Find a Licensed Community Birth Provider
Type a county or name into the search box to find midwives in your area. Use the search term 'yes' to sort for midwives listing themselves as Medi-Cal Providers.
What is a ‘community birth’?
‘Community birth’ refers to childbirth that is planned to take place in your home or a freestanding birth center and is attended by a licensed health care provider. Community birth is also referred to as planned homebirth and/or birth center birth.
Who can attend my community birth?
Licensed midwives (LM) provide the majority of planned home birth and birth center births in California.
Licensed midwives provide safe, personalized care for healthy pregnancies where there is an absence of complications or variations that require a higher level of care.
Midwifery care includes monitoring pregnant person’s physical, emotional, and social well-being throughout the childbearing cycle. Licensed midwives provide individualized prenatal care and continuous care during labor and birth. Additionally, care with a midwife routinely includes close follow up care and lactation support for mother and baby during the hours days, weeks and first two months after the birth.
When necessary, licensed midwives refer clients to other allied health care providers, such as physicians, nutritionists, or physical therapists.
Community births may also be attended by other licensed providers, including certified nurse midwives and physicians.
What does care with a licensed midwife look like?
Safe. Licensed midwives meet and exceed the criteria set by the World Health Organization for safe maternal care. As a result, families who plan care with a licensed midwife experience a cesarean rate of fewer than 15% and experience far fewer birth interventions.
Licensed midwife evaluate the mother and baby vital signs throughout the course of care, order routine blood work, facilitate prenatal screening and carry the necessary tools for labor and birth: fetal heart monitors (dopplers), emergency and prophylactic medications, oxygen, I.V. fluids, and suturing materials for those with minor vaginal lacerations.
Licensed midwives are also emergency first responders when situations arise that need immediate attention, such as resolving shoulder dystocia (the baby’s head comes out but the shoulders get stuck), correcting heavy postpartum bleeding to prevent a hemorrhage and helping a newborn to breath if it needs such assistance as the time of birth.
Personalized. Each prenatal visit with a licensed midwife attends to the well being of the expectant parent and baby while developing a connection between the provider and the family.
One of the hallmarks of midwifery care is the facilitation informed consent and collaborative decision making -- discussing and making available tests and procedures, but leaving the decision making to you.
Affordable. Thanks to CAM and CALMs legislative advocacy, the care of licensed midwife can now be covered by Medi-Cal. Inquire with individual midwives if they are able to provide care via Medi-Cal. Most care with a licensed midwife is also covered, at least in part, by private insurance. Some private insurer plans negotiated by larger employers pay at 90-100%. Health care providers not employed by HMO plans such as Kaiser are not eligible for reimbursement for private, community-based care.
How do a find a licensed midwife or other provider?
Members of the California Association of Licensed Midwives are listed in this directory and include licensed midwives and other licensed providers. CALM midwife members support their growing profession by being involved with legislative advocacy on behalf of families’ access to care and by staying involved in the premier professional organization for California Licensed Midwives.
CAM and CALM encourage all consumers to verify the license status of individual providers before starting care. Additionally, it is advisable to understand the scope of practice of licensed providers, circumstances for consultation, transfer to a higher level of care and/or to make a care plan in collaboration with their provider for transfer of care when necessary.
The safety of planned community birth is in the planning with a qualified provider.