top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

It is fantastic that you are considering an out of hospital birth, but sometimes there are questions.  Here are some commonly asked questions that can give you a little more information.

  • When should I start prenatal care?
    You can start your care whenever you feel ready to start care. It is always encouraged for people to start care when they begin thinking about having a baby. There are so many things you can do to help encourage a healthy pregnancy prior to a positive pregnancy test. If you are already pregnant, the sooner the better. Boosting your health and helping to combat possible pregnancy discomforts will help you gain knowledge, confidence, and a great respect for your body and all it is doing to help your baby grow.
  • How often will I visit with my midwife?
    You will see your midwife every month at the beginning, from your first visit until 28 weeks. After 28 weeks you will see your midwife every two weeks until 36 weeks. After 36 weeks, you will see your midwife every week until your baby is born.
  • Do you require specific tests during pregnancy
    You will be able to fully participate in your care! You will be offered all of the same testing you would receive at a doctor's office. The risks and benefits will be discussed along with the type of results that each test will provide. You will have the ability and opportunity to do some research, discuss it over with your loved ones, ask questions, and then make your own decision. Summit Maternity Care Center does require one ultrasound around 20 weeks, blood work, and all vitals done at each visit.
  • Will you use a fetoscope in place of a doppler if requested?
    Absolutely, in fact fetoscope is preferred. Doppler carries the same kinds of risks to the baby as ultrasound does.
  • What is your experience with herbs, homeopathy, and alternative medicine?
    Our midwife has had formal education in herbs, homeopathy, and alternative medicine. This route is generally offer this route of treatment before offering any routine pharmaceuticals.
  • Do I have to have a baby at the birth center in order to use your services?
    No. Summit Maternity Care Center also provides prenatal care and support to women exploring hospital birth options. There are three ways to receive care when deciding if a hospital birth is the right option for you. Receive prenatal care and postpartum care: You will receive all routine prenatal care, testing, and support up until labor ensues. Once in labor, you can head to the hospital and assume care with the on-call physician. The on-call physician will provide all care at the hospital. Once discharged, your midwife would provide the remainder of your postpartum care. Receive prenatal care with assistance of a doula: This option would allow you the ability to receive all routine prenatal care, testing and support up until labor ensues. Once in labor, the birth center would provide a doula to join you. Once at the hospital, the on-call physician will provide all care at the hospital. Once discharged, your midwife would provide the remainder of your postpartum care. Receive prenatal care: You will receive all routine prenatal care, testing, and support up until labor ensues. Once in labor, you will have the option to labor at home with or without a doula (separate fee applies for the use of a doula) and once ready can head to the hospital. Once there you will assume care with the on-call physician. The on-call physician will provide all care at the hospital. Once discharged, you would follow up with the physician on-call that delivered your baby in their office.
  • Do you require childbirth education to prepare for birth?
    Childbirth education is required for women experiencing and planning for their first vaginal birth. Families who participate in childbirth education are more successful in their birthing experience and are less likely to transfer to the hospital. It is great information and sometimes a nice refresher, so we also offer classes for families who have already had a baby looking to do a mini course. It is also encouraging to connect with other families in the community. ​
  • Do you require a doula?
    First time mothers are required to have a doula during labor. This team will support you throughout your labor and in the event of a transfer, your doula will go with you to the hospital to continue support. Your doula can be present with you in your home until it is time for your midwife to be with you.
  • How many clients do you take in a month?
    Summit Maternity Care Center takes 5-7 women a month.
  • What happens if two mothers are in labor at the same time?
    In the event of more than one person in labor at a time, we will have both mother's laboring at the birth center. We also have support from several other midwives in the community if we need further back up.
  • Can I go past 42 weeks of pregnancy?
    The option to go past 42 weeks is discussed along with testing that is offered to reassure the baby's well-being. As long as testing comes back positively along with a doctors consult, and the pregnancy has been healthy without complication, going past 42 weeks can be an option.
  • I have decided Summit is for me, what are my next steps?
    We would like to invite you to our Consultation Open House. You will have a chance to meet our team, ask questions, and have a tour of the birth center. Each family is considered for care through an application process reviewed by a committee of midwives. This application process helps us to ensure that each family who receives care is low risk, healthy, and qualified to have a birth outside of the hospital. We limit our care to 5-7 families a month, this ensures optimal and personal care to each family we have the privilege to serve.
  • When will I come to the birth center?
    When you are ready. This timing is different for everyone. A common question I ask is "Do you feel the need to have your midwife?" If the answer is yes, then we talk about meeting at the birth center. During prenatal visits we do discuss optimal timing in contractions, but everyone's labor is so different with everyone. Our goal is to be in active labor when admitted to the birth center. If you are not in active labor, you will be sent home to labor some more.
  • What does the midwife do during labor?
    Your midwife will help support you in giving birth in the way that you would like to give birth. Your midwife will monitor your health and the well-being of your baby. Your midwife will help you to progress in your labor through position changes, movement and rotation of the baby, hydration, nutrition, physical and emotional support. Your midwife will support the natural progression of labor and encourage you to trust the process. Your midwife is present to guard the health of mom and baby medically. Though your midwife may provide some physical support and pain management techniques, her primary role is the medical health of mother and baby. If you feel you will need more support, your doula will be available to you.
  • What equipment and supplies do you have for my birth?
    The birth center has the majority of the items you would find in a hospital. There will be a birth supply fee that covers all your birthing needs such as: cord clamp, amnihook, sterile gloves, sterilization and provision of instruments to detach the cord, catheter, chucks pads, gauze, tape, suture material. We also have emergency equipment such as IV equipment, Delee, surgical instruments, Ambu for mother and baby, we have oxygen per FL state law, however new guidelines state oxygen should no longer be used for neonatal resuscitation and can cause harm.
  • How long do we stay after birth?
    You will stay at least three hours postpartum and upwards of six hours. We monitor the health and well being of you and your baby. We assure that you are able to get up, use the toilet, take a shower, eat, and have breastfed before you return home.
  • Are you able to suture a tear?
    Yes. Our midwife is trained and experienced in the repair of first and second-degree lacerations. Lacerations that involve the rectum require the extensive knowledge of an OB/GYN and would require transport to the hospital.
  • Do you do delayed cord clamping?
    Yes. Our midwife does not usually use a cord clamp on the cord until after the placenta has detached, delivered, and has stopped pulsing. Commonly the cord stays connected to the baby until the newborn examination. This can be up to 2 hours after birth. The cord can be cut at anytime. In rare lifesaving instances, the cord may be clamped and cut just before baby is born. In the event that cord banking is being used, the process is different and requires the cord to be cut shortly after birth.
  • How many people can I have at my birth?
    You are welcome to invite anyone to your birth. It is common however, that women will find a dark and quiet place to give birth. It is not uncommon to have mothers retreat to the bathroom to give birth when a group of people are present during birth.
  • How many people do you bring to my birth?
    Our birth team is 2-3 persons. This team includes your midwife, one student, and one assistant. On occasion, two attendants may be present if a birth assistant or student is in training. No more than two assistants or students will attend your birth. You are welcome to request the size team you would like, the minimum is two. Midwife and her assistant. ​
  • How many postpartum visits do you provide?
    Once your baby is born, you will see your midwife 24-48 hours after the birth at the birth center. Postpartum appointments after the 24-48 hour appointment are unlimited. You may see your midwife as often as you feel you need to up to 6 weeks postpartum. You can schedule a postpartum at any point past 6 weeks postpartum until your child's first birthday at a reduced fee and your midwife is always able to schedule a phone appointment at no charge.
  • Do you do placenta encapsulation?
    Yes. placenta services are available. Services included encapsulation, placental tincture, placental prints, smoothie and placental creams. All placental products are delivered by your follow up postpartum visit and are stored in glass along with dosage instructions. There is an additional coast.
  • Is there help with breastfeeding?
    Yes, Our midwife has over 8 years of experience as a Certified Lactation Counselor. She is sitting her IBCLC board in September 2024.
  • Why do people transfer to hospital?
    There are many reasons for transfer throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum. Anything that would cause the need for a higher level of care would be a reason for transfer. Here are some examples, they are not limited to this list, but may include: abnormal progression of labor, abnormal fetal heart rate, hemorrhage, unresponsive infant, third or fourth degree laceration, etc.
  • How would transfer occur?
    There are two types of transfer, non-emergent and emergent. For non-emergent transfers, the transfer may be made by car to the hospital of your choice within proper distance. For emergent transfers, transfer will be made by ambulance to the nearest hospital with a labor and delivery unit.
  • Does my midwife come with me to the hospital?
    Your midwife will call the hospital and provide a report to the team that will be receiving you for care. Due to changes in protocol with Charlotte County EMS and Shore Point Medical Center, your midwife will not be transferring to the hospital by ambulance. She will be in communication by telephone. Your midwife will meet you at the hospital to help develop a plan and support you. Your doula will be available to you, pending hospital protocol, to provide emotional and physical support.
  • What happens if I bleed too much?
    Your midwife has expereince in managing postpartum hemorrhage. A cocktail of herbs are used at delivery to help reduce the chance of postpartum bleeding. If a hemorrhage occurs, medicinal products and fundal massage may be used to help control bleeding. In the event that bleeding becomes emergent, transfer to the hospital by ambulance will be the option for further care.
  • Have you had any poor outcomes with a mother or baby?
    Our midwife has never had a mother nor a baby die under her care at the birth center or at home. Our midwife has had experience with unforeseen complications that include: shoulder dystocia, unresponsive infant, placenta accreta, hemorrhage, cord prolapse, placental abruption, abnormal fetal heart rate, etc. All care in emergent conditions have resolved in care at a hospital. Our midwife would prefer to prevent a complication rather than cause one, the management approach is centered around this philosophy.
bottom of page