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Can I use my health insurance? 

If your private insurance supports homebirth, we are happy to accept payments through insurance. Please request our Insurance Agreement. We currently do not accept Medicare or Medicaid. 

How often will I see the Midwife team?

Often! Monthly until 28 weeks, then twice monthly, and weekly within a few weeks of your estimated due date. See Your Homebirth for more details. 

Where do you see clients? 

We see clients regularly in our cozy clinic settings in our four locations: Decorah, IA; Elma, IA; Rochester, MN; and La Crosse, WI. We also do homevisits both prenatally and in postpartum. We can also make additional home visits on request. 


What do you cover in a consult?

We will discuss anything that you wish related to your current pregnancy. We will go through your questions and concerns for homebirth and introduce you to our team, our care, and discuss options for informed choice, address your concerns, and allow space for new ideas and thoughts to develop. Following your consult, if we decide to work together we'll schedule you for your initial prenatal appointment. 

What is informed choice?

There are many decisions that you encounter in pregnancy care. It is our responsibility as providers to ensure that we have introduced the idea, outlined the risks, provided resources for your consideration, provided space and opportunity for refusal, and recorded your decision. These decisions may be related to imaging, use of doppler, testing, and other decisions relevant to pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum care for the birthing individual and the baby. 


Why might I "risk out" of care with Willow River Midwifery?

We do our best to serve those presenting with normal pregnancy in our service area. There are particular health and wellbeing concerns that may cause us to decide that we are not the right fit. 


Can I withdraw from care?

In order to give each birthing person a place in our calendar and reserve on call time, we require a non-refundable retainer upon agreeing to care which is due before your initial prenatal appointment. Refunds are offered in portion up to 34 weeks. There are no refunds after 34 weeks.


Do you have a refund policy?

Our refund policy is outlined in your Financial Agreement. Please let your midwife know of your questions when you sign and return this form. There are no refunds after your 34 weeks invoice date. 

When might Willow River withdraw care? 

In very unusual circumstances, Willow River may need to withdraw from care. If your appointments have not begun, your retainer will be refunded. Refund of additional fees paid would be on a case by case basis based on care provided. 

Who can attend my birth? 

It is your birth and you can make plans to shape it in the way you wish to experience it. Our team usually consists of your primary midwife, at times a second midwife or apprentice/student midwife, and one or two birth assistants. There is always choice. Keep in contact with your midwife regarding our team and others you would like to be present so we can help to create a comfortable, supportive environment for you and your birth. 

Will students be involved in my care and at my birth? 

Willow River is privileged to be founded on the traditional apprenticeship midwife structure and supports apprenticeships in our practice to educate and empower the next generation of midwives. Brenda is certified through the North American Registry of Midwives as a Professional Midwife and to guide student midwives through towards their own certification. Student midwives are a part of our practice, though as with any member of our team, you are leading your care. 


What is an apprentice midwife?

An apprentice midwife or student midwife is an individual training to become a professional midwife. Typically this is done through certified program within the practice or a course with time spent in various midwifery practices to gain experience. 

What about doulas? If I have a midwife can I still have a doula?

It is your birth and we will work with your ideas for how you want that to look and who you would like to be there. If you do decide to work with a doula, we like if your doula can attend your later prenatal visits and your final home visit near 34-36 weeks. 

How do I know if my home is suitable for a homebirth? Is it too small? 
We have served families in homes of all shapes and sizes. Most homes can support a home birth with few if any adjustments. Talk through your concerns before your home visit with your midwife.  

Can I have a waterbirth? 

We support at home waterbirth. You can also rent birthing pools from the practice. 


I want my children to be at the birth, how involved can my family be? 

It is your birth! With children at home, we like if there is another person - in addition to you and your partner - to assist the children. 


Do I need to have an ultrasound?

We do not require imaging. Perhaps in exceptional cases we may recommend it, but it is your choice. 

Can I still have an ultrasound if I want? 

Yes. Willow River will submit requests for imaging to a facility of your choosing. These fees are invoiced directly from your imagining provider. 


How much does it cost? 

Willow River offers a sliding scale to cater to our diverse community of clients. Fees for full midwifery care are on a sliding scale from $4800 - $6200. 


I’m due in a few weeks, is it too late for me to start care with a midwife? 

It's never too late to join care. As long as we feel that we are a good fit. Note that the fees for midwifery care do not change depending on when you begin care. 


What happens in a hospital transfer? 

Should a hospital transfer be required, whether in advance of labor or birth, during or after, Willow River will support you throughout. If you and your midwife determine that moving to a hospital setting is the right decision. At times a transfer may mean that you ride in your own vehicle to a local hospital. In an emergency situation, emergency services may be required. Each situation is unique. Your safety and the safety of your baby are our highest priorities.


Why might a transfer occur? 

If there is a particular concern for the health of the birthing person or the baby, your midwife may advise a transfer. Bleeding, hypertension, or lack of fetal responsiveness are all rare, but important considerations in a transfer. 

Can I have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean) at home? 

Willow River supports VBAC in many cases. 

Do you carry meds and emergency support equipment? 

Each midwife carriers a hemorrhage kit including meds and; oxygen tank which is always primed for use as a regular part of labor and birth set up. Our midwives and apprentices are trained in neonatal resuscitation, and all members of our team has BLS (Basic Life Support) training and are able to call for emergency services if needs arise. You will also work together with your midwife to create a homebirth plan and transport plan tailored to your location, season of birth, your pregnancy, as well as your family needs and desires. 

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