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3535 S Lafayette Street, Ste 100, Englewood, CO 80113 View Location

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q:Is it right for me?

Birth centers are for healthy birthing parents and healthy babies. A healthy family makes the kind of wellness choices that facilitate successful birth outside the hospital. Mountain Midwifery Center’s prenatal care can help parents-to-be achieve optimum wellness and avoid unnecessary risk. Extensive prenatal screening is in place to ensure that any potential problem is caught early.

As a “maxi-home,” high risk pregnancies must be referred to delivery facilities with more extensive resources. Based on what we learn of a client’s health and circumstance, we can refer them to a provider that will best match their condition and wishes. This list is not exhaustive and talking to a midwife about your specific situation may be necessary.

Please note! This list is ONLY for birth. They do not apply to other services we offer.

These are conditions that cannot have a birth center birth:
• Heart disease
• History of embolus or clotting disorders with pregnancy
• Symptomatic congenital heart defects
• Renal disease
• Current drug or alcohol addiction (NO smoking after 12 weeks)
• Diabetes Mellitus or Gestational Diabetes
• Hypertension (BP greater than 140/90)
• Bleeding disorder
• Sickle cell anemia
• HIV
• Hepatitis
• Active genital herpes lesion at term
• Cancer within 2 years (we will need a remission letter from oncologist)
• Marfan’s Sydrome (including family history of first degree relative)
• Epilepsy
• Certain Thrombophilias
• Hematocrit less than 30%
• Previous Rh sensitization
• Declining or refusing Gestational Diabetes Screen
• Pap smear CIN III confirmed with colposcopy (within the last year)
• Active tuberculosis
• Paraplegia or quadriplegia
• Twins
• Breech
• Gestation of more than 20 weeks with no prenatal care
• Active anorexia or bulimia within the last year
• Gastric by-pass or lap bands (recent)
• Development of any other severe obstetrical, medical, surgical or mental problem
*We do NOT consider age, IVF/ART, or previous pregnancy/birth history to be risk factors.*

If you’re currently with another provider for your prenatal care but are considering a transfer to MMC, please decide before 32 weeks. You need time to meet all of our midwives and gain their trust in our model of care. We need time to bond with you as well. Also, our facility does have a limited capacity and our schedule can fill up quickly. When scheduling your first appointment with us, please keep in mind that our earliest availability is usually 2 to 3 weeks from the day you are calling. There is a $25 no-show fee for missed appointments.

If you would like to use the Mountain Midwifery Center but are unsure whether it is the right place for you, feel free to contact us and consider coming to a prospective client orientation.

Q:How is care at the Mountain Midwifery Center different than hospital-based care?

At Mountain Midwifery Center, we treat pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period as a normal, healthy part of family life—not an illness! We pride ourselves on giving families information to make informed healthcare decisions. Our prenatal visits are a minimum of 30 minutes, so that your midwives have the chance to get to know you and answer all of your questions. At Mountain Midwifery Center, you are treated as an individual, not a number.

Our midwives, nurses, and student nurse-midwives are all highly skilled at supporting women in childbirth and beyond. During labor, you will have constant care from your birth team instead of having someone arriving at the last minute to deliver your baby. This team starts with an MMC midwife and RN that you will know personally after meeting them over the course of your prenatal care. There are no “floor nurses” you’ve never met at MMC.

Mountain Midwifery Center has four birth rooms, each with a queen sized bed and a tub specifically designed for water-birth (not a hotel bathtub). You are required to drink in labor and eating is encouraged. Positions for labor and birth are not restricted. Your baby will be placed in your arms immediately after birth and we practice delayed physiologic cord clamping as well.Each family receives careful guidance in the first few hours after birth so that when they are discharged between four and six hours after birth (an evidence-based practice), they feel confident in their ability to breastfeed and care for the birthing parent and baby. Our rigorous prenatal education ensures that families are well educated about the early postpartum period and know how to assess the well being of parents and baby after birth center discharge. The nurse-midwives and nursing staff closely follow the family at office visits for the first few weeks of the new baby’s life.

Q:Can I transfer care to MMC for my pregnancy? How does that work?

Yes, MMC does accept transfers of care. We have a few rules though:
There needs to be slots available in your birth month. We do reach our maximum capacity for most months at least 2 months prior to delivery. We prefer transfers that occur within or prior to your 28th week of gestation. We have taken later transfers, but these require review by our Clinic Director and there are requirements for the patient as well. We can NOT accept transfers after 32 weeks.

Prospective families need to fulfill these requirements:
• Attend an Orientation.
• First-time parents are required to take a natural childbirth education class, breastfeeding class, and newborn care class.
• First time for out-of-hospital birth requires at least the “Birth at MMC” class (see our Classes page). Please speak to our staff to best determine what we’ll require for your situation.
• Upfront payment, by 32 weeks gestation, of your estimated client responsibility for professional and facility fees / claims.

Why do we have these requirements? In short – for safety and increased success. We need to ensure you are a good candidate for out-of-hospital birth and that you and your family/partner/support are well prepared. We also want you to spend time with our whole team so you have confidence in the midwife at your birth.

Q:Why Certified Nurse Midwives?

Certified Nurse-Midwives are experts in the care of uncomplicated pregnancy and birth. We are highly-skilled at caring for families in the birth center environment, where healthy clients experiencing normal pregnancies can safely deliver with far less technology and intervention than is needed in the hospital for those with risk factors complicating their pregnancies. Our Certified Nurse-Midwives provide continuous support during labor and birth. Studies have shown that continuous labor support decreases the need for epidural anesthesia, medical interventions and cesarean sections. Certified Nurse-Midwives typically spend three times longer with their clients than do physicians. This allows ample time for developing the relationship most people desire with their health care-provider. The partnership that unfolds with our midwives will help you to stay healthy throughout pregnancy.

Q:What if a transfer to the hospital is necessary?

Every birth center client is required to pre-register at Swedish Medical Center. This ensures a smooth transition from birth center to hospital in the event of a transfer. National statistics have been maintained on birth center outcomes for over 20 years, and it has been demonstrated that virtually all clients who transfer to the hospital do so on a non-emergency basis (typically for labor stimulating hormones or epidural analgesia). However, if an emergency transfer to the hospital during labor is necessary, this trip takes only 3 minutes by ambulance, putting us well within a 30 minute “decision to incision” standard for Cesarean section that most hospitals strive to achieve. This emergency responsiveness is better than that provided by many rural hospitals.

Our style of care facilitates a smooth transition to the hospital and we stay involved through your baby’s birth. In the event of a transfer, our involvement with your care does not stop – it becomes collaborative in nature. For multiple reasons, our midwives do not work at MMC and have hospital privileges. Without privileges the midwives have no decision-making authority in the hospital setting, but they are involved with the care plan formed by the hospital team and remain available to the delivering family for questions (especially during the transition to the hospital). If the midwife cannot be physically present, after the hospital transition and care plan are long over, we remain available via the on-call midwife and of course as a complete practice during office hours.

We feel confident our transfer model works well. Our statistics support us. Hospitals in the area, and especially Swedish, don’t treat our transferred patients as emergencies. As less than half of our intrapartum (during labor) transfers result in a Cesarean surgical delivery, we can see that our involvement in the care plan for the client (sharing records and consulting with the physicians, midwives and nurses) leads to wider range of response than just an “emergency C-Section.” Also, the majority of our transferred families choose to have their postpartum care done at MMC, which speaks to the trust placed in MMC by the hospital physicians and the real continuity of care patients see MMC achieving with the hospital care teams.

Q:What is your ratio of staff to patients? How are staffing needs met when several women deliver at the same time?

2-3 clinical staff members are present at every birth at the Mountain Midwifery Center, including one or more CNMs. Additional staff are called in for multiple moms in labor.

Q:What are the effects of nitrous on mom & baby?

We have great answers on our blog.

Q:How do you handle the after hour care needs of your clients?

A CNM is on call at all times.

Q:What is the average length of stay for families that deliver at the Birth Center?

9-12 hours total, with 4-6 of those hours in the postpartum period.

Q:What about the care of the newborn? Do you provide these services as well?

Yes, Certified Nurse-Midwifes are licensed to provide newborn care. We work closely with area pediatricians and family physicians to provide continuity of care. Mountain Midwifery Center offers all standard testing and treatments commonly offered to newborns in the first two weeks of your infant’s life.

Q:What type of preventative and medical services do you routinely provide? Do you provide primary healthcare services to your clients or only services related to maternity care?

Mountain Midwifery Center can provide the full range of primary care to our clients, including preventative care. We provide diet and exercise education, as well as routine screenings such as pap smears, cholesterol, glucose, thyroid testing, and a full range of family planning, and even family building services.

Q:What sorts of insemination services does Mountain Midwifery Center Offer?

Mountain Midwifery offers both ICI (intracervical insemination using known donor sperm) and IUI (intrauterine insemination using unknown donor sperm).  These services are available to folks interested in using donor sperm and insemination in the hopes of becoming pregnant.  This service is not appropriate for those who are working with infertility. Please note – the risk out factors for birth at MMC do NOT apply to these services. These services do not require you to get prenatal care or give birth at our center. 

Q:What is the process for insemination services at MMC?

To create optimal timing for insemination, there are several steps: 1-A preconception Gyn appointment is required for insemination services. A good medical history and a conversation about the next phase of fertility tracking are essential.  This appointment will also address informed consent and the type of sperm sample to be used. 2 -Clients will be expected to track their fertility using the Fertility Awareness Method for at least 3 months (we recommend Flowers Fertility for excellent information, guidance and support). This information will be reviewed at a second appointment (a 20-minute consult) and the next plan will be made.  This plan will either include additional fertility tracking or a plan for insemination. 3-At the appropriate time, clients will be inseminated twice in a 24-hour window. **Clients are responsible for obtaining and bringing their own sperm sample to the insemination** Inseminations will take place in the birth center –  you are welcome to bring elements from your life to help make our center feel like home to you. 4-Typically, no follow-up is necessary unless dictated by the medical history of the client. A well-timed home pregnancy test is adequate for most families.  However, if you think you are pregnant, following up with a prenatal provider for pregnancy verification would be the next step.  Using MMC for insemination does not bind you to our prenatal services in any way.

Q:How much does Family Building at MMC cost?

Only the first appointment can be billed to insurance; the other visits must be paid for in full at the 20-minute clinic consult.  One cycle includes both a consult ($75) and the insemination itself ($350).  If the first cycle does not result in pregnancy, additional cycles will include both consult and insemination costs as well.