Frequently Asked Questions
+ How is a midwife different from a doctor?
The midwifery model of care focus’s on wellness and utilizes an integrative approach to prenatal care and birth. A midwife provides the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and comprehensive postpartum support.
+ Will I also see a doctor during my prenatal care or birth?
Most women will not see a doctor during their pregnancy. A Certified Nurse Midwife is a primary care provider. Golden Oak Midwives (GO) offer comprehensive prenatal care and have admitting privileges at Alta Bates. We attend your birth, “catch” your baby, and care for you through the postpartum period. GO Midwives work with physicians at UCSF Benioff, in Oakland should a complication arise at any time during your pregnancy. We have 24-hour doctor backup in the hospital while you are in labor.
+ How long are my visits with you? Who can come to my visits?
We like to start our relationship with an initial one hour consultation that partners are encouraged to attend. This visit gives us an opportunity to learn about your desires and expectations for your pregnancy and care. After the initial visit, prenatal visits are 30-60 minutes long and partner’s are always invited! We want to build a relationship with you and your support team.
The structure of visits include a period to answer questions and get know you. We review labs and provide anticipatory guidance for what to expect during each stage of your pregnancy. Visits include an assessment of the baby and mother. During each visit the midwife listens to the fetal heart beat and measures the growth of your baby. During the third trimester, several visits are directed at preparing for birth and include your partner, family support, and doula.
+ Can a midwife order the labs I will need during my pregnancy?
Yes. Any lab, ultrasound, or genetic screening test can be ordered by a Board Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). CNM’s can write prescriptions and make referrals to other medical providers as needed.
+ Where will I deliver my baby if you are my midwife?
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, CA.
+ Will my midwife be with me during my labor?
During the early part of labor women stay at home with their partners, doula and any other support person(s) invited to participate in the birth. Once the woman is in active labor, we (Ellie or Gwen) meet each client at the hospital and provide continuous labor support until the baby is born. Women are free to move, change positions regularly, eat and be in and out of the bathtub/shower during labor.
+ Can I get an epidural or other pain medication in labor?
Yes. Our goal is to provide you with the information about your choices and ensure that you and your body are in control of your birth experience.
+ What happens if I need a cesarean section?
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center contracts with a group of obstetricians that work on the Labor and Delivery unit 24 hours a day. They back-up Golden Oak Midwives and other medical groups in the community. These doctors will perform a cesarean section for women cared for by Golden Oak Midwives when it is medically necessary.
+ What happens after the baby is born?
After the delivery of your baby, the GO midwife on call (Ellie or Gwen) will stay at the hospital to make sure both you and your baby have transitioned with ease into the immediate postpartum period. The baby is encouraged to have skin to skin contact for the first hours of life to promote bonding and breastfeeding. Once it is clear that both mom and baby are medically stable we go home.
After your birth, the midwife on call (Ellie or Gwen) will see you each day in the hospital. We work closely with the staff at Alta Bates to discharge women home 1-2 days after their delivery.
Every family returns to our office for a postpartum visit at 2 weeks and 6 weeks after the birth of the baby.
+ Do you take insurance? Can I afford a midwife?
We work with all insurance plans. Golden Oak Midwives wants to ensure that cost is never a barrier to exceptional care. Details of insurance coverage are addressed during our free consultation visit.