Frequently Asked Questions

Here you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions our clients have. If there’s an aspect of our care you’re curious about that isn’t covered here, please feel free to visit our contact page here or email us at

What is a Midwife?

Midwives are the traditional care providers for mothers and infants. Midwives are licensed professionals with expertise and skills in supporting women to maintain healthy pregnancies and have optimal births and recoveries during the postpartum period. Midwives provide women with individualized care uniquely suited to their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and cultural needs. In California there are two types of Midwives that can practice legally; Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) are Registered Nurses (RN) with advanced training in midwifery. Licensed Midwives (LM) are trained directly in the field of midwifery without a nursing degree and are governed by the Medical Board of California. We utilize both types of Midwives at the Sierra Natural Birth Center.

What is a Doula?

A Doula is a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous, physical, emotional, and informational support to a woman, her partner, and family during labor, birth, and early postpartum.

Do you accept insurance?

With pre-authorization most insurance companies will cover midwifery care and birth at the Sierra Natural Birth Center. We also gladly accept Pregnancy Only Medi-Cal and California Health and Wellness (Medi-Cal).  Presumptive Eligibility Medi-Cal is also available, which encourages early entry to prenatal care, covering pregnancy related office visits, labs, and ultrasounds, if needed.

Do you do water births? If so, why?

Yes, we do offer the option of spending time in birthing tub and even have a water birth if that’s right for you and your baby. Hydrotherapy can be very comforting to a laboring mother. We support your desire to birth in or outside of the tub or just use the birthing tub for relaxation and pain management.

What kind of environment can I expect at the Sierra Natural Birth Center?

At the Sierra Natural Birth Center we have created a peaceful, home-like environment where our families can feel safe and supported.  The birth rooms were designed to be a serene, comfortable space with all the conveniences of home.

Can I bring my other children to prenatal appointments and my birth?

We very much encourage family members, including children, to attend prenatal visits and will always do our best to make them feel included in your care if you so desire. We offer a small children’s area stocked with books and toys to keep children occupied while you wait and are more than happy to have them stay with mom during her visit with the midwife. We are happy to see older siblings attend the birth of your baby, but we do insist that a separate support person (other than your spouse or doula) be designated to care for older children during your labor and delivery if you choose to have them present. Some flexibility in this matter is appreciated, as it is possible for more than one laboring mother to be present at the Sierra Natural Birth Center at one time, and we want to be as considerate of both families as possible.

 What is your policy on visitors?

We love our families!   The design of the Sierra Natural Birth Center is to provide you with a private and intimate birth experience. We do not have a big parking lot or waiting room so space is very limited. We suggest that small groups of close friends and family members delay their first visit until at least two hours after the baby is born to protect mother-baby bonding and to establish early breastfeeding.

What do you use for pain management?

We offer a wide variety of  natural comfort measures including hydrotherapy, acupressure, massage, movement, homeopathy and essential oils. We encourage doula care and if music soothes you, we provide blue tooth speakers for your personal playlist! We do not offer narcotic pain medicine of any kind.

How far are you from the closest hospital?

We are located six miles (9 minutes) from Adventist Health Sonora (formerly Sonora Regional Medical Center).

How many birthing rooms do you have?

We have two birthing suites.

When do you cut the cord?

We support delayed cord clamping and often do not cut the cord until after the placenta is delivered.

How do you support breastfeeding?

We try to support physiological breastfeeding through baby led self-attachment and encourage mother-baby bonding by not separating mother and baby for the first two hours.

Do you offer birthing classes?

We sure do! As your pregnancy progresses we can schedule you for private or group prenatal and birthing classes. Our group sessions are our favorite as they allow mothers and their partners to interact with others who are also preparing for childbirth and beyond. This provides a chance for peer support as well as a chance for us to build community with our clients.

Can I do all of my prenatal visits through my midwife?

Absolutely! Provided you have a low risk pregnancy you can see your midwife from your very first visit through to the birth of your baby. We do work with other providers to offer you the best holistic approach to your care and may refer you for further testing and ultrasounds. We may also recommend you look into massage, acupuncture, or chiropractic care.