Pregnancy and Postpartum Resources
Apple Health: Eligible pregnant women and their support person(s) can attend group Childbirth Education (CBE) classes, at no cost, when the classes are taught by a Health Care Authority-approved CBE educator who accepts Apple Health. Click here for a list of HCA-approved CBE educators by county.
Penny Simkin: Childbirth Educator, author, physical therapist, and former Doula Penny Simkin has a CBE series focused on home and birth center birth. Click here for more information and class schedule.
Great Starts: Great Starts™ provides childbirth education and early parenting classes to expectant parents and new families in Seattle and the Puget Sound region. Click here for more information and class schedule.
Washington Apple Health
Apple Health covers deliveries provided by a licensed midwife, nurse midwife or physician. Apple Health covers planned home births and births in birthing centers or hospitals. Center for Birth is in network with several Apple Health plans, including Community Health Plan of Washington and Molina.
Apple Health covers one manual breast pump per lifetime. All other types of breast pumps require a prior authorization from your provider. Talk to your provider about how to order a breast pump through your insurance.
First Steps: First Steps is a program that helps low-income pregnant women get the health and social services they may need and covers a variety of services for pregnant women and their infants. Click here for more information.
Midwives & Midwifery Organizations
Midwives Association of Washington State (MAWS): Nonprofit organization representing midwives throughout the state of Washington. Their website provides a searchable database of member midwives throughout the state.
Citizens for Midwifery (CfM): CfM is a non-profit, volunteer, national consumer-based group promoting the Midwives Model of Care. For more information or to get involved, click here.
North American Registry of Midwives (NARM): National organization working to provide and maintain an evaluative process for multiple routes of midwifery education and training. NARM administers the standardized examination that leads to the CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) credential. Click here for more information.
Midwives and Mothers in Action (MAMA): The MAMA Campaign is a national effort to gain federal recognition of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) so that women and families will have increased access to quality, affordable maternity care in the settings of their choice.
Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA): MANA is a professional midwifery association working to unite and strengthen all midwives through dedication to innovative education, professional development, and recognized autonomous practice. Click here for more information.
Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders
Perinatal Support Washington: A nonprofit organization that is "committed to lifting the veil on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and treating them effectively." They have several resources available:
- Warm Line: toll-free telephone support line staffed by experienced professionals and trained volunteer parents who have experienced perinatal mood or anxiety disorders themselves and recovered. Call 1-888-404-7763. Click here for more information.
- Professional Referrals: Both on their website and through the Warm Line, Perinatal Support Washington provides referrals to psychotherapists, medication management professionals and other professionals with a special interest in treating women experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
- Support Groups: for the most current list of support groups, click here.
DoulaMatch.net: Provides a searchable database of birth and postpartum doulas by zip code and due date.
Pacific Association of Labor Support (PALS) Doulas: A local doula certifying organization that certifies doulas in the Puget Sound region. Provides doula referrals via phone or email. Click here for more information.
Northwest Association for Postpartum Support (NAPS): Education and certifying organization for postpartum doulas in the Greater Seattle area. Provides postpartum doula referrals via phone or email. Click here for more information.
Pregnancy and Labor Preparation Information
Childbirth Connection: A program of the National Partnership for Women & Families, Childbirth Connection works to promote evidenced-based maternity care. Their website provides evidenced-based information on pregnancy and childbirth, including this page on the role of hormones in childbirth.
ParentHelp123: Operated by WithinReach, ParentHelp123 helps connect Washington families with services and resources in their community and provides information for pregnant women.
National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition: A resource on maternal and child health, with a "virtual library" that includes webinars, interviews with experts, and fact sheets for families.
Ask Dr. Sears: Provides information and resources to help parents become better informed and gives general advice on parenting and health care.
Waterbirth International: Provides resources for parents about waterbirth.
Public Health Information and Resources
Prenatal Genetic Testing Options, presented by the Washington Department of Health
Informative videos from the Washington State Department of Health:
* Prenatal Cell-Free DNA Screening (cfDNA Screening) This video describes the pros and cons of this test (sometimes called “noninvasive prenatal screening” or “the gender test”). It also explains what conditions this test screens for and how it works. https://youtu.be/e86_l_UqecU
Newborn Screening: Information on newborn screening ("heel poke"), including information on what conditions are screened for.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The CDC provides information and resources regarding pregnancy on their website.
Car seat Safety: Seattle Children's Hospital's resources for infant and child car seat safety.
Lactation Information and Resources
Breastfeeding Friendly Washington: Encourages and identifies organizations that promote and support breastfeeding.
La Leche League: Supports breastfeeding families with information, groups meetings, and phone support.
WithinReach: WithinReach's Breastfeeding program provides a support system to improve care for parents and babies across Washington. Additionally, WithinReach houses the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington (BCW). BCW is a network of individuals and coalitions that works to increase breastfeeding.
Human Milk Banking Association of North America: HMBANA accredits non-profit milk banks, develops evidence-based best practices for milk banking, and advocates for breastfeeding and human lactation.
Research and Studies
Outcomes of Care in Birth Centers
Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health "Outcomes of Care in Birth Centers" (2013): Study of women planning for birth center birth at midwifery-led birth centers between 2007-2010. Results for 15,574 women who were eligible for birth center birth at the onset of labor:
- 84% gave birth at birth center
- 4% transferred to hospital prior to admission to birth center
- 12% transferred to hospital after admission to birth center
- 93% had spontaneous vaginal birth
- 1% had assisted (operative) vaginal birth (vacuum or forceps)
- 6% had cesarean birth
- Of women who delivered at birth center:
- 2.4% transferred to hospital postpartum
- 2.6% of newborns delivered at birth centers were transferred to hospital after delivery
- 1.9% of mothers or newborns required emergent transfer, either during labor or after delivery
- Neonatal mortality rate was 0.40/1000
Medicaid Beneficiaries Receiving Birth Center Care
"Outcomes of childbearing Medicaid beneficiaries engaged in care at Strong Start birth center sites between 2012 and 2014", Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care (2017): Examined data and outcomes of 3,136 Medicaid beneficiaries who gave birth between 2012 and 2014 and received care at American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Strong Start sites.
- Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled at AABC sites exceeded quality benchmarks for induction, episiotomy, cesarean, and breastfeeding.
- For women who were classified medically low-risk at onset of labor:
- 4.3% induction rate, compared to 23.0% nationally
- 4.2% cesarean rate, compared to 32.7% nationally
- 1.7% episiotomy rate, compared to 12.0% nationally
- 96.1% breastfed, compared to 79.2% nationally
- 95% used preferred infant feeding method
- 82% attended prenatal education classes
- 83% achieved birth at their preferred site of birth
- 95% used preferred infant feeding method
- Elective hospitalization in labor was associated with a 4-times greater risk of cesarean among medically low-risk patients
Read the full study here.