Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose midwifery care?

  • Midwives hold a holistic view of health
  • Midwives respect and honor the women they serve
  • Midwives the take time to tailor their care to the needs of the individual
  • Midwives believe pregnancy and birth are natural, normal events of life
  • Midwives encourage women to become educated about relevant issues, take responsibility for their choices, and be empowered by their experiences
  • Midwives use interventions only as needed, not routinely
  • Midwives improve the outcomes of birth

Resources on the quality, cost benefit, and safety of midwifery care:

de Jonge A, Geerts CC, van der Goes BY, Mol BW, Buitendijk SE, Nijhuis JG. Perinatal mortality and morbidity up to 28 days after birth among 743 070 low-risk planned home and hospital births: a cohort study based on three merged national perinatal databases. (2014). BJOG. LINK

Cheyney M, Bovbjerg M, Everson C, Gordon W, Hannibal D, Vedam S. (2013). Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Planned HOme Births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009. J Midwifery Women's Health. 2014;59(1):17-27. PDF

Stapleton SR, Osborne C, Illuzzi J. (2013). Outcomes of care in birth centers: Demonstration of a durable model. J Midwifery Women's Health.2013;58:3-14. PDF

Janssen PA, Saxell L, Page LA, Klein MC, Liston RM, Lee SK. Outcomes of planned home birth with registered midwife versus planned hospital birth with midwife or physician. (2009). CMAJ. 2009;181(5):1037-46. LINK

Olsen O, Clausen JA. Planned hospital birth versus planned home birth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;9:CD000352. LINK

Home Birth: An Annotated Guide to the Literature published by the Division of Midwifery in the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia in collaboration with the American College of Nurse-Midwives and the Midwives Alliance of North America. (2011)

The Milbank Report: Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve (2008) pdf

National Perinatal Association position paper on "Choice of Birth Setting" (2008) pdf

Washington Department of Health Cost Benefit Analysis on Washington Licensed Midwives (2007) pdf

“The largest study of home births attended by Certified Professional Midwives, as published in the British Medical Journal has found that home birth is safe for low risk women and involves far fewer interventions than similar births in hospitals.” –Citizens for Midwifery fact sheet 2005 -

Johnson, Kenneth and Betty-Anne Daviss. (2005) Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large perspective study in North America. British Medical Journal 18;330:1416.

Vedam, Saraswathi. (2003) Home birth versus hospital birth: questioning the quality of the evidence on safety. Birth. Blackwell Publishing, Inc. 30(1):57-63.

References about the safety of out of hospital birth: Blais, Regis, et al. (2002) Are home births safe? Canadian Medical Association Journal. The Association. 166(3):335-6.

Janssen, Patricia, et al. (2002) Outcomes of planned home births versus planned hospital births after regulation of midwifery in British Columbia. Canadian Medical Association Journal. The Association. 166(3):315-23.
Pang, Jenny, et al. (2002) Outcomes of planned home birth in Washington State: 1989-1996. Obstetrics and Gynecology. Elsevier. 100(2):253-259.

Janssen, Patricia, et al. (1994) Licensed midwife-attended, out-of-hospital births in Washington state: are they safe? Birth. Blackwell Science, Inc. 21(3): 141-148.


Will my health insurance company or medical coupons pay for an out-of-hospital birth?

Snohomish Midwives has insurance contracts with several insurance companies including: Aetna, Amerigroup, Molina, United Healthcare, Premera, Regence, First Choice, Cigna, Group Health, Community Health Plan of Washington, Coordinated Care and DSHS Medicaid. We are also in the process of developing other contracts. We use Alternative Medical Billing service to process our insurance reimbursement and their staff are available to answer any questions you may have about your insurance coverage. They can be reached at (206) 932-0870 or by email at

If you don’t have health insurance, there is an out-of-pocket payment option we would be happy to discuss with you.


Where will you travel to attend a home birth?

Snohomish midwives attend births at homes as far north as Arlington, as far south as Lynnwood and East to Sultan. This would include Everett, Lake Stevens, Woodinville, Bothell and Mukilteo.


Are pain medications available in labor should I want them?

Licensed midwives are not allowed by law to administer pain medications other than regular over-the-counter medications someone could obtain from a drugstore. Instead, we deal with pain management in various ways according to what works best for that woman at that time. These include: knowledge about laboring/birthing positions, massage techniques, the use of heat, cold, and water, homeopathic remedies, herbal remedies, and various relaxation exercises.

If during labor you change your mind about wanting pain medications, there is always the option of transferring to the hospital, whereupon which your care providers would become the hospital staff and midwifery care would resume in the postpartum period.


What makes Snohomish Midwives unique among local licensed midwifery practices?

  • We have made a commitment to limit our client numbers so as not to sacrifice our quality of care and our quality of life.
  • We are dedicated to the newborn during the prenatal period, at birth, and postpartum.
  • We offer attentive postpartum support during your time of transition and the establishment of breastfeeding.
  • We are continually making efforts toward environmental consciousness.


Phone: 877.869.6105
Fax: 360.563.2662 FACEBOOK

“My birth went exactly as I had hoped, with as few interventions as possible. When interventions were needed, Melissa clearly explained why and I never felt like I was being “handled”, which is one of the main reasons I chose a home birth route. She allowed me to feel “in control” and yet knew when it was time to step in and take charge.”

“They somehow just knew when I needed support and in what manner. It was truly amazing to be able to let my body do what it wanted to do.”

Snohomish Midwives   877.869.6105