Frequently Asked Questions at FCWH
What services do midwives provide? Do you only deliver babies?
Midwives are experts in women’s health and provide comprehensive care to all women from puberty through menopause. It is very common for us to take care of three generations of women in one family. Please see our Primary Care page for a list of women’s health services provided at FCWH.
What kind of insurance do you take at FCWH?
We work with all types of insurance, with both in-network and out-of-network coverage. Please see our Fees page for more information, and if you have any further questions and or concerns, please contact our Financial Manager, Tania Cruz at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (914) 421-1500.
How late in my pregnancy can I transfer to your practice?
As long as you have received prenatal care throughout your pregnancy it is never too late to transfer. We have had women transfer into our practice on their due date!
The process of finding the right provider for your pregnancy and birth is one of the most important decisions you will make as you assume your role as a parent. Finding someone who you are comfortable with, who you trust and who shares your philosophy has the greatest impact on what your birth will be like. It might feel easier to stay with your current practice rather than to question their approach or methods, but we believe it is essential for you to honor your instincts on what feels right for you and your child. People who love you may try to convince you that staying with your health care provider is safest. We encourage you to bring these people with you for an informative “Meet the Midwife” appointment during which we’ll listen to all of your needs and goals, and then tell you honestly if FCWH is the best practice for you at this time of your life.
Are FCWH midwives open to VBACs?
Yes, we are very supportive of women hoping to deliver vaginally after a previous cesarean. Many of the women in our care have done this successfully. As you may be aware, recent changes in ACOG guidelines and the medico-legal climate have forced many hospitals and providers to stop offering VBACs to their patients. Phelps Memorial Hospital is one of the few community hospitals in the area still committed to providing this service, thanks to the support of our consulting physicians, one of whom is the Chief of the OB/GYN department.
There are certain criteria which must be met in order to have a safe VBAC at a community hospital. We will review your history and your medical records with you, answer all your questions, and have a comprehensive discussion about the risks and benefits of your delivery options. Should the decision be made for a repeat cesarean, you can still benefit from our midwifery care throughout your pregnancy, during the cesarean where we assist the doctor with the surgery, and afterwards during the recovery and postpartum periods. Should the decision be made for a VBAC, you will have the support of midwives and doctors who are truly comfortable and experienced with it, and we will do everything we can to facilitate the process both physically and emotionally.
Full Circle hosts the monthly meeting of ICAN (The International Cesarean Awareness Network), a support group and resource for women who have had cesareans. It meets the first Thursday of each month from 7 to 9 pm and is free. The Westchester chapter was started by one of our midwives, who had a cesarean and VBAC.
Will I work with one of the midwives or all of them?
Our practice is truly a group. Each expectant family will visit with all of our midwives to ensure that whoever is on call for your labor is someone that you know well. We encourage you to bring your spouse, birthing partner, or family members with you to your prenatal visits.
Routine gynecological care and problem visits can be provided by the midwife of your choice.
Do FCWH midwives attend home births?
No, we attend births only at Phelps Memorial Hospital. Our choice to use a supportive hospital allows us to stay with our patients and provide continuous care, no matter what the scenario. Midwives in this area who do home births cannot also have hospital privileges. Having a strong and trusting relationship with our patients is the cornerstone of our philosophy, and we are not comfortable with being forced to surrender care should a hospital transfer become necessary. We are supportive of women choosing to birth at home and can refer you to local home birth midwives whom we know and respect.
What services are offered at this center?
Full Circle Women’s Health offers well women gynecological and obstetrical care, as well as classes, support groups, and an onsite shop to meet the needs of our patients. We are conveniently located in Full Circle Family Care, an integrative and holistic center of independent practitioners offering a range of services for women and their families. The midwives frequently refer to practitioners and teaching staff at Full Circle Family Care. You can read more about our colleagues on our “Friends of Full Circle Family Care” page.
What qualifications do the midwives have? Are FCWH midwives licensed?
The midwives at FCWH are all registered nurses with graduate level degrees in nursing and midwifery. We are all NY State nurses and licensed midwives. We have admitting privileges at Phelps Memorial Hospital. Please see our individual biographies to read more about our paths to midwifery.
What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?
A midwife is a licensed health professional. During pregnancy and birth, a midwife provides medical management as well as support. A midwife will be with you as much as possible during your labor but may have other responsibilities as well.
A doula is hired to comfort and support the pregnant couple during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum at home. A doula may have certification but is not licensed, and cannot make any medical decisions. A doula’s entire focus is to be with you and only you throughout labor.
The Full Circle midwives welcome you to bring a doula to your birth.
Does New York State law require that licensed midwives be supervised by a physician?
No. Unlike nurse practitioners and physician assistants, midwives are licensed as independent practitioners and do not need supervision. Current law requires midwives to have a written agreement with a physician that they will provide collaboration and consultation when requested. This part of the law is being contested in Albany since other licensed independent practitioners do not need a written agreement to consult.
For further information on New York State midwifery law, please visit the Office of the Professions midwifery page at: http://www.op.nysed.gov/midwife.htm and see the list of specific licensing questions and answers at: http://www.op.nysed.gov/midwifeqa.htm
Are there really laws about breastfeeding?
For more information about women’s legal rights to breastfeeding in the workplace, visit the National Council of State Legislatures website: http://www.ncsl.org/IssuesResearch/Health/BreastfeedingLaws/tabid/14389/Default.aspx
If you have additional questions not covered here, please contact us at (914) 421-1500.