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Hello to all the Arizona Mothering Mamas,<br><br>
My husband and I have been in the Seattle area for 9 years, and we love it, but it's time for a change for my husband, and we're thinking about AZ. My dad lives in Scottsdale, and I lived with Tempe for a short while after college, so we are a bit familiar with the area. However, I'm curious about some things and how they are in AZ:<br><br>
1. I had a homebirth in WA with a midwife, and most of it was covered by my insurance. Does AZ support home births with midwives, and if so, does insurance cover it? What if you get transferred to a hospital? Do midwives have privileges?<br><br>
2. We want to have our daughter go to a Waldorf school when it's time. I'm not finding any Waldorf schools in the Pheonix area on the web other than a charter school. Are there any others? Does anyone have children in the Waldorf charter school, and if so, how is it going? (I don't know much about charter schools as we don't have them in WA yet, despite much lobbying for them.)<br><br>
3. In WA, we can sign a "personal exemption" for not doing vaccinations for the schools. Can we do that in AZ too?<br><br>
4. In WA, I can still BF my 3 year old pretty much anywhere without getting many looks. Is it the same in AZ?<br><br>
5. We love our organic CSA farm each summer. Is there anything like that? (probably not in the desert, but I thought I'd ask!)<br><br>
6. Any neighborhoods you love and / or don't love for kids?<br><br>
7. In WA, slings, backpacks, and Bjorns are the norm all over. When I was visiting family last week in WI, I saw only one the whole week (mine!). How is the climate toward baby wearing?<br><br>
8. How is the AZ "crunchy vibe" as a whole?<br><br>
9. What is your opinion of natural, alternative healthcare in AZ? Is it easy to find a ND? Other natural healers?<br><br>
I'm feeling a bit unsettled these days, as I really thought WA was going to be "home forever". Since that may be changing, I'm trying to let go and just be with what is happening. I do have some anxiety about the unknown however, and since it's not just my husband, myself, and a couple of dogs anymore, I want to make sure this is the "right" move for my daughter and any future children.<br><br>
Any info and replies to my thoughts above would be really appreciated, and I am thankful for you taking the time in our busy mama lives to respond.<br><br>
Blessings,<br>
Karen
 

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1. I had a homebirth in WA with a midwife, and most of it was covered by my insurance. Does AZ support home births with midwives, and if so, does insurance cover it? What if you get transferred to a hospital? Do midwives have privileges?<br>
Yes you can have homebirths here, and <i>sometimes</i> insurance will cover it. It depends on the insurance. Yes midwives may deliver at hospitals but each one is approved only at some hospitals, just like doctors are.<br><br>
2. We want to have our daughter go to a Waldorf school when it's time. I'm not finding any Waldorf schools in the Pheonix area on the web other than a charter school. Are there any others? Does anyone have children in the Waldorf charter school, and if so, how is it going? (I don't know much about charter schools as we don't have them in WA yet, despite much lobbying for them.)<br>
A friend of mine has her son going to a Waldorf school in Phoenix and is very happy with it.<br><br>
3. In WA, we can sign a "personal exemption" for not doing vaccinations for the schools. Can we do that in AZ too?<br>
I believe so. I know many non-vaxing families here. You may have to fight it though.<br><br>
4. In WA, I can still BF my 3 year old pretty much anywhere without getting many looks. Is it the same in AZ?<br>
Ahem, well, many of my friends bf in public but there are still some old fashioned policies that are actively being challenged through city councils and state legislatures. It never stopped my friends from NIP though. :)<br><br>
5. We love our organic CSA farm each summer. Is there anything like that? (probably not in the desert, but I thought I'd ask!)<br>
Yes you can find organic foods here. Most cities have farmer's markets, and you can find them in some whole foods type stores. Phoenix has a large agricultural businesses.<br><br>
6. Any neighborhoods you love and / or don't love for kids?<br>
Phoenix is a very spread out metropolitan area. Within Phoenix are many other cities that all have grown into each other. Most cities have good and bad sections.<br><br>
7. In WA, slings, backpacks, and Bjorns are the norm all over. When I was visiting family last week in WI, I saw only one the whole week (mine!). How is the climate toward baby wearing?<br>
You see them here and there. There's an active AP community. I saw about 5 slings at the zoo yesterday. It gets very hot in the summers but you can buy lightweight slings.<br><br>
8. How is the AZ "crunchy vibe" as a whole?<br>
Well it's a mixed crowd. Mostly at the malls and such places you'll see a lot of non-AP type people, but you will also run into bfing mamas with slings. APers are in the minority but there some API groups and LLL is very active.<br><br>
9. What is your opinion of natural, alternative healthcare in AZ? Is it easy to find a ND? Other natural healers?<br>
I can't really answer this question but I know of people who seek alternative treatments. My family just goes to regular doctors.
 

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I can only answer the vax question for you since I've just recently been researching it (and I live in Tucson btw).<br><br>
AZ is kind of strange because for daycare you can only use a medical or religious exemption. However once they are in school they will also accept a philosophical exemption. Weird isn't it? Just this year they added chicken pox to the mandatory vaccines (which is what I've been trying to get around!).<br><br>
I can't really help with much else since I'm in Tucson, not Phoenix, and my ds is just 17 mos old. Besides that I was very mainstream when he was first born and now am just somewhere in between. Oh, I have never seen anyone use anything other than a snugli/bjorn around here. BUT I don't get weird looks for using my ergo or wrap....and I even once had this very young (prob 16 or 17) girl tell me how cool it was and how she's always wanted to try one of those things when she has a kid lol.<br><br>
If you just look at the bfing percentages by state you will see that WA, in general, is one of the most open-minded in the country. Let me know if I can supply you with anymore info!
 

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We're in Northern AZ, in Prescott Valley, but lived in Phoenix previously, so I'll answer with what I know from living in both locations:<br><br><br><br>
1. I had a homebirth in WA with a midwife, and most of it was covered by my insurance. Does AZ support home births with midwives, and if so, does insurance cover it? What if you get transferred to a hospital? Do midwives have privileges?<br><br>
I think it really depends upon your insurance in AZ. We had insurance when we had our first homebirth, and it covered about half, I believe. I have friends whose insurance has covered homebirth 100%.<br><br>
2. We want to have our daughter go to a Waldorf school when it's time. I'm not finding any Waldorf schools in the Pheonix area on the web other than a charter school. Are there any others? Does anyone have children in the Waldorf charter school, and if so, how is it going? (I don't know much about charter schools as we don't have them in WA yet, despite much lobbying for them.)<br><br>
We have our son in kindergarten in a "Waldorf inspired" charter school here in Prescott, and he/we love it! It's called Mountain Oak if you want to check out their website. Because it's publically funded, it has to make some compromises, so it's not 100% "pure" Waldorf, which is actually fine with us. The kids do have to take standardized tests, but they excell without spending tons of time prepping for them specifically. There's no way we could afford to send our 3 kids to a private Waldorf school, so we're very happy to have this one available.<br><br>
3. In WA, we can sign a "personal exemption" for not doing vaccinations for the schools. Can we do that in AZ too?<br><br>
We signed a philosophical exemption, about the same thing, and it was incredibilly easy--just checked the appropriate box, signed, no questions asked.<br><br>
4. In WA, I can still BF my 3 year old pretty much anywhere without getting many looks. Is it the same in AZ?<br><br>
I never received a single negative comment while nip when ds was close to 3, and if I got any dirty looks I certainly didn't notice them. I think you might get looks in many parts of AZ, honestly, but I just never cared, so it didn't affect me.<br><br>
5. We love our organic CSA farm each summer. Is there anything like that? (probably not in the desert, but I thought I'd ask!)<br><br>
We have it up here, both through a private organic farm and the local community college, both organic. My friends have done it thru the farm and love it. Not sure about Phoenix, though.<br><br>
6. Any neighborhoods you love and / or don't love for kids? Hmm, not sure on this one. We moved when ds was pretty little.<br><br>
7. In WA, slings, backpacks, and Bjorns are the norm all over. When I was visiting family last week in WI, I saw only one the whole week (mine!). How is the climate toward baby wearing?<br><br>
Honestly, you don't see it a whole heckuva lot, but I get tons of positive comments on my various carriers.<br><br>
8. How is the AZ "crunchy vibe" as a whole?<br><br>
I'd say there are pockets of crunch, and you just have to seek them out. I have a very crunchy circle of mama friends up here, whom I've met through these forums, signs on the bulletin board at our local health food store looking for like-minded friends, etc.<br><br>
9. What is your opinion of natural, alternative healthcare in AZ? Is it easy to find a ND? Other natural healers?<br><br>
We have a great ND who works in a practice with several others, as well as an acupuncturist we just started seeing. Again, not sure about Phoenix, but have had no trouble finding alternative practitioners here in the Prescott area.<br><br>
Hope that helps a bit, and best wishes to you in figuring it all out! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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About the ND's Arizona is amazing for them, they have some of the best laws, heck a natutopath can even do plastic surgery there. My dad is a former member of the AZ ND board of medical examiners, I can give you some great refferals to some amazing doctors there if you need, just pm me if you decide to move there.<br><br>
On a side note from a gal whos lived in the North West and an AZ native, its a heck of a lot different in AZ. Be prepared for little to no rain, the health foods and organic selection of food is NOTHING and sad compared to the NW. Its hot as heck too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
As for family friendly areas, Anthem is great, as well as east Mesa (further East than Gilbert road) and you can'nt go wrong in the Gilbert or Chandler area. Stay away from most of Tempe, and South and Central Phoenix.<br><br>
As for the crunch factor, its a very mainsteam town compared to WA. There are a few pockets, but its mostly the stoller and bottle brigade.
 

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Have you checked out Flagstaff at all? Here are my answers to your questions from another Northern AZ perspective:<br>
1. Does AZ support home births with midwives, and if so, does insurance cover it? What if you get transferred to a hospital? Do midwives have privileges? Ins. coverage depends on your ins. I volunteer at the a miwifery here and we submit insurance claims all the time. If you get transferred to the hospital the midwifes here would come with you, but I think it depends on the midwife/doctor relationship as to waht they can do, though I don't think they have priviledges.<br><br>
2. We want to have our daughter go to a Waldorf school.<br>
Here in Flagstaff we have Pine Forest Charter school. Parents I've talked to really like it.<br><br>
3. In WA, we can sign a "personal exemption" for not doing vaccinations for the schools. Can we do that in AZ too?<br>
Yes<br><br>
4. In WA, I can still BF my 3 year old pretty much anywhere without getting many looks. Is it the same in AZ? I'm not sure , since ds is still young, but I have had positive experience nip in Flag.<br><br>
5. We love our organic CSA farm each summer. Is there anything like that? (probably not in the desert, but I thought I'd ask!) We have a CSA program here, and most or the procude comes from a farm down in the valley, so I'm sure they must have something.<br><br><br>
7. In WA, slings, backpacks, and Bjorns are the norm all over. When I was visiting family last week in WI, I saw only one the whole week (mine!). How is the climate toward baby wearing? I see people wearing their babies here quite often.<br><br>
8. How is the AZ "crunchy vibe" as a whole? It is hard to guage crunchiness. I suppose that Flag seems more crunchy to me than Phx.<br><br>
9. What is your opinion of natural, alternative healthcare in AZ? Is it easy to find a ND? Other natural healers? No problem to find here. We've got Sedona right down the hill too- many healer type people.
 

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A couple of comments--you should have no problem with the vax issue when enrolling your children in school. I am a school nurse and know many families that sign the personal exemption form. No one bats an eye--especially crunchy school nurses! (Don't tell anyone but I encourage parents to sign the forms if they are at all ambivalent about vaxing--it buys them time while they research and ponder)<br><br>
I have never had an odd look while nip. In fact, I get more knowing smiles from other moms than anything. Things are very mainstream here. I see occasional slings, lots of carseats and strollers.<br><br>
Someone earlier mentioned areas of the valley to avoid. I live in Central Phoenix--full of historic homes and culture. It is not a dangerous place. We just hate the idea of suburbian life (strip malls, chain stores, ugh) so we chose to live smack dab in the city. If possible I would visit the valley yourself and do a little tour to see what you like.<br><br>
All the best.
 

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I'm from WA too and always thought it would be home, but lo and behold, I'm living here now.<br><br>
I had my first child in AZ and was introduced to AP while here. I've found it's a battle sometimes and with some things, but not all.<br><br>
The one thing I wanted to specifically comment on is that in my experiences when I go home, I feel that NIP and slinging is much more common and I do get the sense of "wow, I can do this and peope don't just stare at me," but I do it here and get lots of opportunity to explain my thoughts and decisions regarding parenting. Especially at work. People do think I'm crazy for using cloth diapers, etc. but it's fun and I don't feel ostricized (sp?) at all here.
 

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1. I had a homebirth in WA with a midwife, and most of it was covered by my insurance. Does AZ support home births with midwives, and if so, does insurance cover it? What if you get transferred to a hospital? Do midwives have privileges?<br><br>
So if you were thinking of an HMO no HMO has homebirth midwives on their rosters- so you would have to have a PPO insurance, and if your insurance is Medicaid no homebirth midwives are medicaid providers because it is administered via HMOs. If you get transfered to the hospital you are going to get who ever is on call most likely, and as far as I know there are no LMs or CNMs who have privileges and do homebirths as well.<br>
2. We want to have our daughter go to a Waldorf school when it's time. I'm not finding any Waldorf schools in the Pheonix area on the web other than a charter school. Are there any others? Does anyone have children in the Waldorf charter school, and if so, how is it going? (I don't know much about charter schools as we don't have them in WA yet, despite much lobbying for them.)<br><br>
I don't have info on this<br><br>
3. In WA, we can sign a "personal exemption" for not doing vaccinations for the schools. Can we do that in AZ too?<br><br>
yes there is a vaccination exemption form- and many times schools are irritating about it but what you need to know and persist in is getting the form to sign... with my niece we had to renew the exemption every year and they always made a big deal out of keeping her out of class until it was taken care of- of course there were many other kids in the same situation. And I would always have to listen to the lecture about if there is an epidemic...<br><br>
4. In WA, I can still BF my 3 year old pretty much anywhere without getting many looks. Is it the same in AZ?<br><br>
funny you should ask, depending on the business and the area you are in you may experience some trouble. But there are many nursing moms and LLL meetings all over- so it isn't from lack of support- you have to remember that we are one of the retirement capitols and that can influence public opinion there have been some city and county meeting over this recently.<br><br>
5. We love our organic CSA farm each summer. Is there anything like that? (probably not in the desert, but I thought I'd ask!)<br><br>
there is a CSA in the Phoenix area atleast one I know of that also has established a CSA in Tucson-- but the diversity and abundance is different- for instance because it is so hot here you do not really get many salad greens in the summer- they are usually burned off by May, you can find shipped in greens from other places...<br><br>
6. Any neighborhoods you love and / or don't love for kids?<br>
since you are thinking of the Phoenix area<br>
I again have no answers<br><br>
7. In WA, slings, backpacks, and Bjorns are the norm all over. When I was visiting family last week in WI, I saw only one the whole week (mine!). How is the climate toward baby wearing?<br>
this is fairly common in Tucson<br><br>
8. How is the AZ "crunchy vibe" as a whole?<br><br>
It is not the northwest, I use to live in the northwest and would say that the first time I moved here I experienced culture shock, I don't really know how to explain what it is, environmental and social issues have been more mainstreamed in the northwest - something else you should know is that we are a poor state in general- so there is little funding for government run projects-- an example here in Tucson which is touted to be a "bike friendly" place considers the paved road margin to be the bike trail you know the area on the other side of the solid white line and the road margins are smaller than the ones in Washington state.<br><br>
9. What is your opinion of natural, alternative healthcare in AZ? Is it easy to find a ND? Other natural healers?<br>
yes you can find alternative health providers in the cities, not so much rurally- except chiropractors-- there is a ND school in Tempe-- but insurance does not cover them so it is an out of pocket expense<br><br>
I'm feeling a bit unsettled these days, as I really thought WA was going to be "home forever". Since that may be changing, I'm trying to let go and just be with what is happening. I do have some anxiety about the unknown however, and since it's not just my husband, myself, and a couple of dogs anymore, I want to make sure this is the "right" move for my daughter and any future children.<br><br>
I would recommend you come and visit again and see what you find and think, before you move-- the sun and weather are great- and I don't like the cold but the social lifestyle and support of the NW is not really the same here -- in some ways this is still the "old west", also it is a right to work state so union jobs are rare, pay scale is less and there is greater competition because we do have Calif. land speculation going on, water is a big issue and we have limited supplies-we already ship in water from the Colorado River as well as wells that are drying up the regional aquifers--<br>
if you are looking for a sunnier climate consider eastern Washington
 

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I though of something else to illustrate what I am talking about socially-- The government picked Az to initiate routine urine sampling because they felt that there would be little to no resistance to this. And they were right
 

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I'm in a very small rural area of NE AZ, so I can't comment on much, but I will say that we haven't had any problems with the no-vax/school issue.......the state has a philosophical exemption, and the schools here are well aware of it.<br><br>
If you're looking for crunchy, I recommend Flagstaff <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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