Frequently Asked Questions

What is the midwifery model of care?

Midwives have been guiding us through pregnancy and childbirth since the beginning of human history. An evolution of this ancient tradition, the Midwives Model of Care™ is uniquely nurturing and hands-on, being practiced by specialized healthcare professionals who develop a trusting relationship with their clients, before, during, and after birth. Our midwives at Juneau Family Birth Center are certified and trained to provide comprehensive prenatal care and education, guide labor and birth, address complications, and care for newborns.

What is the difference between a midwife and an obstetrician (OB)?

Midwives and obstetricians have complementary areas of expertise, but they differ in their training and philosophy of care. Both can take care of you during pregnancy and childbirth, and the frequency of clinic visits, types of ultrasounds, and lab tests offered are the same. Because OBs are physicians, however, some higher risk pregnancies require OB care.

What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?

Midwives are medically trained and are your primary maternity care provider. Their primary role is to ensure the safety and well-being of the gestational parent and baby, while also providing emotional support and suggestions to ensure a satisfying experience. A doula is a support person for the expectant family whose primary focus is to provide emotional and physical support throughout all stages of labor. Doulas do not have medical training or experience and cannot be used as a substitute for a midwife or doctor.

Is midwifery care safe?

Yes! For healthy people who have healthy pregnancies, studies show that midwifery care is a perfectly safe option. At the beginning of your care, our midwives carefully screen and continuously evaluate your pregnancy to ensure midwifery is a safe and responsible choice. See our recommended resources list for more information.

Who can deliver at the Juneau Family Birth Center?

Anybody with a healthy, low-risk pregnancy who has not previously had a cesarean delivery qualifies for our care. However, those who are pregnant with multiples or have significant pre-existing conditions (diabetes, heart disease, chronic high blood pressure) need a doctor’s care. Schedule a free consultation with one of our midwives to see if you are eligible.

What if complications arise and I need higher level care?

For those who need specialized care for medical complications or an emergent event, we have collaborative relationships with doctors, perinatologists (high risk pregnancy specialists), and other providers to ensure your families receive appropriate, timely consultation or transfer of care. In this case, the doctor will assume responsibility for your care, but your midwife can continue to care for you in the postpartum period upon discharge from the hospital. See our safety page for more information.

Will my insurance cover midwifery care?
Most likely, yes! Almost all private plans with maternity coverage cover our services, as does Alaska state Medicaid. Contact our office administrator to check your coverage.
Can I have water birth?

Yes, we offer hydrotherapy and water birth in our spacious tubs as an option for all families.

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