Welcome! Planning how and where you are going to give birth is a big step in your family’s journey. It’s all about options, and giving birth at home with a skilled midwife is one of them! Please take some time to read the following information. Then fill out the application to book a consultation if it seems my services might be the right fit for you.
Pregnancy is a normal function of the human body. It is not inherently pathological. Complications of pregnancy can arise, and medical care should be readily accessible if needed, but medications and procedures should not be imposed unnecessarily.
Birth is a normal physiological process, seldom requiring intervention if allowed to start spontaneously and progress uninterrupted. Studies show that low-risk persons who birth at home have lower rates of many medical and surgical interventions. However, evidence also shows that outcomes are much better when a well-trained, licensed attendant is present.
Pregnant people are individuals with unique circumstances, beliefs, needs, desires, and philosophies. No practitioner can presume to know what is appropriate for that person. Shared decision making is the only acceptable approach to caring for pregnant individuals and their babies.
Giving birth cannot and should not be reduced to just a medical procedure. It should be treated as sacred; with reverence, respect, and inclusion of a family’s culture and comforts.
I strive to provide watchful, respectful, gentle care, and efficient intervention when needed.
Who is this for?
My office is located in Shreveport, Louisiana. I serve clients in Shreveport/Bossier and the surrounding areas, Minden, Ruston, Monroe and their surrounding areas. I am not licensed in Texas or Arkansas.
Who can have a home birth?
Licensed midwives may provide care to clients who have been seen by an obstetrician and found to be normal and at low risk for developing medical complications.
Who can’t have a home birth?
Those who have had a c-section or major complications with previous births.
Those with a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, blood clots, heart disease, kidney disease, tuberculosis, severe psychiatric illness in the last 6 months or other major pre-existing condition. Those pregnant with twins or multiples,
What if I have a complication?
I follow my clients' health closely throughout the pregnancy. If a concern arises, the client would be referred to a physician for evaluation. This would include things like: illness, suspected anomalies of the fetus, blood pressure problems, diabetes, infection, and preeclampsia. If necessary, a client would switch to a hospital birth plan under the care of the OB with Jen in attendance for guidance and support.
What if my labor doesn’t go as planned? What if I get tired or the pain is too much?
If the need for transport during labor arises, I transfer my client to the nearest hospital with labor and delivery services. Simple as that. It's my policy to stay with my clients until both client and baby are stable.
What can be done to keep me comfortable in labor?
If an epidural or narcotic pain relief is required, a client must transfer to a hospital. However, we have lots of ways to help someone stay comfortable at home. Not the least of which is the client being in their own environment and free to eat and drink, move around, and do whatever they like in labor. Other options include: breathing techniques, TENS unit, aromatherapy, positioning techniques, belly wrapping techniques, hydrotherapy, massage, pressure point therapy, hot and cold packs, and hydrotherapy.
Do I need a doula in addition to a midwife?
I book an hour for every prenatal appointment to thoroughly discuss my client's birth plan. So good communication has already been established prior to labor. This makes the home birth experience more personal by nature. But birth is a “many hands” thing. The midwife has to maintain the safety of the situation. She is monitoring and providing clinical care for 2 people (client and fetus). It can be really nice to have someone on hand who can really focus on the laboring person’s comfort. We love doulas.
What if I go overdue? Or my baby is premature?
Home birth is considered safe between 37 and 42 weeks. If a client goes into labor before 37 weeks, the client must go to the hospital as preterm delivery is not appropriate at home. After 41 weeks, closer surveillance of the pregnancy is required. This means regular ultrasounds and checkups. If someone reaches 42 weeks without going into labor, they would be referred for hospital induction.
Do I have to do all the tests and stuff?
The hallmark of midwifery is collaborative care. Midwife and client work together to ensure the health of the pregnancy. I believe in truly informed consent. I always always have a conversation with my clients about any test, procedure, exam, or medication. There are occasions that I feel I may need a certain test or exam to make sure things are ok, but I will always have a conversation about it. The client always has the right to decline, and I will never touch a client or their baby without consent.
Costs and Package Options
How much does it cost?
Package fee is $7800 and includes:
All prenatal care and lab work
Preparatory education and supplies for self care during pregnancy
In-home labor, birth, and postpartum care from the onset of active labor until >4 hours postpartum
Supplies provided by the midwife (oxygen, sutures, emergency medication, etc.)
Use of commercial-grade inflatable hydrotherapy pool
Cleanup of the birth site including soiled laundry, bed linens, hydrotherapy pool, and bathroom
Support in the hospital in the event of a transport during labor or transfer of care prior to labor.
Postpartum care up to 6 weeks
Newborn checkups and lab work
House Call- all appointments conducted in the client’s home instead of at Jen’s office.
Eco Hippie- all cloth supplies (instead of disposable) for the birth, including underpads, drapes, postpartum pads, and cleaning cloths.
Postpartum Healing- an additional 12 hours of postpartum care in the form of daily planning, guided exercise, assistance with bathing and body care, nutrition, nurturing environment, and emotional support.
(Coming Soon) The Deluxe- one huge package that includes maternity care, prenatal and postpartum personal training, monthly chiropractic care, regular massage therapy, lactation consultant, and postpartum healing care.
Payment Plans and Insurance
Not all insurance policies cover Certified Professional Midwives and clients must pre-pay and file for reimbursement. Tricare and Medicaid do not cover midwives. Most private share plans, like Samaritan, do. Large companies like BCBS and AETNA…it depends on the individual policy. Most people end up paying out-of-pocket. Cash pay often comes out to be less than the co-pay and deductible would be for a standard hospital birth. Flexible payment plans are available.
Tell me more about these flexible payment plans
A deposit of $800 is required. Beyond that, the client can propose a payment plan that works for them. Some pay $250 a month. Some pay a smaller monthly amount, and then a large chunk when their tax refund comes in. I want midwifery care to be accessible to those who want it.
What are the Risks and Benefits of Midwifery Care?
No pregnancy or birth is without risk. Certain risks and benefits exist for home birth and certain risks and benefits exist for other childbirth alternatives, including hospital/physician-assisted birth.
Laboring in one’s home environment with the support of family has been documented to reduce the need for medical intervention and pain relief or anesthesia. However, it requires the client to travel to reach definitive care if an emergency arises. I am trained and experienced in pre-hospital emergency management.
Planned hospital setting provides quicker access to advanced emergency equipment and interventions, but carries the risk of complicating a labor with unnecessary routine interventions and policies that may not accommodate the client’s birth plan.
What’s best for you?
Each family must weigh the risks and benefits of home birth bearing this in mind. Home birth is only appropriate for low-risk clients.
We decide together.
Risk status can change over the course of pregnancy. I continually update my clients on their risk status, discuss and implement ways to mitigate those risks and refer for higher level care as needed.
How does COVID-19 change things?
Avoiding the hospital
More families are looking into the option of midwifery care in order to reduce their risk of being exposed to COVID-19 in the hospital during labor. Others are concerned about limitations being placed on the number of support people they can have in the hospital because of COVID precautions. Some have philosophical objections to vaccines and masking and seek the care of a midwife to avoid these things.
Here's what we know
Pregnancy suppresses a person’s immune system and makes it harder for them to fight off viruses and bacteria. This puts them at higher risk for acquiring COVID-19. Because COVID-19 is a vascular disease, it can cause serious complications for the fetus and placenta. Pregnant people are regarded as a population that particularly needs to be protected from exposure. The World Health Organization, CDC, and La Dept of Health prioritize COVID vaccination for pregnant people. The risks of complications from COVID statistically outweigh the risks of vaccine complications. There do not appear to be significant risks associated with occasionally wearing a mask when in a closer-contact setting.
What's it like in the hospitals right now?
Masks are still required in healthcare facilities. At this point, most of the area hospitals are allowing laboring patients to have 2 people with them for support. Typically their partner/spouse and one more. Those people must go through the screening station and wear a mask. The hospitals are taking their own precautions with increased sanitization, staff vaccination and masking, increased air filtration, PPE, and handwashing.
What Jen is doing
I am in constant contact with the Louisiana Department of Health and stay up-to-date on current research and best practice as it relates to maternity care. I make every effort to minimize my exposure to the virus by following state health department guidelines, and employing universal precautions, including masking and diligent handwashing, when caring for clients. My staff and I have received the COVID-19 vaccination.
Office accommodations include:
HEPA air filter
Washing hands between appointments
Changing exam table linens between appointments
Disinfecting surfaces, including exam table, pens, keyboards, tablets, and door handles
Disinfecting medical equipment such as stethoscope, doppler, blood pressure cuff, etc. after each use
Providing sink, hand sanitizer, and wipes for clients’ use
Seating 6 feet apart except for during exams
Providing refreshments in single-serve packaging
Using electronic records and communications
Masking in Labor
I do not expect clients to wear a mask in labor. My staff and I will wear n95 respirators for labor.
What if I get COVID?
If a client becomes ill or tests positive, a hospital birth would become necessary.
One of my Superpowers...
...is working with my clients to create a personalized holistic prenatal care plan to optimize their pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum.