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You've Got Questions, We've Got Answers!

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

During our consultations with prospective clients, many of these questions often arise. Now, please still ask us these questions when you get us on the phone, we are always happy to answer! However, we hope this FAQ will be helpful to you when considering our practice and give you a good idea of who we are!

How long have you practiced? How many families have you attended?

Erica & Ashleigh started Clover Leaf Midwifery in Feb. 2022. But Erica has been serving Citrus & Hernando counties and much of the Tampa Bay Area for the last 7 years and has attended well over 400 births. Ashleigh began midwifery school in Aug. 2022; but has been present at all of Clover Leaf’s births. We’ve had over 65 babies born since opening our practice!

What’s included in your fee?

We encourage you to call us for fee structures, however we include: all prenatal visits, standard of care lab work (initial labs, glucose/28wk labs and 36wk labs), tub rental, labor/birth management, postpartum care with minimum of 2 visits after delivery. We are also available for you 24/7 by phone. The only out of pocket expenses you’ll have would include any ultrasounds or maternal-fetal-medicine consultations (if indicated), birth kit/supplies and of course doula or photographer costs.

Do you take insurance?

Unfortunately, due to our low monthly capacity, we cannot participate in network with insurance companies. However, we can refer you to Chylain, our 3rd-party biller, so that you may utilize your insurance coverage. During the pregnancy, you would initiate her services and obtain a “gap exception”. This allows her to bill your insurance at an IN-NETWORK rate vs. an OUT-OF-NETWORK rate, thus increasing your reimbursement! Though, Chylain does a much more thorough job of explaining this procedure to you, once you employ her services ;-)

We are not currently accepting/able to bill Medicaid at the moment, but we are always open to discussing a sliding scale discount or other special financial agreements for low-income families. Our goal is that folks who desire midwifery care, can access it in a very comfortable way!

Can I even have a home birth?

Please feel free to check out our short blog on this topic! We screen every single client with a risk assessment. We legally need to obtain this for everyone in our care, but this helps us establish your risk factors and customize your care going forward. If needed, we will facilitate a consult with a Maternal-Fetal-Medicine specialist, so they may review your records, history, informed consent and formulate a plan with you. This does not always mean that you’re no longer able to plan a home birth with us. IE: gestational diabetes that is well managed through diet and exercise or VBAC (vaginal birth after cesareans) always need to consult but we’ve had plenty of families over the years have safe, lovely home births with these risk factors.

What are the visits like?

We’re a little biased, but we think our visits are pretty fun! The hands-on portion of our visit will include gathering any lab work that may be indicated or routine, monitoring your blood pressure, measuring your fundal height, checking baby’s position and heart rate.

We usually have a checklist of things to discuss with you, including: history, warning signs, diet/hydration, exercise, stress, informed consent regarding upcoming tests or risks. But we also are very interested in getting to know you. What have you been watching or listening to? What are your other interests or aspirations, how’s work going? Are you handling stress well? How else are you planning for your birth?

We hope to cultivate an honest relationship, so that you feel comfortable being vulnerable physically and emotionally with us.

What do you bring/carry to births?

We would like to mention that we don’t carry comfort elements such as birth ball, e-stim, essential oils, etc. with us. Doulas are usually a fabulous resource for these items!

Our birth kit blog goes into a bit more detail on this and you can actually see our kit on display! But we are responsible for carrying the more “medical” equipment, such as: vital sign & fetal monitoring equipment, oxygen, resuscitation cradle & AMBU bag, medications for postpartum hemorrhage, I.V. fluids, suture supplies, and much more!

Am I able to move around and eat & drink in labor?

Absolutely!! We only encourage you to do the things that you’ve been planning and hoping for! We definitely want you hydrating well and eating as desired. As you get into the hard work of transition, sometimes eating sounds terrible. But electrolyte beverages, broth, smoothies or frozen fruit can be much more comforting and palatable. We do not do I.V.s routinely, but it can be a tool if someone is dehydrated and can’t keep anything down.

If you’re interested in a water birth, sitting on a toilet, being hands & knees, we’re here for it! Sometimes, labor can stall if you are in any one position for too long, so we may even recommend changing positions, getting in or out of the tub. Other times, certain positions may feel completely awful and that could be because we are getting the progress we need and leaning into that will help bring our baby here faster! But we will never force you to do anything that you hate or are uncomfortable with.

Can my children be present or involved?

Please!!! Again, we want what feels good for you. You should not feel like you’re having to parent in labor though. So we do recommend having someone present at the birth that you feel comfortable with, who can play with your kids, put them down for a nap or feed them, so you and your partner are not responsible for that while trying to be in labor. Some families have a back up available to take their kids if needed or desired and that’s totally up to you.

We encourage you to watch home birth videos with your kids or discuss sounds you may make or that there will be bleeding, or bring them to visits. So they can get used to us, as well as the idea that birth can be intense, but it’s all normal! If your child wants to participate to whatever extent, we happily oblige. Some kids have caught babies with the midwife or with their parent! It is the most special and amazing moment for your family <3

What should we do with our pets?

Clients who know us, know we have no boundaries with pets. So we love to get to know your fur babies during our visits with you. Usually, your pets are more aware of your labor than you are and will generally leave you alone, or sit in the same room with you quietly. But again, what feels better for you? Would you prefer their support and for them to meet your fresh new baby immediately?

Or would you prefer them go to friends or family? We will always give them one of the first baby towels to smell to get them acclimated before officially meeting baby.

What do we need to supply, if anything?

You will need to purchase a small birth kit around 35 weeks, this contains all of the sterile and/or disposable supplies. But we have a list in our handbook that gives you an idea of household items to gather into one place for the birth, including towels, hand soap, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc. You may need to purchase a mattress protector or vinyl shower curtain liner to protect your bed.

We have a birth tub available for you to use, however this is included in your fee, you’ll just have to arrange to pick it up from either Erica or Ashleigh at 37 weeks.

How do you handle emergencies?

We are extremely careful with screening for risk during pregnancy, as most of the complications that could arise during birth have warning signs before the onset of labor. We always take your safety and baby’s safety very seriously. We are always set up for newborn resuscitation and our medications for hemorrhage are always drawn up and easily accessible if needed urgently. Other times we may need to assist the actual delivery. We discuss these scenarios in depth during a crash-course child birth education in the 3rd trimester. So in the event of an emergency during labor, birth or postpartum, you have already been prepared regarding our management and role should we need to transfer. But we have worked diligently to form strong relationships with the local hospitals and OB’s, so we can feel good about how you’ll be treated & respected after a transfer from a planned home birth.

What happens if you’re at another birth when I go into labor?

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that we won’t be at another labor or even worse, SICK! So we have a few midwives that we work with should we ever need backup. You have the option to meet these midwives during your pregnancy as well. Thankfully, since we keep a low cap on clients we accept each due-month, this lessens the possibility that more than one family will be in labor, needing a midwife, at the same time. We also continue to mask in our visits to reduce the likelihood of getting sick, so we can ensure you have the midwives you hired at your birth!

Will it look like a crime scene?!

You will NEVER have to clean up a mess after your birth! We only hope that you are able to rest and bond with the newest member of your family and not worry about cleaning. We encourage certain cleaning products to have on hand so that we can address any potential stains before they’ve set. And most of the other supplies we recommend gathering together are meant to prevent a mess in the first place. We will make it so it looks like a birth hadn’t just occurred there as well as take out the trash for you!

Do we have to eat the placenta?

You do not! We will handle your placenta if you do not have a desire to keep it. However, should you be interested in placenta capsules or tincture, we can offer that for you.

Do you file the birth certificate?

Absolutely. We will file the birth certificate and request a social security number for your baby. You will have the option to review the birth certificate before it is filled, to avoid any errors.

How is postpartum care with you different?

After your baby is born, we will check in with you by phone around 24hrs. Then we will see you in person at 48-72 hours postpartum. We re-weigh the baby to monitor weight loss & milk-transfer, perform the metabolic and congenital heart defect screenings. As well as check

your bottom (if you’ve had a laceration), your vitals and bleeding. We will provide some extensive counseling in this visit as well. If you’re having any concerns, difficulties adjusting emotionally, or troubles with nursing, we will come and see you as frequently as needed. If you did have sutures after the birth, have a history of postpartum mood disorders or feeding struggles, we will schedule a 2 week postpartum visit, however this is not a standard visit. We will see you again at 6 weeks postpartum and we can perform a PAP if you’re due. We chat about your birth, family planning and resuming normal life. But mostly we’re sad that our care is coming to a close!

Why should we hire Clover Leaf Midwifery over the other options in the area??

We are dedicated to providing families safe and respectful client-centered care with a focus on evidence-based practices and shared decision making. Our goal is to make your journey to parenthood enjoyable through genuine conversation, personalized counseling, hugs (only if desired!), a little bit of humor and true informed consent without judgment. We have a low cap on how many clients we accept within a due-month; in order to provide the focused care we believe you deserve, as well as maintain healthy relationships with all of our families, equally.

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