Ask the Expert: Midwives & Birth Centers

home birth

GVK: Do insurance companies cover midwives out of the hospital?

Anja: Yes, they do! Most out-of-hospital midwives are out-of-network for insurance companies, so coverage varies.

GVK: Are there options for pain management?

Anja: Whether you’re expecting your first baby or your fourth, it’s normal to be worried about labor pain. I’ve written an article on my website that talks about how we approach pain management in homebirth. Find the article here.

GVK: What are some differences you see between a home birth, birthing center or hospital?

Anja: Women enjoy many important differences with midwifery care in my practice vs. going to the hospital. They are able to eat and drink and move freely during their labors. The medical care that they are given is evidenced-based, meaning that I do not do the typical hospital interventions of induction, immediate cord clamping, separation of mom and baby, episiotomy, and electronic fetal monitoring, to name a few. Giving birth in your home is peaceful and comfortable, and the care is non-obtrusive and positive. The client can enjoy knowing the care providers and having care individualized to the family’s needs. Most birthing centers are similar to home births, in that there is a home-like setting, but the care is very similar to home birth care. Midwives also work in hospital settings and provide excellent care there for women who choose not to birth outside of the hospital.

GVK: Are there any other benefits of midwifery care?

Anja: My practice has a low cesarean rate and a high rate of VBAC success. Women who seek care from my practice can anticipate relaxed prenatal visits that are 60 minutes long featuring individualized education. Families receive informed consent for all procedures and testing. I offer all the standard lab testing and ultrasounds in my office. In addition, my clients get an Arvigo® treatment at most of their prenatal visits and at all of their postpartum visits. I’m also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), so I can assist my own clients and women in the community with breastfeeding challenges. I provide all the postpartum care that a family needs, so if the transition is extra bumpy for them, I’m along for the ride.

GVK: Who can have a midwife?

Anja: Nearly every woman can enjoy the benefits of midwifery care. Most midwives are care providers for low risk and healthy women and babies. However, many women are labeled as high risk when they perhaps aren’t. I encourage all women to come and meet a midwife and have their medical history and current health examined to see if they are eligible for midwifery care.

GVK: Does the baby realize any benefits from midwifery care?

Anja: The baby perhaps is the most benefited from midwifery care. Because almost all of the babies in my practice are born from natural birth, I rarely see babies develop risk factors that are associated with medicated labor, as well as delivery interventions such as forceps, vacuum, or cesarean. It is rare for the babies to have their cords clamped and cut immediately after birth, and they are typically not separated from their mothers. Because of this, babies have 1/3 more circulating blood volume and are better able to regulate body temperature, breastfeed, and have normal respirations. The babies born in my practice enjoy a 100% breastfeeding rate, and because I’m a lactation consultant, the breastfeeding rate at 6 weeks in my practice is many times higher than any hospital in our region.

home birth

Anja Farin, Home Birth Midwife

Anja Farin offers full-spectrum midwifery care with complete prenatal, birth and postpartum care for people planning a home birth. She offers Arvigo® supported pregnancy and postpartum, lactation consulting, herbal and nutritional support from Oshkosh to Milwaukee. For more information visit:

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