FAQ

Which health plans do you accept?
  • Aetna PPO
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO (under Dr. Melissa Larsen)
  • Cigna PPO
  • Great West PPO
  • Health net PPO
  • United Health Care PPO
  • Tricare Standard

We are members of most PPO’s, and we also accept cash payment. We are now contracted with PAMF for women who have a Valley Health medical plan—ask your current OB/GYN in PAMF about transferring. We do not take any HMO’s, MediCal, or Medicare. Billing is done through our group practice name, Bay Area Maternity and Women’s Health. Please call our office for further information.

What is a Certified Nurse-Midwife?

Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) provide a wide range of primary healthcare services for women of all ages—from annual checkups, menopause and preconception care to labor, delivery and postpartum care. Educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery, CNMs have graduated from a nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). Nurse-midwifery practice is the independent management of women’s health care, focusing particularly on pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, care of the newborn, and the family planning and gynecological needs of women. CNMs practice within a health care system that provides for consultation, collaborative management or referral as indicated by the health status of the client.

What is our philosophy of care?

Nurse-midwives believe that every individual has the right to safe, satisfying care with respect for human dignity and cultural variations. We support each person’s right to active participation in their health care. CNMs believe that the normal processes of pregnancy and birth can be enhanced through education, health care and supportive intervention. We support Evidence Based Birth and clients and their families are partners with the nurse-midwife in the provision of health care. We believe that medical intervention should be used only when necessary, and that each woman should be treated as an individual, in a holistic manner.

What is our model of care?

We feel it is important to get to know you and your family as that can help us to provide you with the most appropriate care. We try to allow ample time at every visit to have helpful conversations and answer your questions and concerns as needed . Health promotion and education are main facets of midwifery care, so we encourage you to read, ask questions and become educated, whether for childbirth or a gynecological issue (Please write down your questions before your appointments!) We offer nutritional and herbal remedies where appropriate, as well as referrals to other modalities of care, such as acupuncture, chiropractic and homeopathy. CNMs also have full prescribing privileges in California, so we can order whatever prescription medications you may need.

What is the difference between physician care and midwifery care?

Physicians are trained in both medicine and surgery to care for disease processes. Nurse-midwives focus on pregnancy and birth as natural, healthy processes, and are specialists in this field. We are educated to support and protect the natural progression of pregnancy, labor and birth. Midwives maintain a woman’s right to give birth in a personalized, positive manner. We guide women through the challenges and joys of pregnancy and birth in the context of their spiritual, cultural and personal values. We believe that unless medically necessary, interventions should be kept to a minimum. Ample time is allowed at our office visits to allow for education, conversation and questions.

Will I see a physician during my pregnancy?

As CNMs we are independent practitioners of women’s health care. however, while more than 80% of women will need no medical intervention during their pregnancy, sometimes complications can arise and therefore we will refer you to one of the local OB/GYNs with whom we work with. During your labor, El Camino Hospital has a Laborist Program whereby there is an on call OB/GYN present on Labor and Delivery 24/7. We are contracted with this group and should the need arise for any medical interventions then you will meet that physician at that time.

Can I choose which midwife delivers my baby? 

The midwives share the call time, so whoever is on-call the day you go into labor will be the midwife who delivers your baby. In order to feel comfortable with everyone we do therefore recommend you meet all the midwives during your pregnancy at least once.

What if I decide I would like medication or an epidural during my labor?

B.A.M.’s philosophy is not one that takes control but one that helps to guide and listen. Each woman is allowed to determine what is the right scenario for her labor and birth and that may not be decided until she is in the throws of labor. A variety of pain relief options are available to B.A.M. clients including epidurals.

What happens if there is an emergency while I am in labor?

At the hospital there is an experienced OB/GYN available to us 24 hours a day for any emergency, as well as an anesthesiologist who is assigned to the L&D unit 24 hours a day . We work as a team with the nurses and doctors to provide you with the highest level of medical care, should the need arise. El Camino Hospital Los Gatos also has a state of the art Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with around-the-clock neonatologists to provide for sick or premature newborns.

Do you provide home birth services?

B.A.M. does not provide home birth services but depending on each situation, can be a resource for transfer to the hospital if needed. We do however provide well woman gynecological services to women who have delivered their babies at home.

Can I schedule a tour of the birthing center?

Our midwives deliver at the Los Gatos Campus of El Camino Hospital. You can visit this link to register for an on-site orientation and tour of the hospital’s birthing center. Tours are also offered prior to and following the Midwives Tea from 4:00-5:00PM and from 6:30-7:30PM.

Can I continue to come to B.A.M. after I deliver my baby?

We provide postpartum care, as well as a full range of gynecological care, including annual physical exams, breast exams, Pap smears, basic infertility work-up and treatment, birth control, treatment for bladder and gynecological infections, and menopausal care. We are now caring for some of the young women we delivered 20+ years ago! Many of our clients refer their daughters, sisters and mothers to us, as well as their friends. It is the highest compliment we can receive!