Is a birthkeeper the same thing as a midwife? What's the difference?
No, they are actually two completely different roles, but they work great together. A midwife is a healthcare provider who has medical training and is focused on the technical aspects during the birth process such as fetal heart tones and your vitals, etc.
As a birthkeeper, I do not perform any medical tasks but instead offer mental, physical, and emotional support during the birthing journey to you and your partner. I can focus on your needs and support at all times without the interruptions of having to do the medical tasks. This is why a birthkeeper can be a great addition to your birth support team, even if you're birthing with a midwife.
Do you serve my area?
I am located in Southeast MO and currently serve within a 3 hour radius, which, in addition to MO, includes sections of West TN, Northwest AR, Southeast IL, and West KY. Anything over 50 miles from my address will be charged additional mileage and travel fee. Unsure if I serve your area? Just message me and ask!
Does insurance cover the cost of a birthkeeper?
Does a birthkeeper replace a dad's or partner's role at the birth?
A common fear is that hiring a birthkeeper will negate your partner to minor role, but I can actually can support you both by meeting their needs with snacks, reassuring words, and encouragement so you can work more intimately together. I may be the only other person beside your partner who is there solely for your emotional well-being. Your partner may feel unsure or shy if this is uncharted territory, and I can offer encouragement and ideas of how your partner can participate at his/her level of comfort by suggesting useful tasks, supporting you in a particular position, or massaging you. I may be an expert about supporting physiological birth , but your partner knows your personality, likes/dislikes, and needs more deeply and intimately than I ever could.
This depends mostly on the insurance company as well as the doula/birthkeeper. Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not cover doulas at this time. There are, however, rare occasions where you might be able to talk with their insurance company and get some of the cost reimbursed. I have dealt with clients that had healthcare share and were able to have my service fee partially covered.
Do you attend hospital births?
I do have experience with attending facility births when I served the St. Louis metro area. I am now attending facility births in Southeast MO on case-by-case basis. Schedule a free consultation with me to see if we are a good fit for your birth plans. I also recommend being up to date with your facility's current visitor guidelines to ensure a birthworker is allowed to be present.
Why do you use the term "birthkeeper"?
A birthkeeper is a traditional birth attendant who specializes in physiological and intuitive birth. Frankly, I feel I bring more to the table than what one thinks of when they think of a "doula" so I do not identify with nor use that term. The families who seek me do so because they prize my knowledge of physiological birth & holistic modalities and know that I respect their autonomy above all else. I don't chase potential clients; those who are tapped into their intuition always find me. It is a humbling call to be a birthkeeper, and I am glad I answered.