Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have a water birth?

Yes, water birth is a lovely option for those mothers who desire it. Many families choose to have birth tubs for comfort in labor, regardless of whether the family plans to have the baby in or out of the water. Babies do not try to breathe until they come out of the water, so they will not drown.  Water births are very relaxing for the laboring mother, and also  help to prevent tearing of the perineum.


 Is a home birth safe?

Home birth has been shown to be a safe option for healthy women and healthy babies whose normal pregnancies are full-term at the start of labor, and who are monitored and  attended by professional midwives.


 I am due in a few weeks. Is it too late to consider a home birth?

We assess each case individually. Assuming that yours is a low-risk pregnancy, and that  there is adequate time for preparation, we will certainly consider accepting you as a client.


What does “CPM” mean?

The credential CPM stands for Certified Professional Midwife. It is administered by the North American Registry of Midwives, a certifying agency created to evaluate the knowledge and skills of direct entry midwives. The CPM is the highest credential available to midwife maternity care providers and requires experience and competency in out-of-hospital birth. The CPM credential is used in the licensure process in most states that license direct entry midwives. CPM’s work with healthy women having a healthful pregnancy and planning to birth outside the hospital. Certified Professional Midwives are experts in normal birth, unmedicated home or birth center birth, and recognizing and acting appropriately to  transfer care if pregnancy or birth begins to fall outside the range of normal health.


What equipment do you bring with you to births?

  • Resuscitation equipment for baby and mother: a bag and mask resuscitator and oxygen.
  • Antihemorrhagic drugs to stop excessive postpartum bleeding.
  • Monitoring equipment for you and your baby, including a doppler, blood pressure cuff and stethoscope, and infant stethoscope.
  • Supplies for the newborn exam and any newborn procedures that you choose, including a scale, measuring tape, erythromycin ointment, and vitamin K.
  • Suturing equipment to do repairs if any tearing occurs, and lidocaine to numb for suturing.

What about the mess?

We aim to leave the house as clean as it was when we arrived! During your prenatal care we will give you a link to a website where you will order a "birth kit" which includes all the disposable supplies for your birth. Many of these supplies are meant to keep your house clean during the birth. While you have family bonding time with your new baby, we quietly tidy up.


 Can I have a home birth after my first baby was born by C-section?

The Montana Board of Alternative Healthcare allows midwives to offer VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) deliveries. Alpine Midwifery Care has successfully attended many VBAC’s. You have to meet certain criteria in order for us to attend your birth. It really depends on the cause of the previous cesarean surgery, and any likelihood that the previous condition could be repeated. Please make an appointment, so we can  determine if home birth is the right decision for you.


How much does a home birth cost?

The base fee is $4,000 which pays for all the services listed below. The base fee includes:

  • Prenatal care throughout your pregnancy (10-12 visits)
  • Labor, delivery, immediate postpartum and newborn care in your home
  • Postpartum follow-up care on days 1, 3, 7, and again at 6 weeks plus 24-hour availability for questions 
  • 24-hour on call availability beginning with 37 weeks of pregnancy

This fee does not include:
Lab Work (which is required by state law) 
Birth Supplies


 Can I combine Home Birth with a more conventional type of care?

Yes!  The Birth Center, with Jeanne Hebl, is now offering an option to collaborate with Alpine Midwifery Care to optimize Home Birth. During your pregnancy you would have your prenatal appointments at The Birth Center with Barbara Smith, CPM or Jeanne Hebl, CNM.  Some of the additional benefits of this collaborative option include:

  • Early ultra-sound with Jeanne Hebl, CNM
  • I.V. therapy for hyperemesis gravidarum (excessive nausea and vomiting in pregnancy)
  • Rx medication options 
  • Genetic screening
  • Non-stress test
  • Hearing screening
  • VBAC  (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)
  • Prenatal care might be covered by insurance.
  • If you “risk out” for home birth you can continue care with The Birth Center

This is a new option for our Missoula families. The Birth Center and Alpine Midwifery Care are very excited to offer Home Birth through this women centered collaboration.