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  • What services does Authentic offer?
    Authentic offers full spectrum care, including prenatal care, labor and birth, postpartum care, breastfeeding assistance, and newborn care. We also provide educational classes, support groups, and other community-building events.
  • What is a freestanding birth center? How is a birth center different from a hospital?
    A freestanding birth center is a facility designed to provide a more home-like environment for childbirth, while providing all the standards of care offered in the medical system. It physically stands separate from a hospital, is not under the umbrella of a hospital system, and focuses on low-risk pregnancies and natural childbirth. Freestanding birth centers like ours offer a more relaxed and home-like setting compared to hospitals. We emphasize natural, physiological childbirth and offer personalized and compassionate care provided by midwives and other trained birth professionals. Generally speaking, birth centers are often more flexible in birthing options and interventions.
  • What is physiological birth?
    Physiological birth refers to the process of natural childbirth without the unnecessary use of medical interventions. In a physiological birth, the woman relies on her body’s natural instincts to give birth, with minimal external interferences. It often involves techniques such as breathing exercises, free movement, position changes, relaxation techniques, labor support from a familiar birth team, and a birthing environment designed to support this process. The goal is to facilitate the birth process in a way that is safe and healthy for both Mother and Baby, while respecting and honoring the body’s innate ability to give birth.
  • Who can use a birth center?
    Birth centers are often utilized by individuals who prefer a more home-like, low-intervention setting. They are appropriate for low-risk pregnant individuals looking to avoid unnecessary medical interventions, families seeking a more natural and supported experience with personalized care and options throughout their care and birth, those desiring midwifery-led care which emphasizes shared decision-making and emotional support, and those with philosophical or cultural reasons to seek alternatives to a hospital birth experience in a clinical setting. It's important to note that we serve those with low-risk pregnancies, and have protocols in place to transfer to a higher level of care should complications arise during prenatal care, labor, birth, or the postpartum period. If you have any questions about what classifies you as “high risk,” or have been labeled “high risk” in the past, we encourage you to reach out and ask more questions!
  • Who will attend my prenatal visits and my labor and birth?
    A team of Authentic midwives and midwife students will care for you throughout your prenatal, labor, birth, and postpartum periods. You will have an opportunity to schedule visits with all the providers so that you are familiar with our entire team and feel comfortable with everyone involved in your journey.
  • What are my pain relief options?
    While we don’t offer any form of pharmacological pain relief, we have MANY options to help you move through your labor and birth. First, our suites are intentionally designed to offer a dimly lit, soft, warm, inviting atmosphere. There is ample space for movement and position changes throughout each suite, the birth center, and the outdoor garden. We use tools such as birth balls, birth peanuts, “squatty potties,” and a TENS unit to help you find comfortable places to ride the waves of your labor. From the birth tubs to the large walk-in showers, hydrotherapy can offer significant relaxation and relief. Guiding you in massage, pressure points, positioning and gentle movements, your birth team will have many ideas to help support you in the birth process.
  • Do I also need to see a doctor?
    Your Authentic midwifery team offers full service prenatal care, labor and birth support, and postpartum care. There is no need to see a doctor or hospital-based provider alongside our team for your routine care.
  • How do I prepare for an out of hospital birth?
    Our focus throughout your care is supporting you in a safe and healthy pregnancy journey while also preparing you for a natural birth and well-supported postpartum experience. In your prenatal visits, we will discuss nutrition, supplements, exercise and activity, emotional care and support, and the importance of self-care. We will offer and encourage resources to help you in your journey, from childbirth education classes to lactation support to doulas that can support you in your pregnancy, at your birth, and postpartum. We will discuss not only your physical well-being, but support you in making plans to find or create a community to come alongside you in your journey to parenthood. We will discuss both birth plans and postpartum plans, as well as community resources to ensure you are healthy and well, both physically and emotionally!
  • I want a natural birth experience, but I still want prenatal testing options. Do you offer this at Authentic?
    Yes. Midwives in Wisconsin are regulated and licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. By law, they are required to offer clients everything that they would be offered in the traditional medical model of care. Routine lab work is done at the birth center, and ultrasounds and additional testing can be ordered by your Authentic team and scheduled at the appropriate locations.
  • Can I transfer to Authentic if I’ve had care elsewhere?
    Yes! While we prefer to have as much time as possible to get to know you and build a trusting relationship, we understand that there are many reasons families want a change of course in their pregnancy journey. Call us to discuss your specific situation and we’ll help you make a smooth transition!
  • Can I have a water birth?
    Yes! More than two-thirds of all babies born at Authentic are born in the water. Each birth suite is equipped with a unique birth tub. Even if you don’t birth in the water, we invite you to take an herbal bath for a soothing and relaxing soak during your postpartum stay!
  • What do I need to bring to my birth?
    During your care, you will receive a packing list that outlines the things you need. The birth center is fully stocked with everything you will need for your birth and immediate postpartum…labor support tools (peanut ball, birth ball, birth stool, etc.), birth and postpartum supplies, soothing teas, postpartum bath herbs, essential oils, and many other amenities to promote comfort and relaxation. You are primarily responsible for bringing food for your stay (menus to many local restaurants are provided!) and personal items that will allow you to feel comfortable and supported.
  • Who can be with me at my birth?
    While we don’t have any specific limits on who can attend your birth, we encourage you to think carefully and approach this decision like you would with any other invitation-only event. What role will each person play? How will each person offer the support needed to foster a relaxing and natural birth experience, free of fear or stress? How will each person serve the needs of the laboring mother? How will you feel with others present in an incredibly vulnerable and intimate space?
  • What is your Cesarean rate?
    We have been serving families for over a decade, and have a Cesarean rate that falls in line with what is determined appropriate and safe by the World Health Organization. While we don’t perform Cesarean sections at the birth center (this number is derived from those who have transferred into a higher level of care during prenatals, labor, or birth), about 3% of our clients have a Cesarean birth. We love to continue to offer postpartum care and support to these families once it is safe and appropriate!
  • Do you allow VBACs (vaginal birth after Cesarean)?
    Yes! Schedule a free consult with our midwives to discuss the circumstances around your Cesarean section to discuss your options.
  • What if complications arise during labor?
    Although out-of-hospital birth is statistically safe for low-risk pregnancies, and up to 85% of all pregnancies are considered low-risk, this does not guarantee a complication-free birth. We are highly skilled and trained to detect and manage most birth complications. We carry and are trained to administer the standard medications used to treat postpartum hemorrhage (maternal bleeding after the birth), IV fluids for hydration, and emergency resuscitation equipment for babies in need of support with their transition earthside. Deviations from a normal birth often have early warning signs which permit ample time to transport to the hospital. In the rare instance that a transport does become necessary, we have working relationships will the area hospitals and physicians and will provide a seamless transfer of care into their facility. Continued support from the midwives will be provided even in the instance of a transfer.
  • Is there a limit on how long I can stay at the birth center after giving birth?
    We offer a 24 hour stay following the birth of your baby, much longer than the national standard of 4-6 hours. This time allows our postpartum team to care for your needs, support your breastfeeding journey, protect a space for you to rest, recover, and bond with your baby, and enjoy getting to know your little one while you fall in love under the stars! Of course, we also offer an option of an early discharge, as long as Mom and Baby are stable, healthy, and feel empowered to begin their journey together!
  • How much does it cost?
    Every birthing family has a different financial situation, different insurance coverage, and different preferences in paying for a birth experience. At Authentic, it is our goal to be as transparent as we can with finances, as we know this is a very important issue as you grow a family. We have a third-party billing service that verify your specific insurance coverage, estimate your out of pocket costs, submit claims on your behalf, and walk you through your options and any questions you have. Our staff will also provide you with options for payment plans and a clear understanding of you financial responsibilities before you even have your first visit. Check out the INVESTMENT page for more information or to verify your benefits.
  • What if I don’t have insurance?
    Those that are uninsured or choosing to pay cash can do so! The cost out of pocket for the birth center facility is $3,725 and the cost of your midwifery care is $5,000. Lab work, ultrasounds and any additional testing that is required or desired will be billed separately.
  • Do you take BadgerCare (Medicaid, State Insurance)?
    Yes. The Authentic midwives are registered Medicaid providers in the State of Wisconsin. If you have BadgerCare and are willing to opt for a straight Title 19 plan (we walk you through this process), your midwifery costs, lab work, ultrasounds and additional testing are all covered 100%. Unfortunately, the State of Wisconsin BadgerCare program does NOT pay for birth centers, so you would still be responsible for the $3,725 birth facility fee.
  • How do I schedule my free phone consultation?
    Call our front desk anytime at 414.231.9640, Option 2, to schedule a free, no obligations consultation with a midwife!
  • What are my next steps?
    Explore our website to discover all you need to know about the birth center experience! We've worked diligently to answer the most common questions through detailed pages, FAQs, and a comprehensive virtual tour. As you review the information, make notes of any additional questions you have so we can address them during your free midwife consultation. Next, fill out and submit the Prospective Client Info Form below, sharing a bit about yourself. After submission, you’ll receive an email outlining your next steps. Finally, call our front desk at 414.231.9640, Option 2, to schedule your FREE midwife consultation!
  • What if I live an hour away? Is that too far?
    When considering your distance from the birth center, we ask you to think about your routine appointments. We expect all clients to make arrangements to attend regularly scheduled appointments. When you call us with signs and symptoms of labor, rest assured that we have all your information readily available through our electronic heath record, including the distance from the birth center. We will discuss labor options and plans with you accordingly, and will make recommendations on when to come to the center, or get closer to the center, on an individual basis.
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