Love Begins at Home
Frequently Asked Questions about Homebirth
February, 2011 - Issue #76
Laurie Sachs Photography
Laurie Sachs Photography
You may have read our July 2010 cover story, which introduced the newest member of the Inside SCV Magazine family. Cassel Crawford was born at home with the help of midwife Renee Sicignano, owner of Santa Clarita Birth & Women's Health Center. Since then, we've been asked many questions about the homebirth experience. While we're always happy to share information about our own wonderful experience, we thought that it would be best for Renee to handle the more technical questions.

Are there health requirements to be a home birth candidate?
If you are having a normal pregnancy, with no complications, you are considered "low risk." Midwives are experts in normal, uncomplicated pregnancy ("low risk") and birth.

Why hire a midwife?
Midwives specialize in normal childbirth. They believe in the woman's ability to give birth naturally. Statistically, the safest place for a low-risk woman to give birth is at home with a trained midwife. When working with a trained midwife a woman can eat and drink and move around freely. She will have continuity of care throughout her pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum experience. She is more likely to be treated and her progress evaluated as an individual, rather than being sacrificed to protocols or statistical averages. She is much less likely to need pain killing drugs and the risk of cesarean section is greatly reduced. She will not be subjected to routine procedures such as continuous electronic monitoring or routine use of IV fluids and she'll see a decrease in post partum depression.

What happens if I need to go to the hospital?
I am well-equipped to handle the very rare unforeseen emergency. I carry emergency medications and equipment; I am trained and certified in Neonatal Resuscitation and Basic Life Support. In spite of our best efforts, complications do arise. An individualized transfer-of-care plan is established during your prenatal care. This plan designates a specific collaborating physician and hospital that will warmly accept you in the event of a hospital transport. Although I am no longer the primary care provider, I will remain with you and function as in-hospital labor support. In general, most transports are not "911" emergencies, so we just put the mother in the car and drive to the hospital that we have previously chosen.

Does insurance cover the cost of a home birth?
Most private insurance companies (PPOs) will cover the home birth at an out-of-network cost. This is usually between 50 percent and 80 percent of the cost of the home birth.

How much do you charge?
The fee for all of your care is $4,000 for a home birth. This fee includes prenatal care, labor and birth in your home and your postpartum care. Your postpartum care includes home visits at one day, three days, seven days, three weeks and six weeks. I am also a lactation consultant so during each of those visits we will address any breastfeeding concerns you may have.

Can my older child be present at the birth?
You can have whomever you feel comfortable with at your birth. Children generally do great with birth, especially when they've been adequately prepared.

What if I don't want to have my baby at home?
Is there another option? Santa Clarita Birth & Women's Health Center is the SCV's only free-standing birthing center. We offer comprehensive prenatal, labor, delivery and postpartum care in a home-like setting complete with beautiful birthing tubs.
Santa Clarita Birth & Women's
Health Center; 254-3000

Love at First Sight
Storks & Co. is a premiere 3D/4D ultrasound prenatal service. For quality and safety, Storks & Co. ultrasounds are performed exclusively by experienced registered sonographers under the supervision of a licensed medical director. With their high standards, expectant parents can have the confidence that the gender of their baby has been determined accurately as early as 15 weeks. After 26 weeks, families can delightfully peek on their baby. Says owner Lisa Bones, "It makes us happy to help you share the joy of getting to know your angel before delivery day!";
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