Frequently Asked Questions


Breastfeeding

Does The Village Midwife or its midwives carry any insurance?
No, we do not carry malpractice or liability insurance.
Does The Village Midwife accept insurance coverage for payment of services?
Virginia Medicaid, Aetna, United Healthcare, and Cigna will usually pay for part of your birth. We use a billing company and they are happy to bill your insurance after your birth. At this time, most insurances do not cover homebirth.
All payment must be received in full by 36 weeks unless other prior arrangements have been made.
I am still trying to decide if I want a homebirth. Do you offer an appointment before I become a client?
If you would like to schedule an appointment please give us a call, send an email or simply click here to make an appt.
Are there specific recommendations concerning weight gain, exercise and diet?
Nutrition, exercise and diet are some of the most important things that you can do for your pregnancy. We provide each client with guidelines that will help them have a wonderful experience.
What things should I avoid?
Especially while you are pregnant, or nursing, you should avoid smoking, alcohol, and drugs.
What kinds of exercise are ok and which are possibly dangerous?
Any exercise that your body is already comfortable with should be fine, if and when it becomes uncomfortable then stop. Exercise Guidelines For Pregnancy and Postpartum.
Should I avoid fish while I am pregnant?
The FDA recommends eating 8 to 12 ounces of fish low in mercury per week. Make sure to choose a variety of fish lower in mercury, such as salmon, tilapia, shrimp, tuna (canned-light), cod, and catfish.  You can safely eat up to 12oz per week of shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish. 
Avoid tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, swordfish, shark, and king mackerel.
Can I eat sushi while pregnant?
It’s usually safe to eat sushi and other dishes made with raw fish when you’re pregnant.
However, depending on what fish the sushi is made from, you may need to make sure that it has been frozen first.
Sushi made with raw fish
Occasionally, raw fish such as salmon contains small parasitic worms, such as anisakis, which can make you ill. These worms can cause health problems in people if they eat raw or undercooked fish infected with them. Infection with these worms results in a condition known as anisakidosis (formerly known as anisakiasis or anisakiosis). Symptoms include:
• severe abdominal pain
• nausea and vomiting
• diarrhea
Freezing raw wild fish kills any worms that may be present and makes it safe to eat.
Certain farmed fish destined to be eaten raw in dishes like sushi, such as farmed salmon, no longer need to be frozen beforehand. This is because these particular types of farmed fish are very unlikely to contain parasitic worms, due to the rearing methods used.
Sushi made with cured fish
Some fish used to make sushi, such as smoked salmon, doesn’t need to be frozen before it’s used, because smoking kills any worms in the fish. Other methods, such as salting or pickling, also make raw fish safe to eat.
Sushi made with shellfish
A lot of sushi contains shellfish, such as:
• shrimp
• prawns
• crabs
• scallops
When you’re pregnant, you should only eat cooked shellfish. Raw shellfish can contain harmful viruses and bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
If you eat sushi prepared in a restaurant, ask if the shellfish in it has been cooked.
Sushi from shops and restaurants
Lots of the sushi sold in shops is not made at the shop. This type of sushi should be fine to eat, because if a shop or restaurant buys in ready-made sushi, the raw fish used to make it will have been subject to an appropriate freezing treatment.
Homemade sushi
If you make your own sushi at home, freeze the fish for at least four days before using it.
Is sleeping on my back as bad as some books say?
Probably not, if it is uncomfortable or your legs are swelling, then don’t do it.
What are your thoughts on sex during pregnancy?
You should feel free to have sex as often as you desire during your entire pregnancy.
What is your recommendation/practice for the use of ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a great tool when used appropriately. We advise clients on the pros and cons of ultrasound with regard to each situation and let them decide for themselves. We do not own an ultrasound machine so having an ultrasound performed would be an additional expense. We highly recommend Sandra Gardner at Fun Fetal Photos.
What types of testing do you offer me or the baby?
You will have the option of having all the same tests that are available with a physician or nurse-midwife; these include Pap smear, a screening for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea and prenatal labs.
At around 28 weeks you will also have your blood checked for sugar levels to screen for the presence of Gestational Diabetes. At 35-37 weeks you will be offered a vaginal culture for Group B Strep. Prior to any test or procedure you will be informed of the risks and benefits to you & your baby and given time to make an informed decision.
Do you recommend certain birth or prenatal classes?
We believe all women should be educated about their bodies and the birth process. Amy Michaelson teaches a wonderful class designed for Out of Hospital Birth and you can find out more by visiting Wholly Momma.We require that all clients have previously had an unmedicated birth, have taken an approved Childbirth class or hire a doula.
How do you feel about Doulas at a birth?
We LOVE doulas! We require that all clients have previously had an unmedicated birth, have taken an approved Childbirth class or hire a doula.
Are you open/supportive of me attending Lamaze, Bradley &/or others?
Yes…the choice of class is up to each client but we do not recommend any class offered through a hospital.
How long have you been in practice?
Jeni Rector, LM, CPM began her journey towards becoming a midwife in 2000.
When and where did you receive your training?
Jeni Rector, LM, CPM, apprenticed with two separate midwives. She became a Certified Professional Midwife in 2007 and was licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia shortly thereafter.
Do you have references?
Yes. Please email for a list.
What sources of information do you recommend?
Books, movies, videos and the internet provide great information. You should also join us for Mom Night, where we will discuss all sorts of birth related things and enjoy socializing with like minded women.
What is your general philosophy concerning pregnancy and birth?
We believe women are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights among these the right to choose the place and the way that they will give birth.
Do you have any children? How were they born?
Jeni Rector, LM, CPM has 4 daughters born in the hospital, 1 son born in the hospital, 1 daughter born at home, and 1 who was adopted. You can read her birth stories here: Jeni Rector Birth Stories.
Which hospitals/birth centers do you have privileges at?
We are not able to work, as midwives, at any hospitals. However, we have the first and only freestanding birth center serving Southeastern Virginia’s moms and babies. The birth center is a great choice when staying at home isn’t an option but you would prefer not to birth in hospital.
Do you perform homebirths?
Yes!
Jeni Rector, LM, CPM has attended over 450 births.
Do you return calls personally?
Yes, we all return calls personally. When you become a client of ours, you will receive our cell phone numbers.
How do you feel about partners being involved at prenatal exams and during labor and birth?
We strongly encourage partners to be present at exams, attend the birth and to catch if they would like.
How do you regard written Birthing Plans? Are they respected?
Feel free to create a birth plan and bring it to your prenatal appointment to help us better understand your needs. The beauty of midwifery care is that by the time you are ready to have your baby we have talked about your wants, needs and desires so a birth plan is not usually necessary for homebirth.
Is there access to a whirlpool/tub for those in labor?
There is a birthing tub in both rooms at the Birth Center. If you would like to have a tub at your Home Birth, please contact Amy.
What is your cesarean rate?
The rate of our clients who have had a C-section is 6%. The national average is around 30%. The average in the Hampton Roads area is around 40%.
Why is your C-section rate so low?
We think it is so low because we spend a lot of time prenatally addressing your concerns and reducing your fears. By doing that, you become empowered to trust your body’s ability to birth naturally. We also believe that we are REALLY good at what we do and that God made women’s bodies to do the job of growing and delivering a baby.
How many other people can I have with me at all times?
As many as you are comfortable with in your home.
When should I call to alert you that I might be going into labor?
If your water breaks, you are having discharge or you start having contractions that are becoming longer, stronger and closer together, we want you to call us.
How do I know if I am in labor?
Labor is defined by regular contractions causing cervical change. Contractions will typically start far apart and progressively become more frequent and stronger over time. As contractions become closer, they will also increase in intensity and duration. Once you begin to have contractions, typically they last one minute from the start to the end of the contraction. Once they are five minutes apart give us a call and let us know. Your water may break once this process has begun or before you show any signs of labor. If your water breaks at any time, let us know so that we may advise you further. Finally, if you have any heavy bleeding towards the end of your pregnancy please call us.
How soon after I start labor will you come to see me?
When you alert us that you believe you are in labor, we will discuss what is going on and how you are feeling. Together, we will decide when we should come.
How much time will you spend with me when I’m in labor?
If you are truly in labor we will be there until 2-3 hours after the birth.
Do you encourage VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean)?
Yes.
How often do you perform vaginal exams during labor?
We do them when we need to assess your progress or verify the position of the baby. We do not do them as a routine thing.
How do you handle pain/discomfort during labor?
Prayer, change of positions, massage, sitting on the birth ball, walking, showers and laboring in the birth tub.
What do you recommend to help me avoid an episiotomy?
We do not do routine episiotomies. To avoid a tear there are a few things you can do during your pregnancy: maintain adequate nutrition, perform kegel exercises regularly and perform perineal massage.
How do you feel about water births?
Very positive.
Do you encourage women in labor to walk, squat or be in positions they find helpful during labor?
Absolutely.
Do I have a choice of positions? What laboring positions are recommended?
Any position that you are comfortable in, we are comfortable in.
What is your view of breastfeeding?
There is NO better food for a baby. Breastfeeding
Do you encourage women to breastfeed?
Absolutely. We will help you begin breastfeeding shortly after your birth. If you need further help please contact Amy for Breastfeeding Support.
What is your view of circumcision?
In the the 1970s, both the American and Canadian Academies of Pediatrics and the Colleges of Obstetrics and Gynecologist released a position statement stating “there is no valid
indication for circumcision in the newborn male.”As with everything, we will discuss the pros and cons of circumcision with clients.It is our position that circumcision is an elective surgery, unnecessary, and a form of genital mutilation.We do not perform it and any client who wanted it done would be referred to www.savingoursons.org for further information or a local Rabbi for the surgery.