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Did you know you can get well-person care, including annual exams and pap smears from a midwife? Getting your routine care from a midwife ensures you receive all the benefits of the midwifery model of care like longer appointments, personalized care, and a patient-provider relationship built on trust. It also means the course of your care will be backed by current evidence-based practices and determined through shared decision-making between you and your midwife.

Most of our public understanding of midwives centers on their role in pregnancy and birth, and with good reason – midwives are experts in physiologic birth! That said, midwives are uniquely positioned to provide empowering care throughout a person’s reproductive lifespan, from their first period to menopause. 

In fact, 53.3% of all certified nurse midwives and certified midwives identify reproductive care as their main focus, and 33.1% identify primary care as such. Midwives offer routine gynecological care including annual exams, pap smears, screenings and lab work, prescriptions for birth control and other medications, IUDs, and treatment for minor issues. They also provide health education and counseling on an array of topics such as family planning, preconception health, nutrition, parenting, lactation, and mental health.

At Fika Midwifery, your well-person care will take place in our peaceful, home-like setting, rather than a traditionally sterile medical office. At the Coit House, we want all of our clients to feel as comfortable as possible. When you walk in, you will get a warm hello from our administrative staff. In the waiting room, you can make yourself a hot beverage, grab a glass of water, and take a snack. We have an extensive lending library for you to peruse as well as a small retail corner with sustainable wellness, period, and pregnancy products. We know that a lack of childcare often means parents delay getting the preventative healthcare they need, so our clients are welcome to bring their children to their appointments. We have lots of fun toys to occupy little minds in our waiting room.

When you’re with the midwife you will have ample time to talk about your concerns and ask questions. Your first appointment will be a full hour. With our virtual check-in and minimal wait times, almost your entire visit is spent face-to-face with the midwife. There’s no need to feel rushed or hold on to questions for next time. The trusting relationship between the client and midwife is truly the foundation of our model. During your care, the midwife will communicate evidence-based information and engage you in an exploration of your values, knowledge, and experiences. Through the collaborative process of shared decision-making, you will have the opportunity to ask questions, get complete and accurate information, and receive support in making the choices that feel best for you.

No stirrups. Ever.

That’s right! At the Coit House you will never be asked to put your feet in stirrups. All of the care we provide is client-centered and trauma-informed, which means we won’t ask you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. If you would rather stay off the scale, you don’t have to be weighed. If you would rather not have a pelvic exam, you can self-administer your own pap smear. During your well-person care, you’ll receive only the screenings, lab work, and counseling that you want. In addition, our practice is inclusive and body positive. Our staff will use the same language you use to talk about your body, sexuality, and gender. The flexibility and autonomy our clients experience makes Fika Midwifery a great fit for people who are gender diverse, those who have a history of trauma, and folks who have had negative experiences with medical providers in the past.

With our piecemeal approach to healthcare coverage in the United States, you’re probably wondering if well-person and gynecological care with a midwife is covered by insurance. We have good news! Our practice is in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY (both commercial and medicaid managed care), and we can bill any insurance company if you have out-of-network benefits. If you have a different medicaid managed care plan, you can usually switch your medicaid plan easily to Blue Cross Blue Shield. We also accept HSA and FSA cards and have had success with clients seeking reimbursement from a Christian health-sharing plan.

For clients with no insurance, out-of-network insurance, or a high deductible plan, we offer affordable self-pay rates and a set fee schedule for well-person and gynecological services. We also have a sliding scale based on family size and income. No client will be denied access to services due to inability to pay.

If you’ve been curious about midwifery or are looking for something different in your annual and well-person care, Fika Midwifery might be the right fit for you!

Author Mary Badame is the Quality Assurance Manager at Fika Midwifery and is a passionate advocate for midwife-led care, increased birth options, and better reproductive healthcare for everyone.