Frequently Asked Questions


Does The Village Midwife or its midwives carry any insurance?
No, we do not carry malpractice or liability insurance.
Does The Village Midwife accept insurance coverage for payment of services?
We are proud to report that we accept Virginia Medicaid, Aetna, United Healthcare, and Cigna. We are happy to bill your insurance after your birth, however, at this time, aside from the four listed, most insurances do not cover homebirth. All payment must be received in full by 36 weeks unless other prior arrangements have been made.

I am still trying to decide if I want a homebirth. Do you offer an appointment before I become a client?

Yes, you can schedule a Consultation. The cost is $50, and if you choose to have a homebirth with us, we will deduct that money from your total homebirth fee. If you would like to schedule an appointment please give us a call or send us an email.
Are there specific recommendations concerning weight gain, exercise and diet?
Nutrition, exercise and diet are some of the most important things that you can do for your pregnancy. We provide each client with guidelines that will help them have a wonderful experience.What things should I avoid?
Especially while you are pregnant, or nursing, you should avoid smoking, alcohol, and drugs.What kinds of exercise are ok and which are possibly dangerous?
Any exercise that your body is already comfortable with should be fine, if and when it becomes uncomfortable then stop. Exercise Guidelines For Pregnancy and PostpartumShould I avoid fish while I am pregnant?

Certain types of fish may contain mercury. Fish thought to be the highest risk include shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. You can safely eat up to 12oz per week of shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish. If you prefer white albacore tuna then you may only eat 6oz per week. It is not recommended to eat raw fish at any time during pregnancy.

Is sleeping on my back as bad as some books say?
Probably not, if it is uncomfortable or your legs are swelling, then don’t do it.

What are your thoughts on sex during pregnancy?
You should feel free to have sex as often as you desire during your entire pregnancy.

How often do you perform vaginal exams?
We do a minimal amount of vaginal exams. We do them when we need to assess your progress or verify the position of the baby.

What is your recommendation/practice for the use of ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a great tool when used appropriately. We advise clients on the pros and cons of ultrasound with regard to each situation and let them decide for themselves. We do not own an ultrasound machine so having an ultrasound performed would be an additional expense. We highly recommend Sandra Gardner at Fun Fetal Photos.

*What types of testing do you offer me or the baby?
You will have the option of having all the same tests that are available with a physician or nurse-midwife. The initial tests that are offered are a Pap smear, a screening for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, and a blood test called a Prenatal Profile, which includes: blood type, Rh Factor, Complete Blood Count (CBC) including hemoglobin and hematocrit (to identify possible anemia), antibody screen, rubella titer (German measles), Hepatitis B, Syphilis, HIV and Hepatitis C.

AFP (tetra screen) testing, ultrasound and amniocentesis are optional.

Around 28 weeks you will also have your blood checked for sugar levels to screen for the presence of diabetes or hypoglycemia, and if you are Rh-negative, for antibodies to Rh-positive blood.

At 35-37 weeks you will be offered a vaginal culture for Group B Strep.

You will be referred to your pediatrician for a newborn hearing screen and the Infant Metabolic Screening.

Prior to any test or procedure you will be informed of the risks and benefits to you & your baby and given time to make an informed decision. You are in charge of your care. We are here to provide you with the guidance & support you need to make the best decisions for you and your baby!

*Some tests require additional fees. Please discuss this with your midwife.

Do you recommend certain birth or prenatal classes?
We believe all women should be educated about their bodies and the birth process and we have Homebirth Support Group meetings just for that reason. We can recommend birth classes at your appointment.

Are you open/supportive of me attending Lamaze, Bradley &/or others?
Yes…the choice of class is up to each client but we do not recommend any class offered through a hospital.

How long have you been in practice?
Jeni Rector, LM, CPM began her journey towards becoming a midwife in 2000.

When and where did you receive your training?
Jeni Rector, LM, CPM, apprenticed with two separate midwives. She became a Certified Professional Midwife in 2007 and was licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia shortly thereafter.

Do you have references?
Yes. Please emailfor a list.

What sources of information do you recommend?
Books, movies, videos and the internet provide great information.

What is your general philosophy concerning pregnancy and birth?
We believe women are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights among these the right to choose the place and the way that they will give birth.

Do you have any children? How were they born?
Jeni Rector, LM, CPM has 4 daughters born in the hospital, 1 son born in the hospital, 1 daughter born at home, and 1 we adopted. You can read her birth stories here: Jeni Rector Birth Stories

Which hospitals/birth centers do you have privileges at?
We are not able to work, as midwives, at any hospitals.  We have the first and only freestanding birth center serving Tidewater/Hampton Roads moms and babies.

Do you perform homebirths?
Jeni Rector, LM, CPM has attended over 450 births.

Do you return calls personally?
Yes, we all return calls personally. When you become a client of ours, you will receive our cell phone numbers.

How do you feel about partners being involved at prenatal exams and during labor and birth?
We strongly encourage partners to be present at exams, attend the birth and to catch if they would like.

How do you regard written Birthing Plans? Are they respected?
Feel free to create a birth plan and bring it to your prenatal appointment to help us better understand your needs. The beauty of midwifery care is that by the time you are ready to have your baby we have talked about your wants, needs and desires so a birth plan is not usually necessary for homebirth.

Is there access to a whirlpool/tub for those in labor?
You may rent a birth tub from us. Just let us know if you are interested in that option.

What is your cesarean rate?
The rate of clients who have had a C-section is 6%. The national average is around 30%. The average in the Hampton Roads area is around 40%.

Why is your C-section rate so low?
We think it is so low because we spend a lot of time prenatally addressing your concerns and reducing your fears. By doing that, you become empowered to trust your body’s ability to birth naturally. We also believe that we are REALLY good at what we do and that God made women’s bodies to do the job of growing and delivering a baby.

How many other people can I have with me at all times?
As many as you are comfortable with in your home.

When should I call to alert you that I might be going into labor?
As soon as you dream of being in labor, we would like you to call and let us know. That usually alerts us that it will be soon. If your water breaks, you are having discharge or you start having contractions, we want you to call us immediately.

How do I know if I am in labor?
Labor is defined by regular contractions causing cervical change. Contractions will typically start far apart and progressively become more frequent and stronger over time. As contractions become closer, they will also increase in intensity and duration. Once you begin to have contractions, typically they last one minute from the start to the end of the contraction. Once they are five minutes apart give us a call and let us know. Your water may break once this process has begun or before you show any signs of labor. If your water breaks at any time, let us know so that we may advise you further. Finally, if you have any heavy bleeding towards the end of your pregnancy please call us.

How soon after I start labor will you come to see me?
When you beep us, we will discuss what is going on and how you are feeling. Together, we will decide when we should come.

How much time will you spend with me when I’m in labor?
If you are truly in labor we will be there until 2-3 hours after the birth.

Do you encourage VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean)?

How often do you perform vaginal exams during labor?
We do them when we need to assess your progress or verify the position of the baby. We do not do them as a routine thing.

How do you handle pain/discomfort during labor?
Prayer, change of positions, massage, sitting on the birth ball, walking, showers and laboring in the birth tub.

What do you recommend to help me avoid an episiotomy?
We do not do routine episiotomies. To avoid a tear there are a few things you can do during your pregnancy: maintain adequate nutrition, perform kegel exercises regularly and perform perineal massage.

How do you feel about water births?
Very positive.

Do you encourage women in labor to walk, squat or be in positions they find helpful during labor?

Do I have a choice of positions? What laboring positions are recommended?
Any position that you are comfortable in, we are comfortable in.

What is your view of breastfeeding?
There is NO better food for a baby. Breastfeeding

Do you encourage women to breastfeed?
Absolutely. If you need encouragement, classes or help, we can refer you to a specialist. Breastfeeding best for baby

What is your view of circumcision?
I discuss the pros and cons of circumcision with my clients. We do not perform it and any client who wanted it done would be referred to a local Rabbi. Circumcision