We are a full-scope midwifery practice, which means that we provide Prenatal, Birth, Postpartum, and Well-Baby care.  We also provide pre-conception counseling and well-person care. 

Is out of hospital birth safe?  

YES! For many, out of hospital birth is a safe option.  Studies confirm that women eligible for birth center births have lower morbidity rates than similar populations of women using hospitals.  For example, women using birth centers have a six percent cesarean rate --if hospital transport is necessary-- whereas similar populations of women using hospitals have a 12 percent cesarean section rate (American Association of Birth Centers).  Santa Fe Birth Center staff encourages people to research birth options and statistics to feel comfortable with choice of birth place.

Can I have a water birth?


YES! Santa Fe Birth Center has two spacious birth rooms, each with a birthing tub. The tubs can be used for labor and/or birth.  Benefits of hydrotherapy include an often greater feeling of pain relief and a sense of more control of the birth process.

What pain management options are available to me? 

Many natural pain relief methods are available including massage, heat, hydrotherapy, and position changes.  Since we do not use epidurals that require people to stay in bed, providers encourage the person to listen to their body and whenever possible to use gravity’s assistance.  Trusted care providers are skilled not only in physical pain relief but also in emotional and mental support.  Relaxation and meditation techniques --begun in prenatal care and continued in childbirth education classes-- are most useful during birth.  Anyone planning a hospital birth is still welcome to take our childbirth education classes (currently on hold due to the pandemic). 

Can I give birth at Santa Fe Birth Center if I’ve had a cesarean birth?

YES! We advocate for VBAC, or vaginal birth after cesarean. Current regulations stipulate that birthing people who have had one low-transverse cesarean birth may be eligible to birth vaginally at the birth center given no other preexisting conditions. Please contact us to find out if you fit the state-mandated criteria. 

Who can attend my birth? 

We welcome participation by anyone our client wants present for the birth experience.   Since the place of birth can make a critical difference between a satisfying or disappointing birth experience, the birth center is set up not only to accommodate the birthing person’s needs but also for friends and family, with comfortable space in and outside the birth room.  Santa Fe Birth Center offers a safe, healthy and nurturing space for everyone involved in the birth. The Center has a children’s play area, kitchen, living room, a separate handicapped accessible bathroom and a four-season garden. Everyone present must be in sound health and children need to be attended by an adult. 

Can I bring my doula?

YES! We strongly encourage all birthing people to have a doula during labor. Studies show doulas help reduce anxiety and time in labor, increase newborn bonding, and facilitate partner relationships postpartum. We work closely with The Birthing Tree doulas, which are well acquainted with Santa Fe Birth Center.  A private practice doula is also welcome.

What if complications arise?

Our midwives address complications if they arise; however if hospital transport is necessary a fully-equipped 24/7 on-call hospital staffed by both midwives and physicians is only four minutes away. We arrange for the transfer and accompany you to the hospital.

What are the payment options?

We will work with you and your insurance provider, private or Medicaid, to help you get the maximum reimbursement. We also accept self-pay and offer payment plans.

Can I see the birth center and meet the staff before deciding?


YES!  Due to the covid-19 pandemic, we are currently not offering our monthly open houses. However, we welcome scheduling a free, individual tour and consultation to see the birth center, meet the staff to ask all your questions and see if we are a good fit for you and your family.