Pregnancy, Parenthood & Playtime

Doula, Birth Advocate, Aspiring Midwife, Mother, and Wife

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Home Birth in Connecticut

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Not many people know that home birth is an option when you find out you are pregnant here in the state. Others think that home birth is as primitive as it was in the 1800′s and the midwife just shows up with a rolled up towel for you to bite on and you are on your own. Which is completely the opposite of home birth today in the year 2009.
Recently I was fortunate enough to speak with a local home birth midwife and pick her brain on the details of home birth since I personally have never had one, but definitely would be interested in one.

Nancy Farr is a Certified Practicing Midwife here in the State of Connecticut who has caught (in her own words) more than 540 babies in the past 24 years since she started her schooling to become a midwife. While we all are mostly familiar with Certified Nurse Midwifes that traditionally work in hospital settings, Certified Practicing Midwives have had an alternative type of education. Nancy shared with me the story of her training.

My original degree is in Early Childhood Education.  I joke that I didn’t know then how early I wanted to be involved.  I began studying midwifery through a home study course while my children were little, called Apprentice Academics.  I then took what used to be called “The Basic Course” in MA.  It was the only formal, systematic midwifery training available in New England at the time.  It was a combination of classroom seminar, skills training opportunities and independent study.  It was a perfect adjunct to my apprenticeship in progress.  I have also attended hundreds of seminars and conferences on various topics pertinent to women’s health care, birth, parenting issues, herbal healing, massage and midwifery skills.  Part of maintaining high standards in midwifery care is continuing education.

When a woman starts to consider having a home birth, attended by a Midwife, one of the first things to do is sit down and talk with a Midwife that does deal in home births and discuss if they are a good candidate for birthing at home. Normally women who are healthy, low risk, with no complications in their pregnancy, or as Nancy described to me

A woman that is physically and emotionally healthy.  She is free from any pre-existing or developing health problems and has a belief in birth as being a normal process.  We like our clients (not patients) to be educated regarding pregnancy and birth and take an active role enabling her to make informed choices.

Something that is important to know when thinking about this choice, recently new studies are showing that home births attended by medical professionals, such as midwifes, are as safe as hospital births. For more information feel free to click the text, which is linked to an article about the study.

Another huge question always is, Will my insurance cover it?  And if they do not how much does it cost?   Many women are willing to pay out of pocket for this type of birth experience or to simply stay out of the hospital while they are giving birth, but the average going rate is $3000, and if your insurance covers out of network providers, sometimes they will actually reimburse you for the birth!  But when you compare $3000 for all your pre natal care, and the birth, when you would be spending at least double that for the birth alone to birth in a hospital, you can see which is economically wiser. Especially if you are going to be paying for your pregnancy out of your own pocket.  The pre natal care includes the same that you would get if you were to see a provider that delivered in a hospital, except you will get a little more time per appointment, no in and out in 5 minutes. One visit a month until 32 weeks gestation, then the visits are every 2 weeks until you hit the 36 weeks gestation mark, then like every other woman your visits will become every week until you give birth. Once the baby is born, Nancy, and any average home birth midwife in the state will spend far more time than the normal provider will.

The postpartum care is extensive and we return to your home within 24 hours, back again for a 3 day visit, a 5 day visit to attend to the PKU test and a 2 or 3 week visit, then the final 6 week visit.

Currently across the state there are about 6 home birth midwives currently attending births. There were more, but over the years there has been a horrible witch hunt in our state, and we truly need to act together to help make a change so all women have the option to birth in whatever setting is best for them. Lastly I would like to include why Nancy felt the need to become a midwife because I really enjoyed what she had to say.

I wanted to become a midwife so I could give back the type of care that I received with my third baby.  She’ll be turning 27 in November.  I had two previous hospital births that went well with minimal intervention.  They were beautiful experiences but I knew something was missing.  Planning a homebirth with a midwife, the care I received was outstanding.  I was treated like a whole person and what was going on in my head was given equal attention as my growing belly.  The continuity of care, seeing the same person at each visit is so important to the health and well being of Mama.  Having my baby at home with her father, siblings (then ages 5 and almost 3) and grandmothers there to welcome her was a peak life experience.  Letting labor and birth unfold in your own environment makes a lot of sense and I believe the body works better!  I wanted to let this secret out about homebirth and help people achieve it!  I knew then I’d either want to have 10 kids or become a midwife.  I love helping to educate and empower women during this important passage.  Realizing the uniqueness of each and every family, I hold a deep commitment as a resource to clients as they make decisions regarding health care that meets their individual needs.

If you would like to learn more about home birth or are interested in having a home birth, you can contact Nancy Farr at 860-742-6911, or email her at motherwise@earthlink.net

Danielle Elwood

9 Responses

  1. laura c says:

    I wanted a home birth when I was pregnant with my son. I found a midwife in Manchester that ended up being so much like an ob/gyn that I just decided to go with an ob/gyn. I totally regret it now, of course. They forced all sorts of interventions and ultimately a c-section on me. Now, my husband and I are TTC…we actually find out if we are pregnant this week!!! And I have been looking for a midwife for days in the enfield area. Thank you for the article. It gives me hope that there is a HBAC friendly midwife in my area.

  2. elwood says:

    If home birth is a valid choice for you, there is a great home birth midwife right in your area Aja! Kim Cash primary works in that region!

  3. Aja C. says:

    I am nothing short of dissatisfied with the obstetric services, or lack thereof, available in northeastern CT. The practices I’ve come across care more about your money than you or your baby (readers beware particularly of Ob-gyn Group of Manchester).

    I feel fortunate to have had my first child in 2004 at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, RI. The staff were genuinely courteous, attentive, and compassionate.

    Homebirth is definitely an option I am considering with my second child, as my first birth went relatively smoothly. This article has been truly an eye opener for me and am looking forward to speaking with Nancy in the near future.

  4. embee says:

    Awesome post Danielle. I loved reading it. Nancy seems like a wonderful woman. I am definitely planning a home birth for my next pregnancy and I appreciate the contact information!

  5. [...] going to host her radio show focused around midwives with Amy Romano, Mary Murry, and Amie Newman. Home Birth in Connecticut – An interview with a local Connecticut CPM that attends births at home. My reaction to The [...]

  6. elwood says:

    Nancy will also be speaking on a panel in January about the rising cesarean rate in Connecticut in Shelton!

  7. Emily says:

    Nancy attended my HBAC a year and two months ago. All I can say is she is AMAZING. I loved my prenatal visits…we usually spent an hour per visit, sometimes more. She showed concern and support for me while my husband was out to sea for 4 months of my pregnancy. The emotional support I received from her was equally as important (if not more so) than the physical support I received for the pregnancy and birth.

  8. Liz says:

    Thank you for posting this! Nancy is my midwife for my HBAC (home birth after Cesarean) baby due 2/10. It is amazing how much BETTER her care is than it was in my previous OBs’ offices- the discussion of medical history, nutrition, emotional well-being, relationship issues has been much more thorough and leaves me feeling so supported.

  9. Lindsey says:

    What a wonderful interview and overview of home birth! If/When I ever get pregnant again I will definately be looking into having a midwife come to my home!