FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How is Santa Fe Birth Center different from a hospital or home birth?
At Santa Fe Birth Center birthing women 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, certified nurse midwives, and doulas. 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.
Is out of hospital birth safe?
A common assumption is that when birth went into hospitals in the 1930’s and 1940’s and mortality rates decreased at that time that hospital birth must be safer. However Majorie Tew, an epidemiologist who examined thousands of birth records documents in her book, Safer Birth? A Critical History of Midwifery Care, that similar populations of women who birthed at home had the same decrease in mortality. Mortality’s decrease for hospital and home birth populations occurred because of the introduction of antibiotics, increased sanitation, and better nutrition. Studies also 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 women to stay in bed, providers help women stay upright 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.
Can I give birth at Santa Fe Birth Center if I’ve had a cesarean birth?
We advocate for VBAC, or vaginal birth after cesarean. Current regulations stipulate that birthing women who have had one low-transverse cesarean birth may be eligible to birth vaginally at the birth center given no other preexisting conditions.
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?
We strongly encourage all birthing women 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.
When should I start my care at Santa Fe Birth Center?
We are a full-scope midwifery practice. Care can be initiated for pre-conception counseling, in pregnancy, or for well-woman care. Starting prenatal care early is recommended.
What are the payment options?
We are are in the final stages of becoming a Medicaid provider. For those with private insurance we will work with you and the insurance carrier 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 please! We have open houses the first Saturday of every month from 10:30-12:00 noon for you to see the birth center, meet the staff, and ask all your questions. In both the months of July and September 2020 the first Saturday falls on a holiday, therefore during those months the open house will be held the second Saturday of the month. We also offer a 1-hour free consultation whether or not you are available for the open house. Due to the covid-19 virus, we will not have our open house on July 11th, but we encourage those interested in care to contact us directly.