birth partners

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the credential LM, CPM?

LM (Licensed Midwife) is a midwife who holds a license to practice midwifery issued by the board of medical examiners in the state in which they practice. Raizy has been a LM in New Jersey since 2014.

CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) is an independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the Midwives Model of Care. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings.

In partnership with their clients CPMs carefully monitor the progress of the pregnancy, labor, birth, newborn, and postpartum period. They recommend appropriate management if complications arise, collaborating with other healthcare providers when necessary. The key elements of this education, monitoring, and decision making process are based on evidence-based practice which includes thoughtful integration of the best available evidence, coupled with clinical expertise, and the client’s values and needs. Evidence-based practice and informed consent refers to the rights of healthcare consumers to be fully informed about testing or treatment options so that they can then make an educated choice among those options. Raizy has been a NARM certified midwife since 2014. (*Adapted from NARM website

Can I meet you before we decide if we want to hire you?

Absolutely. I am happy to schedule a free, one hour, no obligation consultation or “hello” visit via Zoom, Facetime or in-person. It is ideal to include your partner if they have questions, concerns, and interest. I encourage you to ask me all your “what if’s” and questions, share your vision for this birth, and determine if we are a good fit. These FAQ’s are to help you begin that process.

What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?

Doulas provide physical, emotional, and informational support to pregnant moms and their families during pregnancy, labor and postpartum. Doulas are not licensed or credentialed to provide medical care. I was a doula for 9 years before becoming a midwife and have a deep reverence for their role in creating comfort for laboring moms as well as caring for partners so they can offer support without the pressure of “doing it right” or becoming exhausted. Doulas are welcomed and appreciated at homebirth.

Can my other kids be at the birth?

Children at birth can be amazing. They have no context for fear and take their cues from the energy of the adults in the house. Children who witness birth at home will forever retain a cellular memory of the normalcy of childbirth and won’t associate the birth of a sibling with separation from their parents. The only consideration is whether they may need attention or support that you may not be able to provide. In this case, it is often helpful to have someone else dedicated to supporting siblings: another family member, friend, doula, etc… can provide critical help for kids so that the birth team can maintain focus.

Who else can be at my birth?

Anyone you want in your birth space is welcomed as long as they help you feel safe and supported and do not have anxiety about your choice to give birth at home. I am glad to help you sort through your feelings about this and strategize the best ways to include your people in this rite of passage.

How can I prepare for a home waterbirth?

Water for pain relief in labor and birth is a wonderful, safe option for your homebirth. Aqua Doula birth pools are available for rent for $200.00. This fee includes the pool, heating mechanism, sump pump, thermometer, and pool liners. Alternatively, I can help you choose and order your own inflatable birth pool. A brand new hose and adaptors for the faucet will need to be provided by the client for each waterbirth.

Do I have to have a waterbirth if I want a homebirth?

Although social media might make it seem like that is the reality, in fact, you can have your baby anywhere in your house, in any position you like.  In the tub, on the floor, outside, in the kitchen, on all fours, in the bed, in the shower, standing, squatting, hands and knees, in the bathroom, sem-reclining, side-lying….,”Midwives Do It In Any Position”.

I live in a small space, can I still have a homebirth?

Yes! If there is room enough for you, there will be room enough for birth. The birth space should be basically clean, warm, and comfortable. Most importantly, home is where you feel safe and relaxed. We are honored to be in your space and love seeing your family grow in the place that reflects your life.

What about the mess?

Birth is not as messy as you might think and since we are the cleaning crew, we are quite conscientious about keeping your birth space clean and tidy as we go. We have simple systems and supplies in place to keep the mess managed and your furniture protected. You can expect about one load of laundry and one garbage bag of trash. Before we leave, everything will be as clean, (or cleaner!) than before we arrived.

What if I go past my due date?

First of all, there is no such thing as a due date. You aren’t a toaster oven set to go “ding” at 40 weeks. Humans, like all mammals, have gestational ranges. The larger the mammal, the greater the range (google it!). In the state of New Jersey midwives can attend birth at home between 37-42 weeks. First time birthers tend to birth a bit later, 41 weeks and a few days on average, and some people just gestate longer, or shorter than others. All of this is totally normal. I try hard to get a good estimated due date (EDD) based on your cycle length and known conception/ovulation dates so we start with an accurate picture. As we approach the 42 week mark, there are gentle and natural ways to try to encourage labor to begin. We will discuss your options and monitor the baby more closely, including ultrasound as needed. I honor the fact that babies like to be born on their birthdays! The rare need for medical induction after 42 weeks requires a transfer of care, as this type of induction is only safe in a hospital setting.

Does health insurance cover homebirth?

I work with a biller to assist clients in obtaining reimbursement through insurance companies. Many insurance companies will pay for my services. We are happy to help you navigate the system. Talk to me about payment plans and options.

Can I or my partner catch our baby?

Yes! I am glad to help with watchful attendance (and assistance as needed) for those who want to receive their own baby.

How long do you wait before cutting the umbilical cord?

The birth of the placenta is part of the perfectly designed physiologic birth process. The pulsing cord provides the baby with up to ⅓ their own oxygenated blood volume during the moments that the baby is transitioning from water filled lungs, to breathing air. I normally do not separate a baby from their placenta until the family feels ready to do so, several hours after the birth. A lotus birth is also always your option.

What if I have tears in my vulva or vagina?

No one likes to think about this, but it’s not as bad as you may imagine. Not all tears require repair. If tissues approximate well and the tear is not deep, we trust in the body to heal itself. However, if a repair is needed, we are skilled to provide numbing medicine and will suture with dissolvable material to facilitate the healthy healing of your body.

What if something goes wrong at home?

That’s why we are there.

We listen to fetal heartones intermittently with a doppler during labor to assess the wellbeing of the baby. We observe, assess, and communicate with the laboring woman to assure her wellbeing. We are trained to handle common complications at home. We carry herbs, homeopathy, and allopathic medicines (pitocin, cytotec, methergine) for hemorrhage.  Everyone who attends your birth is trained in neonatal resuscitation and we carry (and have ready) all equipment such as oxygen and a bag and mask for helping a baby breathe.
If it is determined that your birth would be better served in a hospital and it is not an emergency (such as a long labor without progress that is exhausting the baby or mother, or a desire for pain medication) we will transfer to our consulting physician or her staff midwives in a hospital setting.  If the need arises, we can always go to the closest hospital. Your midwives will have your medical records available and accessible to facilitate a transfer of care and will remain with you, whenever possible, to ensure continuity of care.

What would risk me out of homebirth?

There are certain conditions that preclude birth at home as they create increased risks for both mother and baby. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, certain heart diseases, alcoholism, drug addiction, cigarette smoking, kidney disease, liver disease and significant mental health issues. LM’s in New Jersey are not permitted to attend VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) at home.

I am a birthing person who is part of the LGBTQ and/or BIPOC community, can you make me feel safe in your care?

I am a person who strives for open communication, sensitivity, presence and culturally appropriate care for each human being that I serve. I will do my utmost to meet you where you are and humbly hope to create a safe and welcoming space for you and your family. I hold dear the values of justice, freedom and compassion for all birthing people and know that when birth is not safe for some of us, it’s not safe for all of us. We dwell in one place.