Here are answers to our frequently asked questions. If your question is not listed here, please contact us and we will be happy to answer you.

What kind of woman does Blessed Beginnings care for?
We care for healthy women who are free of major medical or obstetric problems and who are seeking an active role in their pregnancy and birth with minimal intervention.
What is considered a 'low-risk' pregnancy?
Some conditions that would not qualify you to give birth at home are type-I diabetes, epilepsy, HIV, hepatitis, heart disease and severe hypertension. Conditions occurring during pregnancy such as anemia, gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia could also cause you to ‘risk-out’ although these conditions can often be prevented or even reversed with proper prenatal care and nutrition. By maintaining healthy lifestyles – eating right, exercising, avoiding harmful substances such as drugs, alcohol, tobacco and pesticides, most of our clients remain low-risk. The focus of midwifery is to keep problems from occurring, not to wait and allow potential pregnancy-related conditions to happen. Very few of our clients have ever needed to be transferred to an obstetrician due to risk factors.
How soon should I begin my care?
It is best to schedule a consultation as soon as you discover you are pregnant because Blessed Beginnings has to limit the number of clients it accepts monthly.  Most women try to schedule their first prenatal appointment around 8 week’s gestation. Statistics show that women who start early prenatal care have fewer complications and better outcomes.
Does insurance cover midwifery care?
PPO Insurance usually offers some coverage for midwives/homebirths and we’ve even had a few instances of HMOs doing so (with the couples fighting hard.)  Although your policy may cover midwifery and homebirth, insurance companies do not pay the total fee for services, in spite of what they may claim to do. We will do our best to help you sort out what you can expect to get back from your insurance after the birth and how you get the maximum reimbursement from your insurance company.  We have an insurance biller who can assist you.
Do you take credit cards?
Yes, we can accept payment by credit card but must charge the client an additional 3% processing fee.
What about childbirth classes?
Blessed Beginnings strongly encourages its couples to take a series of childbirth classes to help prepare them for birthing at home. I strongly recommend The Bradley Method, and Tiffany Muscarella is our Bradley Childbirth Instructor.  She teaches one night a week at Backs, Babies & Bellies.  Call her for information (626) 221-3370.
Do you have books or videos that we can borrow?
Yes, Blessed Beginnings has an extensive lending library, with books and videos covering many topics, including baby names, breastfeeding, labor and birth, nutrition, massage, parenting, immunizations, herbs and books for children.
Do I have to see a doctor for lab work or tests?
No. As licensed midwives we have lab privileges and can order any lab work or ultrasound that you may need. You will have the option of having all the same tests that are available with a physician, and we can draw your blood in our office.
What lab work do you routinely order?
At the first visit we order your prenatal panel which includes a Complete Blood Count (CBC), blood type, Rh factor, antibody screen, rubella titer (German measles), hepatitis b and syphilis. At risk clients will be screened for HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Around 32 weeks we repeat the CBC to check for the presence of anemia and offer a vaginal culture for group b strep. We usually do pap smears at the six-week postpartum visit. We can also draw the blood for the first and second trimester prenatal testing required to be offered by the State of California.
You don’t routinely order ultrasound?
No, we believe ultrasound can be a useful tool but isn’t routinely necessary. Some women want ultrasound and when making an informed decision we respect their choice to do so.
We have a tiny house, will I have room for a homebirth?
That’s a common concern but rest assured, babies can be born just about anywhere. We’ve assisted at births in nearly every type of ‘home’ – from a 10×10 rented bedroom to mansions by the beach to motor homes. A clean, warm space is all you need.
What will I need to do to get ready for my homebirth?
Less than you might think.  Other than having your birth kit handy, you should have towels and a few other household items gathered for the birth.  You will want to cover your bed and some of your floor with plastic.  A detailed list of supplies will be in your parent handbook.  Also, there should be food and drink on hand for your labor and post-partum.  While reasonable cleanliness of the premises is important, you don’t need a sterile environment
Do I need to purchase a Birth Kit and other supplies?
Blessed Beginnings provides your birth tub.  You will be required to purchase a birth kit by 36 weeks and the basic kit is approximately $100.  You can purchase your kit at the store in our office, Bella Baby Boutique.  You will also need to purchase a new hose and adaptor to fill the tub when labor begins.  We will give you a complete list of other household items you should gather before the birth.
What do people who have home births do about the mess?
Home births are usually very tidy and we try to be careful. We recommend protecting the floor and bed and having plenty of towels – all of which can be laundered later.
What will I do while I'm in labor at home?
For the most part, you can do whatever is comfortable, soothing and pleasing to you.  If it is night time, you should STAY IN BED!! This is one of the distinct advantages of homebirth. If early labor is during the day, you might want to continue your household routine, or wrap up some loose ends in your life such as folding laundry, addressing birth announcements or watching a video. When the labor becomes more serious, you might walk around, take a warm shower or bath and relax.  No need to worry about when you should go to the hospital.
Who can be at my birth?
You can share your birth with anyone you choose. Some families choose to include their other children, grandparents, other relatives and close friends, but Blessed Beginnings recommends those people come closer to the actual birth. Studies show labor moves faster if the mother can completely relax which can be very difficult with lots of activity going on around her.  There is an interesting statistic we have personally witnessed:   “for every unnecessary person who attends your labor, add one extra hour.”
How do you feel about children attending births?
We encourage family centered birthing and have books and videos to help you prepare your children for the birth. Children should know that they can choose to leave if they want to, and they need to have a familiar adult to supervise and care for them. We love children and relate to them throughout your prenatal care so they are familiar with us by the time we come to your birth. We find they usually do wonderfully at the birth.
What do you use to help women at home manage their pain?
First we recommend that our couples take childbirth classes so they can be superbly prepared. During labor we take our cues from both mommies and daddies as to what they need. Some just need a hand to hold, eye contact and reassurance. Others need “verbal anesthesia” – talking them through the contractions, reminding them to breathe, reassuring them and praising their work. We also encourage mobility and frequent changes of position, rhythmic and repetitive movements, making noise, aromatherapy and homeopathics. Of course, nothing compares to a “water-dural” (using deep water immersion). When needed we lavishly use coaching and support for mother-to-be and her family so that labor, while challenging, is a good experience for all.
Do I need a doula?
Blessed Beginnings strongly recommends first time moms and VBAC moms hire trained doulas.  Because these labors can last a bit longer, we believe it is important the mom and dad have someone they can call in early labor if they need help.
What position will I be in when I give birth?
There is no one perfect position in which to labor and birth your baby. Most of our clients choose to give birth in the water.  Sometimes, dad gets in and holds mom while she semi-reclines.  Some women prefer to sit or recline on the bed or on the floor. Others stand up or squat down, kneel or lay on their side.. Our midwives can also suggest positions which may help you to be more comfortable or enhance your delivery. Your perineum will be supported with counter pressure and warm compresses. This usually feels really good and helps you relax your bottom.
What happens after the birth?
Babies are placed where they belong: on your chest where they make their gentle transition into the world.  Here they can begin to breastfeed and integrate into your family. There is no rush to cut the umbilical cord, and we never separate the two of you. After you’ve had time to bond, we will do the newborn assessment and examine you. We make sure you have something to eat, assist you to the bathroom and help clean up. We stay a few hours after the birth to make sure that both mother and baby are stable and usually leave the family snuggled up in bed together for a nice rest. We come back to check on the family within 24 to 48 hours.
What kind of newborn care do you provide?
We will do a newborn baby exam within the first two hours after birth – with the baby right by your side. We don’t separate babies from their mothers. You’ll have as much time as you want to bond with your baby, and you’ll be able to have anyone you want touch or hold your baby. Follow-up on the baby and further breastfeeding assistance is done at your postpartum visits. We will provide you with newborn treatment and immunization information – but keep in mind that, notwithstanding State requirements, the decision on whether to use these interventions is up to the parents, and many of our clients choose not to do some or all of these interventions.
What happens if everything doesn’t go ‘perfect’?
Our midwives are highly qualified to manage birth complications. Equipment for infant resuscitation is on hand. IV solutions and medications to control excessive bleeding after delivery are available if needed. Should you have a tear that requires suturing, we can do that at home, first numbing the area with a local anesthetic. We bring all the necessary medical equipment and supplies as well as herbs and homeopathics that may help mother and baby and allow them to safely stay at home.

Although homebirth is statistically safer, it does not guarantee a problem-free birth. If complications arise during the pregnancy, a woman may need to consult with and possibly transfer care to an obstetrician. If complications arise during labor or birth that are beyond the scope of care of the midwives, mother and baby would be transported to the nearest hospital.

What if a transfer to the hospital becomes necessary?
Most transports to the hospital are not emergencies, but rather arise from long, slow labors and tired mothers. In these cases, the client, support people and midwives travel by car to the hospital. In the event of an emergency, we will call 911 and the transfer will occur by ambulance. Your midwife will make every effort to accompany you to the hospital and stay with you. We highly recommend that our clients pre-register at their hospital of choice.
What percentage of Blessed Beginnings clients have cesarean sections?
About 2 percent – a BIG difference from the 35-40% Orange County rate!
How do I get started?
Contact Blessed Beginnings and we will set up a free, one-hour consultation for you to meet our midwives.


I grew up in a family in which whatever a doctor says is sacred. I have to confess that i was not a big fan of having an out-of-hospital birth, let alone a home birth. However, after meeting Sue and going through our first couple of visits i fell in love with her. She actually spends time with the mother and involves dad and siblings in the whole process. The day of the birth, she was very responsive to get to our house and my wife and I didn’t have to worry about anything but have our baby. Her knowledge allowed her to guide my wife through the contractions and pushing, keeping her calm and concentrated to get the baby out. One of the best perks of a home birth: we got to sleep in our very own bed after the birth. No uncomfortable hospital beds!
Jorge P.
Norco, CA

Susan Scott Gill of Blessed Beginning Midwifery is just amazing! There were minor complications at the end of my labor and I never once felt panicked, worried or afraid. Sue was extremely professional and in control, making important decisions on my behalf and everything went as smoothly as possible. My son was perfectly healthy, alert and strong and we could not be happier with the care we ALL received!  I did experience severe breastfeeding difficulties and once again Sue was by my side, offering personal support and guiding me to other professionals for help as well. We overcame MANY postpartum challenges with Sue’s help and I am eternally grateful for her compassion and support in such a vulnerable time in my life.
Ryan W.
Seal Beach, CA