Deliveries at home or the Bellingham Birth Center!
Tulip City Birth & Lactation is a small, single-midwife practice where you and your midwife get to know each other well and there’s never a new or unfamiliar face. True informed consent and shared-decision making between you and your midwife are key elements from start to finish. At Tulip City, you can expect to find expert care that is always deeply personal and never rushed.
Welcome to Tulip City.
Midwives have always been the guardians of pregnancy and birth. For thousands of years, in cultures all around the world, the process of bringing new children into the world was safeguarded by skilled members of the community who passed their sacred knowledge on to each other from generation to generation. These individuals knew that birth is a natural, normal life event, and that when birthing people are supported, protected, and loved, their power is limitless.
Today, this traditional role has become a structured healthcare profession, with formal training programs, legal regulations, and licensure, ensuring high quality standards are met. In Washington State, Licensed Midwives are regulated through the Department of Health and are licensed to manage the prenatal care, labor, birth, and postpartum care of healthy, low-risk people and attend births in out-of-hospital settings, including homes and community birth centers.
While modern midwifery has become less reliant on traditional wisdom in favor of the technological advancements of modern medicine, a skilled midwife knows how to blend the two. Today’s Licensed Midwives practice evidence-based medicine as autonomous providers within the greater maternity healthcare system, but when it comes down to it, they still remember that birth is magical.
Tulip City Midwifery Care Package
Choosing a healthcare provider to guide and support you through your pregnancy and birth is a really big decision! Tulip City offers free virtual consultations so we can meet each other, answer all your questions, and see if Tulip City is the right place for you.
Tulip City follows the same care schedule and offers the same lab work and testing that you’d find with any medical practice, but there’s one key difference: time! Nothing about your care with Tulip City is rushed. Prenatal visits are about an hour long, so there’s plenty of time to address your questions and concerns, cover all the information you need to know about current or upcoming testing, check in on your health and the health of your baby, and give special attention to your overall holistic wellbeing.
Labor & Birth
Giving birth is a deeply intimate and profound life event! The best setting in which to welcome your baby is the one in which you feel the most safe and comfortable. Tulip City offers deliveries at home and at the Bellingham Birth Center. Whichever place you choose, I will be with you throughout your labor, the birth of your baby, and the first several hours afterward, providing continuous monitoring, support, and guidance. When both parent and baby are stable and well, I leave you with detailed instructions on how to manage the next few hours on your own while I am only a phone call away.
The postpartum period is a time of great transition. This is often the time when people need the most support and guidance. In most medical practices, your entire postpartum care consists of one office visit at 6 weeks. At Tulip City, you can expect to have 2-3 home visits in the first 2 weeks after birth, followed by regular check-ins before your care ends with a final office visit at 6 weeks. During this time, we focus on your recovery from pregnancy and birth, ease of transition to parenthood, and overall holistic wellbeing.
Your baby remains under care with Tulip City for the first 2 weeks before transitioning to pediatric care. During this time, we make sure your baby is healthy and thriving and you’re feeling confident about all the baby care basics.
All midwives are skilled at helping parents and babies with basic lactation and infant feeding support, but at Tulip City, your midwife is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, which is the highest level expert for lactation care! When the families I serve need specialized lactation support, they’re already in the right place!
Insurance & Billing
Community Healthplan of WA (CHPW)
First Choice Health Network (Including certain Kaiser plans)
Tricare (for Bellingham Birth Center deliveries only)
*Apple Health: Tulip City accepts CHPW. Families with other Apple Health plans will need to switch to CHPW, this is easy to do, ask me how!
An all-inclusive Midwifery Care Package is available at a discounted rate for families who plan to pay out-of-pocket. Request a consultation at the link below to learn more.
And don’t forget to read the FAQ section below as many of your questions may be answered there too!
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s generally a good idea to start your prenatal care as soon as possible so that you have someone to call if you have any concerns or problems early on. If there’s any confusion around when you’re due, this too is easier to sort out earlier on.
Transfers in the first and second trimester are generally accepted, provided your due date month isn’t full and you meet all the requirements for midwifery care with Tulip City. Transfers in the third trimester are considered “late transfers” and are welcome on a case-by-case basis. Please schedule a consult so we can talk about your situation and discuss whether Tulip City is the right place for you!
During a typical prenatal visit, we will go over any questions you have, talk about any procedures or tests that are coming up, go over important information about staying healthy in pregnancy, check your blood pressure, measure the growth of your uterus, and listen to your baby’s heartbeat. Basically, we cover all the things you need to know at any given time and then make sure you and your baby are doing well.
Tulip City values informed consent and shared decision-making. This means that you and I will discuss all recommended testing and procedures in detail and then make a decision together on what makes the most sense for your situation. Where the information to be obtained is not critical for assessing your health status or identifying risk-factors for complications, you’re generally free to accept or decline recommended testing and procedures at will. But there are certain tests and procedures that provide us with information we need in order to fully evaluate your health and safety and confidently declare your pregnancy to be low-risk, and these are required as a condition of care with Tulip City.
Some complications are minor and simply warrant making lifestyle changes or taking certain precautions, but don’t necessitate any major action. Others might require a conversation or consultation with a higher-level medical professional who can advise us on what course of action to take and whether continued midwifery care and/or out-of-hospital birth is appropriate for you. In the event that your situation warrants a complete transfer of care, I will facilitate this formal transfer by identifying an appropriate receiving provider and sending them your prenatal chart notes. Your care with Tulip City would then close. Resuming postpartum care with Tulip City after the birth is usually an option.
Vitamin K shots and antibiotic eye ointment are available for use at delivery if desired. Metabolic screening and critical congenital heart defect screening is performed at the first newborn visit per Washington State law. Vaccinations are handled by your pediatrician and the standard newborn hearing screen is performed in-hospital by referral.
When you contact me to say you’re in active labor, I gather my things and meet you at your home. When I arrive, I set up all of my supplies, check your vitals, listen to your baby, and evaluate where you’re at in your labor process. At some point, I call my assistant to come help me so I have an extra set of hands. We continue to monitor your health, your baby’s health, and your labor process while offering ongoing support and guidance as needed. Eventually, your baby arrives and we jump into postpartum and newborn care. After about 3-4 hours, I leave you with detailed instructions for managing the next few hours on your own and then return to see you the next day for a check-up.
There will be some mess involved, but not as much as you might think. I’ll give you lots of tips and tricks to help you plan ahead to protect your home and I’ll help with the clean-up process after.
For healthy, low risk people having healthy, low-risk pregnancies, home birth is generally a safe and appropriate choice. Complications of labor and birth are very rare among healthy people, and when you consider this against the high-use of medical interventions in hospital delivery, limited power over how you labor or give birth, and possible exposure to hospital-based infections, delivery at home actually makes a lot of sense. Research studies have repeatedly shown that out-of-hospital birth results in high rates of positive health outcomes and better overall satisfaction among healthy birthers. Of course, rare emergencies do occur, both at home and in the hospital, and some situations may be worsened by the time delay in getting emergency help when not already in the hospital. For this reason, a full informed consent discussion on choice of birth location is part of your midwifery consultation and I encourage you to ask lots of questions about this.
Most of the things you’ll need are things you probably already own. There are some specific birth supplies you’ll need to have on hand, which I’ll let you know about well in advance.
Your birth location must have heat, running water, electricity, and cell service (or a land-line if cell service is poor). In the event of an emergency, an ambulance must be able to find your home and navigate your property. That's it!
You’re free to include whomever you wish!
I will stay with you after the birth for about 3-4 hours. Most of the activity after birth takes place during the first hour or two. After that, we are mostly helping you get settled and comfortable and monitoring for any immediate post-labor complications. Before I leave, we go over detailed instructions on how to care for yourself and your baby until I return for a check-up the next day. And I’m always only a phone call away.
Yes! Some people rent or purchase birth tubs, others use their own bath tub. Either way, water birth is totally doable at home, and with a few exceptions, totally fine.
Nope! The WA State birth certificate form has a checkbox for place of birth, which includes home. Easy peasy.
I will be wearing a mask whenever we’re together, whether at my office or in your home. Masks are still required in healthcare facilities, so you will need to wear a mask at my office as well, but when we are in your home, you are free to do whatever makes you feel most comfortable.
Even outside of a pandemic, it’s common courtesy not to be around others when you’re feeling sick or have symptoms suggesting illness. Just as I wouldn’t come to your home while sick, I ask that you please notify me before our scheduled appointment if you or anyone in your home is currently sick (even if it’s not COVID) so that we can discuss rescheduling or have a virtual appointment. I have lots of families in my care (as well as my own family), and I can’t take care of anyone if I become sick myself.
Whoever you are, you are welcome here.
Tulip City Birth & Lactation values inclusivity and seeks to foster a safe and welcoming space for all people. No matter your ability, age, class, culture, economic status, educational background, ethnicity, gender, language, race, religion, reproductive choices, or sexual orientation, you are welcome here.