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Questions about midwives and other stuff...

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
I have recently moved to Houston from Alberta, Canada and I am pregnant with my 3rd child. I am considering having a midwife for this baby rather than an OB. Ideally I would like to have a midwife attended birth in a hospital, possibly a water birth. Is this possible? I really like the idea of a home birth but I don't think I'm brave enough to do it. Do midwives take insurance? Our carrier is United Health Care if that makes a difference. How do you find a midwife? I've googled and found a list of 20 or so but surely there are more in a city this size. I will likely be delivering at Christus St. Catherine in Katy. If you are having a hospital birth do you need an OB as well? How about a pediatrician for after the baby is born or does the midwife look after it? Any advice you can give me will be great as I'm really searching in the dark here, the health care system is sooo different than where I came from. Thanks y'all!
post #2 of 27
Welcome to Texas!!! I have a good friend who's Canadian...wish it were closer!

As to birth - I understand that Katy is a little more natural-friendly than other areas, but I don't personally know any midwives that work there. I'm sure someone will come along soon and plug you into the right spot. You'll probably want to shop around til you find a doc/midwife who's right for you. Decide what is important for you and what you can be flexible on. i.e. you want no pitocin and they always use it on all patients...not good. Be sure you investigate your hospital too...nurses have at least as much influence on the birth experience as doctors/midwives.

Congratulations on the new baby!!!

-Rebecca
post #3 of 27
If you're looking for a water birth without doing a homebirth you might want to consider a birth center. I just had my second babe at a birth center here in NE Houston (pretty far drive from Katy, but I know of at least one other mom from Katy that gave birth here). PM me if you want details.

There are different kinds of midwives, too. CNMs (Certified Nurse-Midwives) can work in hospitals or birth centers (some also do homebirths, but not usually all three kinds). Direct-entry midwives (I think the designation is LPM, Licensed Professional Midwife? Somebody correct me if I'm wrong!) usually do homebirths.

http://www.texasmidwives.com/ This is a professional listing for midwives---not all of them are part of it, but a lot of them are. CNMs usually are listed through a nursing organization though.

I would guess if you want a water birth attended by a midwife that is not a homebirth, then your best bet is a birth center.

Congrats, good luck, and welcome to Texas!
post #4 of 27
The only hospital based midwives are the one's at St. Lukes Hospital I think they are a good option for women who don't feel comfortable at home, but you have to realize that they are still subject to all the hospital "rules". Birthing in the water is not an option at any hospital here, though some will allow you to labor there until you water breaks. We have great options here for homebirth midwives so I would really encourage you to look into that more. You can find a resource list here, along with other great info.

Oh and of course there is a birth center. Of course the only difference in that and homebirth is that you have to travel during labor. Homebirth midwives bring the same equipment to a homebirth that you would have at a birth center. Depending on where you live you may find that your house is closer to hospital in case of an emergency than the birth center.
post #5 of 27
I'm not sure what kind of drive you would have, but I'm using Bernadette Oliver, who runs Rite of Passage birth center. http://www.pearlandbirthcenter.com

If that's too far, you may just call and ask if they know of any on that side of town.
post #6 of 27
post #7 of 27
There are 2 other hospital based CNM's that I know of. One is Chantel Ashley and she delivers at Methodist Willowbrook. She is in this practice...

http://www.nwwomens.com/

The other is Karen Brock and she delivers at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands.

http://specialistsforwomen.net/index.asp

I do not have first hand experience with either of these, but others have and do recommend them.

Nativiti is a birth center in The Woodlands and you can have a water birth there. It is a beautiful birth center. My daughter gave birth there and both of the mw's are great. They take insurance too...

http://www.nativiti.com/

Hope this helps!
post #8 of 27
are there seriously only three hospital mw groups here? That makes me so sad! I would have thought there'd be more than a handful.

AFAIK, there is no place in town to have a hospital water birth. I'm currently using the mws with women's specialists. I was told I could labor in water, even after my membranes ruptured (I specifically asked), at st. lukes (we'll see if that's just lipservice). AFAIK they just have showers and regular tubs though, not whirlpools or anything fancy.

OP you should get a list of providers from your insurance company. Depending on whether you have an HMO or PPO you may only have specific providers covered. Insurance is complicated. Even people using the same insurance carrier can have wildly different plans.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your info and links, I have a lot to think about. I think the main thing is to decide what I want and commit to it, then take it from there. And see what my insurance will cover. I'll take any more advice you have and if you want to throw out some names of midwives you've used and loved (preferably in my area) that would be great!
post #10 of 27
I know policies vary from company to company, but I have United and they kind of cover midwives. If they're in network (only certain CNMs are), they cover 80% after our deductible. If they're out of network (birth centers, homebirth) they cover 50% after our deductible.

I am using Cathy Rude, who is based in Katy for my homebirth.

You will find that Houston is one of the least friendly cities in the country for natural birth. Birth centers or homebirth really are the way to go.
post #11 of 27
For homebirth midwives, check out http://www.houstonmidwives.org/ . That's a more comprehensive list of the area midwives. Cathy Rude is in Katy, and I know others travel to that area, as well. My midwife, Sandra McDonald, lives southwest of town but does ALL home visits, so she'd come to you. I have a friend who lived in Cinco Ranch and birthed with Sandra. Sandra is absolutely wonderful! Her info is on the site above.

I have UHC, with a PPO plan. They do cover midwives, but of course none are in network (for homebirths). In theory you can get a "gap coverage." Search the forums - home birth forum specifically - for info on that. I got terrible service and mine didn't work, and I didn't have the energy postpartum to file an appeal. But, they did pay partially - just not all that much in the scheme of things.

Most MWs have a pretty good feel for how insurance works for them, so that's a good thing to discuss when interviewing.
post #12 of 27
You can also look into the midwives that work with The Women's Specialists of Houston. I had my second child with them at Methodist Hospital (they also deliver at St. Luke's).

Website here.

I have UHC, too and my midwife for this baby is either Jackie Griggs and/or Diana Nash (Pasadena and Liberty, respectively).

My business partner just worked with one of our clients (I'm a doula) who had a homebirth in Houston and Cathy Rude was the midwife. She was fantastic!
post #13 of 27
Good luck with your search! UHC will cover homebirth

I use Chris Duffy, but there are a number of good homebirth midwives in town.

Couldn't pay me enough to have a hospital birth in this town unless it was absolutely necessary.

-Angela
post #14 of 27
Hi - I'm from the UK and also moved to Texas pregnant so know what you mean about different health care systems! One thing to consider... Christus St Catherines has only a level 1 nursery - only the same level of care that a CNM would be able to offer at home in case of complication/ problems after birth. They also have no 24hr in house anaesthetist. I gave birth at home in Katy with a midwife and it was suggested that we look for a hospital back up in case of emergency transfer that had a level 2 nursery and in house anaesthetists (Memorial Hermann Katy had both). I think in lower level facility they only deal with low risk/ no complication, much the same as a midwife would at home. Also, check with your OB for standard practice - I initially saw an OB who worked from Christus St Catherine and was told a bunch of stuff that really put me off - the baby will be taken away for 3-4 hours after the birth, induction will be required 2 or 3 days past due date etc. Didn't sound too mom/ baby-friendly to me. Good luck - hope you find what you're looking for.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
All right ladies, thanks for all your good advice and suggestions. I took the plunge and met with a home birth midwife. She was absolutely lovely, took lots of time to talk to me and answer my questions. I was so comfortable there, the thought of going to an OB and getting in the little gown to be poked and prodded just leaves me cold, I can't do it. So I'm going to sign up for the home birth package. I'm sure I'll love it all right up until a couple of hours before the baby is born and then I'll be thinking "what the heck was I thinking!" Wish me luck! Oh yeah, I got to hear the heartbeat too...awesome!
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by new2texas View Post
All right ladies, thanks for all your good advice and suggestions. I took the plunge and met with a home birth midwife. She was absolutely lovely, took lots of time to talk to me and answer my questions. I was so comfortable there, the thought of going to an OB and getting in the little gown to be poked and prodded just leaves me cold, I can't do it. So I'm going to sign up for the home birth package. I'm sure I'll love it all right up until a couple of hours before the baby is born and then I'll be thinking "what the heck was I thinking!" Wish me luck! Oh yeah, I got to hear the heartbeat too...awesome!

No! You will be thinking what an amazing start you gave your little one and how wonderfully your body is made!!!

Congratulations!
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by new2texas View Post
So I'm going to sign up for the home birth package. I'm sure I'll love it all right up until a couple of hours before the baby is born and then I'll be thinking "what the heck was I thinking!" Wish me luck!
You may think that for a second, then your baby will be in your arms and you will feel like you could climb Mt. Everest in a single step. Can we ask which midwife you chose? Congratulations and welcome to the "Club"
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Txgal, Thanks for the encouragement, I chose Cathy Rude and I'm really looking forward to the whole process. Should be a learning experience.
post #19 of 27
Congrats! I had a feeling you might have gone with Cathy. We used her early on in our second pregnancy, and have several friends who have used her numerous times.

Homebirth really is an awesome experience, and I'm glad you'll get to experience it!
post #20 of 27
I'm happy for you! I signed my contract with my midwife yesterday
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