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Welcome to our frequently asked questions section. We often get questions from prospective clients about us, the birth process, and insurance information. We hope these answers to some of our more frequent questions will help guide you in your decision to come to Blossom for your natural birth experience. Our FAQ is broken down into three sections including:

General Information
Birth Information
Insurance and Payment

frequently asked questions for blossom birth center in phoenix arizonaGeneral Information

What is Blossom?
Blossom Birth Center is a free-standing birth center in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona that provides natural childbirth to low- risk, healthy pregnant women. Blossom is a truly collaborative space created to cultivate peace, love, and healthy families.


Do I live too far from the birth center to give birth at Blossom?
Probably not! We have had clients from places like Anthem, New River, Prescott, Tucson, and Parker. We make plans with you to support a stress free journey to the birth center when it is time for your birth.


How do I establish care?
The first step is to schedule a consultation. This is a complimentary appointment that we provide to give families an opportunity to get to know our birth center by speaking with a midwife and asking all of your questions. Once you have had that consultation, you can schedule an initial appointment via phone or email!


What are Blossom outcomes data and why do they matter?
Blossom outcomes are astounding and yes they matter. We opened our doors August of 2010 and cumulatively over our four years we have a 94% success rate. That means 94% of our clients birth naturally at our beautiful birth center. Blossom has a 5% c-section rate! Blossom is committed to our clients. If you strongly desire natural childbirth call us today to schedule your complimentary tour and sit down with one of our midwives so we can meet and answer all of your questions.


Is Blossom Accredited?
Yes, Blossom is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation for For Birth Centers. We are licensed by the state as an Outpatient Treatment Facility.


What makes Blossom different from other Birth Centers?
Blossom was founded and is owned by Nichelle Whitehead, MD and Mary Langlois, CPM. Mary has helped women have babies naturally for over 25 years and has given birth herself to 11 children all out of hospital. She is an expert in natural childbirth and if that is your goal Blossom can help. Nichelle is an amazing Obstetrician that has chosen to practice the midwifery model of care. She had her babies with midwives and together their blend of styles provides awesome care that cannot be matched.


Are childbirth classes included?
Blossom educates and empowers our clients during every visit. Blossom highly recommends the Bradley Method of Childbirth and Birthing From Within and has Instructors that teach at Blossom.


Does Blossom take care of the birth certificate and social security registration?
Yes. After your baby is born at Blossom we complete the birth certificate worksheet and send it to the state. A social security card will be sent directly to you, if you desire.

Birth Information

Can I have my baby at Blossom Birth if I am 35 or older?
Yes! We have lots of moms welcome healthy babies after 35. There are recommendations such as additional ultrasounds during the pregnancy and we will provide you with that information to make informed decisions.


Am I low risk?
Around 90% of women in their first pregnancy are considered low risk. Check the risk factors below for more information.


Can I have my baby at Blossom if I have had a previous pregnancy complication?
Very likely, yes! It is rare that a previous complication risks you out of Blossom care. Examples would be: previous induction of labor, previous diet controlled gestational diabetes, previous gestational hypertension, or previous preterm birth. Please bring up any previous complications during the complimentary consultation.


Can I have my baby at Blossom if I have had a previous cesarean section?
Blossom feels that a hospital is the safest place for mom and baby in the case of a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Women who meet the criteria for a VBAC have very high success rates. Hiring a doula is a great option! You can find a local doula through DONA here.


What factors are considered a “risk out” for care at Blossom?
Blossom has established policies and procedures that we feel promote safety for moms and babies. Keep in mind that these factors don’t necessarily mean that your pregnancy is high risk, they are just outside of our birth center criteria.

  • Cesarean section or uterine surgery
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Current high blood pressure
  • Significant cardiac conditions
  • Current drug use, including marijuana
  • Current multiple (twin) pregnancies
  • Bleeding disorders
  • History of stroke
  • Uncontrolled seizure disorder
  • BMI over 35 (NIH calculator)


Do you have any pain medications for labor?
No, not the pharmaceutical pain medication used in hospitals. Our experienced staff has a wealth of knowledge in helping you achieve unmedicated natural birth. We offer physical and emotional support and WATER! Water immersion during labor and birth has many benefits. We also ask that you participate in a prepared childbirth class because understanding the labor process is really important to feeling safe and confident!


What happens if there is an emergency?
There are emergencies that can be handled in the birth center and there are emergencies that mean transferring to a hospital. If it is a maternal emergency, we go to to St. Joseph’s hospital. If baby needs to go to the hospital, we go right across the street to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Our emergency transfer rate is very low (around 1-2%, include actual numbers – out of 800 births we have only had 13? Emergency transfers).


Does Blossom provide ultrasounds and labs at the birth center?
We do! We have the ability to perform limited ultrasounds including dating ultrasounds, checking baby’s position and to monitor baby if there is another reason to do so (antenatal testing). We will refer you to another facility for diagnostic level 2 ultrasounds such as the 18-20 fetal anatomy scan or growth scans. All of your labs can be done during appointments.

Insurance and Payment

Does Blossom take my insurance?
Blossom is contracted with many insurance plans; you can read more and verify your benefits here.


Are you in-network with my insurance provider?
Care at the birth center is billed to insurance for both provider (prenatal care, delivery, postpartum care) and facility (birth center care). Nichelle Whitehead, MD is our billing provider. She is contracted with Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health Care, Arizona Care Network (Intel and Bright Health). Blossom facility currently holds contracts with Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Arizona Care Network (Intel and Bright Health).


What is the difference between in and out of network providers?
Most plans offer in network and out of network benefits. In-network providers are contracted with your plan which means there is an agreement in place that dictates the cost of services. Generally speaking, in-network services will be at a lower cost to the client because the in-network deductible and coinsurance are lower than the out of network benefits. Out of network providers are not contracted with your plan. Out of network deductibles are higher and there are no contracts that dictate the costs of services. Often the full cost of services falls to the patient. Our out of network charges are not higher than in-network charges but because the insurance contribution is generally lower, that means the cost burden is larger for the patient. When your plan is in-network for the provider and out of network for the birth center that usually means both in and out of network deductibles apply. Every insurance plan is different and it is always worth getting an estimate of cost by completing a verification of benefits.


How much does it cost?
This varies widely based on your insurance benefits or if you are a cash pay client. Cash pay is $5000 and includes routine prenatal visits, stay at the birth center and postpartum care. To receive an estimate of cost for insurance, please fill out a verification of benefits.


What is a gap exception?
Gap exceptions are provided for services that are not available within your network. This request is made to your insurance company to use your in-network benefits for an out of network provider. We encourage you to request this on the basis of a “network deficiency” when there are no contracted birth centers and/or birth center providers in your network.


How is billing done?
Billing is submitted to insurance by Favored Medical Billing. Claims are sent as services are received. For example the first visit is billed to insurance since it is a full review of your medical history and orientation to the practice. Routine prenatal care, delivery and postpartum visits are billed as a package called “Global OB.” Often, pregnancy is the first time someone has experienced care outside of regular well checks or a sick visit to urgent care. There is a lot to be learned and we are always here to answer questions!


Are there any discounts if I’ve already had care somewhere else?
The vast majority of care takes place in the last few weeks of pregnancy and during the birth. While we understand there may be an additional financial burden when you see multiple providers, there is no discount for transferring later in pregnancy.


Are there any discounts if I can’t afford to pay the total cost?
We offer a $500 discount for clients with AHCCCS plans. You can also apply for the grant once you are an established client. If granted, they would contribute $1500 toward your care. We do our best to work with clients to find payment plans that work!