Birth consultants are the “jacks of all trades” of the childbirth industry. They have a foundation of knowledge in all things pregnancy related. Birth consultants are typically RNs or other medical professionals with extensive experience in reproductive endocrinology and/or obstetrics. Given the increasing number of couples seeking fertility treatments, it’s no wonder that these professionals are growing in popularity.
What is a birth consultant?
Birth consultants work with an expectant woman or couple from pre-conception through post-partum recovery. They are not your primary caregivers. Instead, they fill other roles: question answerer, advocate, support person, and friend.
Who should work with a birth consultant:
Anyone is welcome to work with a birth consultant, but the best candidates are infertility patients and/or those with high risk pregnancies. The chronic testing, examinations, and medications are a breeding ground for questions, and doctors might not have the ability to answer each one in depth. “I have found with a lot of fertility patients, there is a feeling of no control, so it can help to feel empowered by gaining as much knowledge as possible,” says LI birth consultant, Linda Scruggs. “Often times a patient that is undergoing monitoring during an IVF cycle goes in for blood work and ultrasounds very frequently while they are being stimulated. And often times I have found that women want to know how they are doing, how their cycle is going, what size their follicles are and how many there are. And many times they can become frustrated by not being kept fully informed as it is progressing because they are so anxious.”
Why work with a birth consultant:
Couples that have dealt with multiple losses, health problems, or fertility issues face a unique set of challenges. Once pregnancy has been achieved, a new set of questions will invariably arise. Pre-natal appointments are typically on a monthly schedule, but there are a host of potential hiccups that can occur between appointments. A doctor’s time is limited, and they may not have the opportunity to explain every test or procedure in-depth. When birth nears, questions about hospital procedures or the birth process will likely come up. With the help of technology, computer-savvy customers can find the answers online, but a Birth Consultant is more efficient and more reliable than most information found on chat boards or internet searches. A birth consultant can help make sense of medical jargon.
How much does it cost to work with a Birth Consultant:
Initial consultation via phone for up to 1.5 hours costs around $150 in the New York City area. Follow up sessions vary but sets of three can be purchased for around $375.
photo credit: fui via photopin cc