What is a licensed midwife?
A Florida Licensed Midwife (LM) is a direct-entry, Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) who has completed an intensive three-year midwifery education program and passed the North American Registry of Midwives national exam. Licensed midwives are trained and certified in CPR, neonatal resuscitation, administration of routine antibiotics and antihemorrhagics, and evaluating routine vital signs. LMs are autonomous health care practitioners who provide comprehensive, holistic maternity care to healthy, low-risk women in the out of hospital setting. Midwives have been licensed and regulated in Florida since 1931. They are experts in out of hospital birth.
Midwives provide all routine medical care throughout pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. If you have specific questions about the services or procedures midwives provide, please call the office to schedule a consultation. Briefly, our midwives provide the following basic skills:
- Monitoring blood pressure, pulse, fetal heart tones, and temperature during prenatal, birth, and postpartum care
- All routine blood work and ordering ultrasounds
- Evaluating fetal position
- Testing for Group Beta Strep (GBS) and Gestational Diabetes Screening, both in the third trimester
- Providing IVs to deliver antibiotics and/or fluids as needed in labor
- Offering informed consent for artificial rupture of membranes (“breaking of waters”) as needed
- Suturing tears after birth (under local anesthesia)
- Administering antihemorrhagics in the event of postpartum hemorrhage
- Using oxygen as needed
- Performing a routine newborn exam after birth (including weight, measurements, and monitoring newborn vital signs)
- Providing Vitamin K and Erythromycin eye prophylaxis under informed consent
- Screening for congenital heart defects at 24-48 hours postpartum
- Performing infant metabolic screening (in your home)
- Collaboration with physicians and hospital staff in the event of complications
And much, much more…
What is the Midwives Model of Care ™?
The Midwives Model of Care™ is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events. The Midwives Model of Care includes:
- Monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
- Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
- Minimizing technological interventions and
- Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention.
The application of this model has been proven to reduce to incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.
Do I need an OB in addition to a licensed midwife?
No. Licensed midwives are autonomous practitioners who provide standard maternity care including labs and ordering ultrasounds. There is no need to be seen at a hospital in labor or postpartum unless a complication arises. If you began your care with an obstetrician and wish to transfer care your records will be requested and included for continuity of care.
Do I need a pediatrician?
Yes. We recommend babies be seen by a pediatrician, family care doctor or nurse practitioner within 72 hours postpartum. There is no need for the baby to be seen in the hospital postpartum unless a complication arises. All routine care for newborns immediately following birth is provided by your midwife. This may include a newborn exam, measuring for weight and length, administration of vitamin K and/or eye ointment.
How do I know if I’m “low risk and healthy?”
Florida midwifery law and rule has a guideline that outlines what constitutes risk in the out of hospital birth setting. Our midwives will gladly go over your individual health history to determine if you are a good candidate for an out of hospital birth.
I’ve had a previous cesarean section, am I too high risk for the birth center?
Florida law does not allow women seeking a vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC) to have a birth center birth, however, a homebirth is an option for those seeking a VBAC. The midwives can review your previous operative report to help us determine if you’re a good candidate for an out of hospital birth.
I’m having twins, can I have my baby with Jacksonville Birth Collective?
Unfortunately no . Florida law prohibits midwives from providing care for those carrying multiples (twins, triplets, etc).
How does prenatal care work with Jacksonville Birth Collective?
Prenatal care will follows a standard schedule of visits. Ideally, your prenatal care will begin in the first trimester , however, if you have had prenatal care elsewhere and are transferring your care to the birth center, this is an easy transition.
- Routine prenatal care includes visits every four weeks until 28 weeks
- Every two weeks until 36 weeks
- Every week until the birth of the baby
At each visit the midwife and client will discuss the pregnancy, address any questions, make referrals and suggestions for information or counseling as needed. The midwife will assess the client’s blood pressure, measurements, weight, and listen for fetal heart tones at each visit. You are welcome to bring children, family, or friends to any of your visits. Initial prenatal appointments are scheduled for two hours in order to complete all intake paperwork, review any pertinent records, collect health histories and order necessary labs.
After birth, the midwife comes to your home between 24-48 hours postpartum. A lactation consultant will come to your house for a 3-5 day home visit to assist with breastfeeding. Clients return to the office for postpartum care at 2 and 6 weeks postpartum.
We respect our client’s time and our midwives work diligently to keep appointments on schedule. Our appointments are never double booked. Please note that unexpected cancelations can and do occur in the event of a birth. If we know we will be rescheduling appointments we do our best to notify our families as soon as possible. We appreciate understanding in this matter.
When should I start care ?
We encourage families to start care in the first trimester, typically between 10-12 weeks, although this is not required. If you are in care with another provider and are a candidate for an out of hospital birth, it is never too late to switch care to Jacksonville Birth Collective. If you are considering transferring your care , feel free to contact our office for a consultation with midwife Shea to review your prenatal care records.
How much does it cost to have a baby with ?
Our global fee is $6,000 and is due in full by 36 weeks. This fee includes all prenatal visits, hydrotherapy, labor and birth, birth assistant fee, newborn exam, infant metabolic and critical congenital heart defect screening, all postpartum visits, childbirth education and breastfeeding support with our lactation consultants.
This fee does not cover lab work or ultrasounds nor does it cover any fees incurred from outside sources such as consulting physician, ambulance or hospital birth in the event of a transfer. ( These services are often covered by insurance) Clients are responsible for purchasing their birth supply kit by 36 weeks which costs between $60-$150( depending on which kit you choose to purchase)
For more information on insurance and billing check out our Insurance and Fees page.
I have TRICARE, will the covered services provided by Midwife Shea ?
Unfortunately, TRICARE does not cover licensed midwives. We offer a generous discount to those with current TRICARE coverage wanting an out off hospital birth.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Birth Collective of Jacksonville is currently not contracted with any insurance companies. We work with a third party billing system as a courtesy to assist our families in submitting their claims. It is a Florida State Law that all insurance companies (not including out-of-state or self-funded plans) and Medicaid cover services provided by licensed midwives. A $500 deposit is due at the time of your first visit. If you cannot afford to pay this deposit in full, please speak with our office at the time you schedule your visit.
We offer creative payment plans and offers a 10% discount to families that pay their balance in full by their second visit.
Payments can be made with cash, check or card.
For more information on payment and financial options contact our office.