Frequently asked questions

What does perinatal mean?


The perinatal period is the time immediately around childbirth. Our perinatal services include prenatal, childbirth support, postpartum and newborn health and education. The medical community quantifies the perinatal period to last until the newborn’s 1st birthday (this is true for miscarriages and neonatal loss as well).




Do you take insurance?


Yes! We are contracted with most major insurance companies, including WA state Apple Health (medicaid). Please call your insurance provider to determine if we are in-network.




Can I receive care if I don't have insurance and can't pay cash?


Yes! If you do not qualify for health insurance for any reason, or cannot afford our cash pay prices, please contact us. We believe in providing access to all Vashon residents, despite financial means or other barriers.




Where are appointments offered?


Depending on what type of appointment you need, we offer services in our clinic office (just north of town), virtually, or from your home.




Are you LGBTQ+ and trans affirming?


Yes! We welcome all family types and configurations.




Is home birth safe on Vashon?


We work hard to ensure home birth is a safe option on Vashon. We are trained in rural midwifery care and maintain relationships with necessary personnel in case an emergency transfer is indicated. Please click here to read more about midwifery safety.




Can I have midwifery care if I am planning a hospital birth?


Yes! Our collaborative care (“co-care”) program is designed to provide on-island prenatal, postpartum and newborn care for families who want or need a hospital birth off-island. In some situations, co-management of care may be indicated throughout your pregnancy. Please contact us to discuss your unique situation.




Am I a good candidate for a home birth?


Most healthy people are perfect candidates for a home birth. For those with serious underlying health conditions, it may be a safer option for you to seek care at a higher-level facility. Please reach out if you are interested in midwifery care services, and we can discuss whether either of our midwifery programs are a good fit for you!




How do emergency transfers work?


If any complications arise during your pregnancy, we will consult with one of our trusted physicians to facilitate the transfer of your care. We may still be able to offer you hospital doula services to maintain continuity. After your birth, you and your baby are welcome to return to midwifery care once discharged from the hospital. If you are in need of a transport during labor, we will arrange for as smooth and efficient of a transfer as possible. We work closely with our on-island emergency transportation services (EMS/Medics and Aircare). Most labor transfers occur because of non-emergent reasons (ie labor has not progressed or the birthing person is exhausted and/or in need of additional pain relief measures). However, in the event of a complication that warrants an emergency transfer, your midwifery team will keep you and/or baby stable until the ambulance arrives and arranges for transportation to a hospital facility by ferry or helicopter. In any case, your midwife will ensure a supportive transition to your new birthing environment and will advocate for you during your birth.




Is my home too small for a home birth?


We do not require much space for a home birth, at all. We can attend your birth in an apartment, tiny home, trailer, yurt, etc. All we require is fresh water and heat. If you do not have a stable housing situation, please discuss this with your midwives, as we are happy to discuss alternative options for out-of-hospital birth.




Is home birth messy?


Most people are surprised by how tidy their home space is after a home birth. We take special care to ensure your home is looked after during the birth. Typically, there is one bag of laundry and one bag of garbage left at the time your midwives depart.




Do you offer water birth?


Yes! We love waterbirth. Please let your midwives know if you would like to rent one of our birth tubs.




What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?


Midwives are your primary care providers during your pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and newborn care. Your midwives will provide clinical healthcare, overseeing all medical aspects of your care (interpreting labs, ordering ultrasounds, monitoring the growth and development of your baby, and evaluating for risk factors). During your labor and birth, you may choose to have both a midwife and doula present. Both a midwife and doula may provide emotional and physical support during your birth. Commonly, your doula will arrive to support you in early labor, whereas your midwife will arrive in active labor. As you move closer to delivery, your midwife will transition into focusing on the medical and safety aspects of your birth, while your doula will remain focused on offering you emotional support. Doula’s do not provide any clinical healthcare at any point in time during their care.




What is a PMAD?


PMAD is an acronym for perinatal or postpartum mood and anxiety disorder. This term describes the feels of distress that occur during pregnancy and throughout the first year of life. These feelings can be mild, moderate, or severe.




Can I bring my baby to my session?


Absolutely!




Do you prescribe medication?


No. However, our mental health provider can refer you to a facility that offers medical management if necessary.




Do just birthing people get PMADS?


No. Partners of birthing people can, and often do, get PMADS as well. This is also true for foster parents and adoptive parents.