Helping Families to Birth and Parent with Connection, Consciousness & Choice
Our business is guided by principles of kindness, compassion & gratitude for ourselves, our clients and our planet.
At GraceFull our birthing philosophy of minimal interference with maximum support is an extension of our believe that birth is a normal physiological process. Since 2006 we have been honoring the body’s wisdom while providing advanced-level clinical care. As Midwives we have Medical Board Licenses that allow us to practice safely while we as women trust your body and baby to know exactly what to do. We have great relationships with our transport hospitals and doctors, so if we have to go, we don’t do ‘failed home births’ but rather ‘safe transports’. Plus, our brand new birthing rooms have the choice of Nitrous Oxide for pain relief and extra large birthing tubs, birthing swings & birthing chairs; providing a nurturing space for your family to be born.
In our loft styled classrooms our teachers offer a rich selection of classes, workshops and support groups that expand on our philosophy of simplicity and connection. Anyone in the community can attend these events no matter where you birth or how you parent.
We love our midwives who practice natural birthing methods and specialize in water birth. Our naturally minded practitioners will work with women, men and children to help with anything that ails you; from a common cold to back pain and anything in between. Everyone who works at GraceFull walks the talk. We don’t just have “jobs” but are supporting you as an extension of our natural and environmentally respectful lifestyle.
Here is the skinny: Even though an out-of-hospital birth costs less (and includes more time with your care provider) than a hospital birth, insurance providers don’t seem to understand that. But, if you do the math and understand your percentages, you might find that your out of pockets cost for having a birth center or home birth will not be much different than a hospital birth.
Typically, a high percentage of our birthing services are covered by PPO insurance plans and most of our complimentary practitioners will accept your PPO insurance. Even though our general services are not covered by Kaiser, HMOs or Medical, you can still use these insurances to pay for your labs & ultrasound costs.
Comprehensive insurance billing is included in our services because we understand that working with an insurance company can be challenging and unpredictable. We have created a course of education and advocacy with our insurance biller that teaches you about how your insurance works, what your responsibilities are and what you can expect from GraceFull and your insurance plan. If you choose to use your insurance you will pay us your deductibles, co-insurances and copays prior to your birth and then we will collect the rest from your insurance, which should significantly reduce your upfront costs. That’s our way of helping you with your expanding family.
Midwifery is not limited to birthing a baby. It is a presence of trust and support that is held as another journeys through life's challenges.
Knowledge becomes wisdom with the addition of connection, creativity and community.
Creating Your Powerful Birth Team
GraceFull Childbirth Ed
Welcome to GraceFull
Breastfeeding Support Circle
Birth & PP Doula Training
The First Few Weeks: Infant Care
GraceFull Breastfeeding Class
Catch Your Breath, GraceFull Mama & Bebe, birth – 12m
All of your questions are probably here... and if it isn't come in and ask us in person!
The word midwife means, “with woman”. To simplify a very broad subject, Midwives are primary health care professionals who are able to support women through out the Pregancy, Labor, Childbirth and the Post Partum period, along as provide pregnant or non pregnant women Well Woman Exams. In California we have two different types of licensed midwives who are able to support women for ‘out-of-hospital’ births, (which includes home births, water births and birth center births) Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) and California Licensed Midwives (LM).
Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) are advanced practice registered nurses who have additional specialized education and training in hospital Midwifery and are licensed by the Nursing Board. Once licensed, CNMs can support women at home, birth centers or the hospital. Los Angeles has some great CNMs working in various settings. There are group midwifery practices at UCLA, California Hospital, USC County Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital, an individual hospital midwifery practice run by Debbie Frank and quite a few CNMs who also work as Home Birth Midwives.
California Licensed Midwives (LM) are also Certified Professional Midwives (CPM), because you can not become a LM in California unless you are also a CPM. LMs are licensed by the California Medical Board and have learned a specific skill set through extensive hands on training in low-risk pregnancy and childbirth in an out of a hospital setting. This hands on experience combined with studies from a MEAC Accredited School allows LMs to safely monitor and support laboring women and emerging babies at home, in a birth center and even in water. Also, LMs do not need to work with a supervising physician. Here at GraceFull we work in close relationship with quite a few doctors who we collaborate with on patient care in a mutually respectful relationship.
The issue with this questions is that it assumes that “non-homebirths” are the safety standard, and the truth is that there are actually no studies that say that a in hospital birth is more safe than an out of hospital births. There are; however, two interesting studies on the subject. The first one is on birth center birth that came out in Jan/Feb 2013 and states: “One of the most important findings of this study was that more than 9 out of 10 women (94%) who entered labor planning a birth center birth achieved a vaginal birth. In other words, the C-section rate for low-risk women who chose to give birth at a birth center was only 6%—compared to the U.S. C-section rate of 27% for low-risk women. This means that the C-section rate for women in birth centers is more than 4 times lower than what is seen among low-risk women in the U.S.” – Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, Outcome s of Care in Birth Centers: Demonstration of a Durable Model. Another study that came out in August 2009 from Canada says, “Planned home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death and reduced rates of obstetric interventions and other adverse perinatal outcomes compared with planned hospital birth attended by a midwife or physician.” - CMAJ August 2009. If mom is having a pregnancy that is considered low-risk, then it is very safe to have the baby at home. Even though a birth outside of a hospital is safe, it might not feel safe for everyone, so please do your research and find out what feels safest for you and your partner. Here are a few links to get you started: Homebirth, by Henci Goer at ivillage, The Cochrane Review, MANA, Citizens for Midwifery, An Article in the BBC News, CAM (California Association of Midwives). American Association of Birth Centers and Home Birth Reference Site.
One of the ways that we keep your family safe is to make sure that you always have a well rested midwife on your team. GraceFull works like a small home birth practice with two midwives, Sarah & Kara, sharing call of one week on and one week off. Even though you are in a "group" practice, there are only two midwives who you will get to know intimately.
One of the questions we always get is "How do we create a connection with the midwife if we don't know who will be at our birth?" Because we are not just going down a "list" where we spend our time with you at the prenatal, but we are getting to know you and and you are getting to know us so an intimate one-on-one connection can be made at our hour long prenatals. All GraceFull Midwives are California Licensed Midwives and are not only licensed by the medical board, but also have the same essence in how we practice midwifery – from a love of the journey, excitement in seeing new souls being born, honed skills, learned wisdom – and we all enjoy going slow – especially after the baby is born. (Where are we going to rush off to?? Hanging out in the oxytocin is the best part!)
Each midwife will have a midwife assistant show up at your birth when you start pushing. All of our assistants have either medical board or nursing license so you will have two trained professionals at your birth in case there is an emergency for either mom or baby. You may not have a chance to meet our assistant before you give birth and we hope that is not an issue, because the assistant is there to assist the midwife and make sure you stay safe. And once you meet us you will understand that we love going to births, so we will have assistants that love the process of birth too (and have birthed their own children at home, so they have complete respect for what you are choosing to do.)
Years of experience has taught us that it is not about who is there at the birth, because ultimately we are not birthing your baby - you are. All of us at GraceFull - from the midwives to our volunteers - trust. We believe in your body, we trust your baby and we know that the right midwife and the right assistant will show up for exactly what you need.
Elizabeth, who created GraceFull Birthing, is spending most of her times these days teaching childbirth ed classes and midwifing the business of GraceFull Birthing so it can continue to thrive and serve our community for years. Elizabeth is the backup midwife on call and continues to work one on one with past families at no additional cost. Every once in a while there are new families who come to GraceFull wanting to work one on one with Elizabeth either at home or the hospital. Feel free to email us and request a private interview with Elizabeth so the two of you can connect and see if it is a good fit. Please know there is an additional fee to have Elizabeth be on call 24/7 for new clients.
We are so fortunate to have so many supportive choices for transport of care at GraceFull.
Firstly, as Licensed Midwives we do not need to work with supervision, so technically, we can request lab work, ultrasound, referrals to other doctors, and we can transport you for non emergent and emergency situations to any hospital we choose. (This is a new law as of January 1, 2014, so many practices do not know this. If your care provider is uneducated about this, please let us know and Elizabeth will contact him/her to set up a time to go over GraceFull's protocols and the new LM laws).
GraceFull is proud of your reputation within our birthing community as a responsible and safe practice. It is for this reason what we have a solid relationship with Dr. Tony Chin at Cedars Sinai in Beverly Hills. who has agreed to be the transport of care for our mammas. We also work with, Dr. Rogers who practices out of Good Sam and California Hospital, Dr. Ronald Wu at Glendale Adventist and Dr. Kerri Parks at Glendale Adventist. Please know, if you don't want to meet with a doctor, you don't have to, because our closest hospitals - Good Sam and California Hospital - will welcome you as a GraceFull Family if you do need to transport.
The closest hospitals to GraceFull's Birthing Center are Good Sam (1.6m), Kaiser Sunset (1.6m) and Children's Hospital (1.4m), which is the best place in town for a true emergency situation with a newborn.
In the Los Angeles area we have lots of birthing center, most of which are "unaccredited". We are the first to become "accredited" in Los Angeles. So, what does that mean? It means that we adhere to a set of standards that make sure we are responsible not only for our choices as midwives and health care professionals, but also as a business in good standing. We have to have detailed medical protocols in place that we all follow that not only allow us to practice safely, but also communicate with the local hospitals and doctors in a language that they can understand. We've met some simple requirements, for instance our birthing center is in a medically zoned building. Then there are tedious things that are required, like the submitting regularly of data to support the advancement of out of hospital birthing.
We are proud to be part of the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers, which has created a structure and form that keeps us medically and fiscally responsible, while at the same time encouraging us to continue being an environmentally respectful center offering the connected personalized care we are known for.
Oh, and one of the reasons we are doing this is because we are hoping (and praying) that down the road the CABC can help get Birthing Center Births paid for by ALL insurances! A midwife can dream....
As California Licensed Midwives we practice in alignment with our Medical Board License which dictates a standard model of care that is evidence based. As community midwives we trust you as parents and practice with informed consent.
Informed consent means that you are given information by the midwife of the risks and benefits of a test or drug and then you give us you parental approval to accept or decline a test or drug. Our information is based on three things: 1) our midwifery licensing, 2) anecdotal information and 3) our transport of care hospital/doctor’s boundaries. Our Midwifery Protocols are in alignment with our Medical Board License, which has us legally bound to offer standard of care that has at least 3 scientific studies to back up the information we give you. We as woman also recognize the wisdom of complimentary medicines and those who have gone before, so in addition to scientific data, we will also offer you anecdotal information. Our license also requires us to have a transport of care plan, and that doctor or hospital might have its own boundaries.
We will offer you all testing and drugs as required by state law, and support you to find out what works for you as the parents of this child. If you choose to decline some part of standard care then you must take responsibility for this choice and sign an “Informed Consent” paper that states that you informed about the risks you are taking and are acknowledging full responsibility for your choice.
Regarding ultrasounds, we do not require routine ultrasound but will ask you to have one if there is something going on with your body or your baby that indicates a need for more information (e.g.: ruling our of twins, breech baby or a low lying placenta). There are some transport of care providers who will require ultra sounds in order to secure their services. If you do not want an ultra sound we can find you a transport of care option that will allow for that choice.
Philosophically speaking, you are the parents of your child, and we as your midwives will not be raising your child, so we will not tell you what to do. We at GraceFull look at all choices as ‘parenting decisions’. We are passionate about helping you not just birth your baby, but parent your child. Being informed, finding clarity and then standing in your truth as to what is best for you and your family – whether it is scientific or anecdotal – is an important part of becoming a parent, and you will always have our full support no matter what your choices and/or beliefs are.
Yes we do! We believe that pregnancy and birth is a normal life event, but should that event go outside of normal, we really appreciate having our medical equipment at the birth so that the situation does not turn into an emergency. Along with our herbs and homeopathy to support you at every stage of labor, we also have oxygen tanks (for mom and/or baby), a bag and mask (in case baby needs to be resuscitated), pharmaceuticals to stop a mom who is bleeding too much, IV fluids (for dehydration and/or antibiotics) and antibiotics (in case of prolonged rupture or a GBS + mom). All of our midwives and their assistants are trained in Neo-Natal Resuscitation and have you and your baby's safety as our top priority.
A Doula is the emotional support and physical comfort for the mom and family either during labor, which is called a Labor Doula, or after the baby is born, which is called a Post Partum Doula. A doula is not licensed by the medical board, nor can she perform medical tasks.
A Midwife is in charge of the physical safety and well being of both the mom and baby through Pre-natals, Labor, Birth and the Post Partum periods.
As much as we know about positions to get you into to help baby come out, and how to use a reboza to turn a baby… and as much as we love to put a cool cloth on you and tell you what a great job you are doing… we can’t do that for a long labor AND be well rested when baby comes out.
Our first priority is the safety and well being of you and your baby. Because we do not know if your birth will be long or short, your midwife and her team will take turns listening to baby and resting to make sure that they are alert for any emergency situations when your baby is being born and the immediate post partum period.
If you feel you are wanting one on one care, with someone to rub your back, get you cool cloths, make you food and be with you from the first contraction, then, getting a doula might be a really good idea. Also, we don’t want to be your ‘everything’ – we want to help you create a community of support around you, and hiring a doula can be another layer of that team. We love working with doulas, and they love working with us!!
We are fortunate to have an Advanced Doula training that our Midwife Elizabeth co-facilitates with Erica Chidi. This 6 month program pairs newer doulas with senior doulas as they are taught the GraceFull way of supporting families through presence, connection and clear communication. During their training both the newer and experienced doulas are part of the GraceFull Doula Registry. There is no additional cost for you to interview a few of our doulas. The fee for doula services vary depending on years of experience and expertise. Average Los Angeles prices for a birthing doulas range from $100 (brand new doula) to $2800 (seasoned doula) and post partum doulas $15 (brand new) to $45 (experienced) - and everything inbetween.
Feel free to email: email@example.com or call 323.391.3280 to connect with a doula and learn more. And if you want to cast a wider net, check out DASC, talk to your local yoga instructor or see who your friends used. We are happy to work with anyone you feel should be there supporting your family during this life changing event.
We are able to draw blood, provide vaginal/urinal cultures and pap smears in the comfort of GraceFull’s office. Ultra Sounds, Amnios and CVSs are done at a Doctor’s office (this is a good time to meet your back up physician). We have quite a few choices in local doctors that trust how we work and are willing to back us up for transport of care situations. These doctors would like you to visit with you at least once so that they can put a name to a face, and you can know who they are, should you need to transfer your care during labor. If you have a desire to have an ultra sound (and we do not require them) it is a great idea to do that when you meet the transfer of care doctor. Other than that, there is no need to see a doctor, unless we have some concerns during your pregnancy. If you are comfortable with transporting into a group practice, Good Samaritan Hospital (which is 1.6 miles from the birth center) will receive you with without having to meet them first.
Just like an OB, we will meet once a month until 28 weeks, when we will meet twice a month. At 36 weeks we will start our weekly visits until you give birth. Unlike an OB, we will spend 45 – 60 minutes at each visit.
It takes about 10 minutes to make sure that your pregnancy is considered physically safe - or as the medical community likes to call it "low risk" - as we listen to baby, measure your belly, check your blood pressure and check your urine. With the rest of our time we go through what every midwifery practice in town does - we discuss your diet, make sure you are getting plenty of nutrients, talk about exercise, discuss supplements and explain any of the upcoming tests with plenty of time to discuss any questions or concerns you may have so you may make an informed consent.
We are a group practice, but you will get plenty of time to get to know us as we get to know you. At GraceFull we take the extra step to not only support your intention to have a safe and joy filed out of hospital birth, but also to help you become the kind of parents you want to be by discussing what the future tests are for so you can make an informed choice, discuss any fears or challenges you might have about birthing (or parenting) so we can make appropriate supportive plans for the labor and the post partum time.
We believe that most of the work is done before labor has even begun, so it does not matter who the midwife is who shows up because all of us are skilled to help babies come out that might be a bit stuck and are skilled to deal with emergencies. We look forward to our prenatals time with you so we can get to know you - and you get to know us - so that we can create a field of trust for you to gently birth your baby at your home or our center.
Outside of our prenatal hours we are available by text, email, phone and skype. If there is any kind of urgent phone call, please do connect with us and wake us up even if it is the middle of the night.
The best way to ask us questions is through our EMR. Everything is kept on record there so you can look up old questions, check your blood work, see what happened at your last prenatal and go through the handouts any time you want.
If you have a partner who is out of town - or maybe you are on a holiday, there are lots of apps we can use with you to connect. Skype is a great way to include partners who are out of the state (or even the country) in prenatal exams so that he (or she) can also listen to the baby and ask questions. Also, if you are planning to be away for an extended period of time, we can set up skype prenatal visits so you can experience continuity of care.
YES!!! For many years we struggled with understanding and fighting insurances. We are very pleased with our current situation as we have contracted with a billing service so that your out of pocket costs will be greatly reduced when you work with GraceFull. Here is what that means for you: you do not have to deal with the hassle of a super bill and your out of pocket fees are lowered. We have a set fee for our services; but, if your insurance will pay a portion of that fee, you only pay us the amount your insurance will not cover and then we deal with hassling the insurance to get the rest of the monies. To state it another way, at 36 weeks you only pay your "out of pocket" costs, not your whole fee and then we will bill your insurance after you give birth. Like every other midwifery practice in town, we can not guarantee what insurance will pay; but, with our current billing service (which is included for free) you will not have to wait for your insurance company to reimburse you as we are taking all the risk for them to pay us.
Our prices are created to work with insurance, maximizing the amount of monies they will pay out for our services. If your insurance will not cover our services we offer generous cash discounts or for timely payments by 36 weeks which you will find makes us financially in alignment with most local midwifery practices.
Please note, what insurance companies will and will not pay is the same for every midwifery practice and birthing center in the Los Angeles area that is considered 'out-of-network' and none of the Los Angeles midwifery practice can guarantee insurance payments. If your insurance tries to pull a fast one on us and decides to not pay our fees, even after we appeal the bill, please know, we are just as upset as you are and you are still responsible to pay our full fee. Also, it is illegal for California insurance companies to discriminate between CNMs and CPMs in regards to what they will pay out to you.
We believe that every woman deserves good supportive care, so please do let us know if you are having financial hardship, and we'd be happy to work something out. We understand that finances can be a challenge with a growing family, but if you do your research you might find that your out of pocket costs for a hospital birth might be the same or even more than your out of pocket costs for a home birth or a birth center birth.
We have 2 beautiful oversized, fully plumbed birthing tubs in our spacious birthing rooms where we have gone the extra step to make sure all of the water is chemical free so your baby will be born in quality drinking water. The use of the tub is included in your facility fee. If you birth in your home we can use your tub, you can buy a kiddie pool for $35 dollars online or our student Andrey rents a Professional Grade Birth Pool In A Box (yes, it is the one with a seat) with all the attachment extras (hose, adaptor, liner & thermometer) plus she will drop it off, set it up, take it down (that means no cleaning up for you) and then pick it up all for $300.
You can also buy your own inflatable birthing tubs on line at Birth Solutions.
GraceFull’s services are rather unique and we find that the right families will travel from anywhere to birth with us. We have families that work with us from all over the Greater Los Angeles Community including as far away as Pomona, Ojai and Long Beach. Our office is easy to find in Silverlake and has both lot parking and free street parking. Remember, if you are coming from a traffic challenged area, we have Saturday and week night office hours to avoid LA traffic and support working families.
Yes, we will support you in a VBAC if our doctor gives you the okay that it is safe for you to have a trial of labor outside of the hospital. We know that our VBAC mammas have done lots of research and are well informed about the risks for both mom and baby. While VBACs are physically safe, they are a political 'hot-potatoe' within the Los Angeles Hospital community. If your labor is unable to progress and you do transport to a hospital you may not be greeted with a smile. Yeah, we know that is not something you may not want to hear, but unfortunately that can be the truth. This fact has nothing to do with our midwifery practice, or your body; it has to do with the Los Angeles Hospitals view of out of hospital VBACs.
If you are interested in talking with us give Megan, our office manager a call. She will set up a meeting with all the midwives so we can make sure we are a good fit for al of us.
If you are on the fence about an out of hospital VBAC, we do know lots of great doctors at local hospitals who will support you for a beautiful hospital VBAC. For more info on VBAC’s, check out these site: vbac.com, Vbacfacts.com & ican.org.
We believe that emotional & mental well being are just as important as physical health and that everyone deserves good support. Our goal is to make sure that you not only have a few tools in your tool box, but you also have a good network of support in place for when your baby comes into the world. We have quite a few choices to fit your time and budget. We have licensed therapists offering weekly classes, a licensed psychologist offering periodic workshops, private on-site support, as well as referral options to clinicians who specialize in maternal mental health. And the good news is you don't have to birth with GraceFull to take advantage of our resources! You can birth anywhere in the Los Angeles area, with whomever makes you feel safe, and still join us for a class or workshop.
Good news: yes there are! We are very fortunate to have so many choices in Los Angeles, each with it’s own decor, group of midwives and unique presence. Each center has certified and skilled midwives serving our community and we encourage you to check them out: The Community Birth Center, Natural Birth Center, Del Mar Birth Center, The Art of Nursing and Santa Clarita Birth and Women’s Health Center. We have a saying in our field, “For every mother there is the right midwife”. Our goal at GraceFull is to help you make your decisions with clarity. We want you to find the right space that helps you settle and relax so you can have a calm, relaxed and enjoyable birth. If you meet us and you are clear that we are not the right center for you – and another midwife or obstetrician offers the care that feels right for you – then we have done our job and done it well. Even if you do not birth with us, feel free to be part of our community and join us for birthing classes, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, naturopathic care, lactation support and mommy and me classes!
We love that idea. This is not our birth, but the birth of your child, your family. We love the idea that you will be able to tell your child – via words or photos – this story over and over again. We work with full disclosure and transparency, so there is nothing we are hiding and you can film everything. You can even download your child’s entire birth story from our perspective from the EMR after the birth. We really enjoy working with Joanna Wilson and her Husband Brian, Sholmete Bard and Orit Harpez (for photography) and Jodie Meyers (for videography). If you don’t have the funds for someone professional, let us know as we have quite a few volunteers who would be willing to hold a camera for you in exchange for being at the birth of your child.
No. Not only do you not have to be pregnant, but our complimentary medicine providers will see men, children and females of all ages and stages of life. Plus, we work with an insurance biller, so where we can, we can take your insurance to reduce costs for your whole family.
We will come to your home within 24-48 hours after you give birth. We try and stagger this visit around your pediatrician visit so you are not to overwhelmed after you give birth. For the first week after you give birth someone will give you a call every day to check in and see how you and your baby are. between 7-10 days post partum you will come back to our office for another visit. We find that our families look forward to their first formal outing back to the place where they came weekly for prenatal visits. The three week visit is optional. Our third time mammas are not that interested while our first time mammas look forward to hanging out with us again. The the last visit is sometime between 6-8 weeks post partum where we will do a well woman exam and make sure you have no additional questions.
After that time you might decide to continue with our community and join one of our lactation support groups or our mommy and me classes.
Again, the answer is: Yes! We have an insurance biller who will estimate you deductible and co-pays and let you know how many visits are included. If your insurance covers these services, than we will happily bill them to make your life easier and allow our services to be more affordable.
We are proud to be Los Angeles's first Accredited Birthing Center with the CABC!!! We worked our butts off to get this accreditation and we feel it is worth it. We have to adhere to a comprehensive sets of business, medical and professional standards that keep you safe, us compliant while allowing our unique personality to still shine through.
For us midwifery is not just a job, but a calling and a lifestyle. We have extending our belief in "natural" options first by making sure our birthing center is a natural and environmentally respectful as possible. As we like to say, "Everything is environmentally sustainable where we could afford it!" The beds are up-cycled cast iron so mamma can have something to grab onto if she wants to squat, with organic and sustainable mattresses from a local family owned company called Custom Comfort. The sheets are from Sacred Sleep, a like minded company that creates sustainable eucalyptus sheets that wicks away sweat and our bath towels are 100% organic from a fabulous east coast company called sOUP. To support your birth we have lots of extras, including 2 birthing balls (one big, one small), 3 birthing chairs (one for inside the water, one with a cushioned seat for outside the water and a larger wooden one that allows the sacrum to really open up) and two birthing swing made specifically for mammas who want to hang, dangle or be supported in a low squat. Oh, and did you read yet that the water is all chemical free drinking water, so not only will you labor in this gentle water; but your baby will be born completely void of harmful chemicals and detergents? We really want your family to start out without harsh chemicals, so even when we clean our center we use toxic-free hospital grade cleaning solutions where ever we can.
Think of us as your luxury spa or your warm and comfortable home away from home. GraceFull has been intentionally built from the ground up for easy, supportive, loving and joy-filled births. And when we say "intentional" we really mean it - our walls, on the underside of our tubs, the tiles and flooring - all of it has been covered in loving, supportive words from our community. Our center is literally infused with love, joy and trust.
Maybe your home is small. Or the walls are thin in your apartment. Or you are wanting to birth in our extra large tubs. Or maybe you want to be 1.6 miles away from a transport hospital where you will be warmly received and compassionately supported to transition gently if your birth goes outside of normal. People choose a birthing center for many different reasons.
And, our prices are created to work with your insurance, so if they do not cover our facility fee, we will be able to offer your generous discount so you can afford to birth at our home.
We work with full transparency and try and walk our talk in regards to how we want to respect mother earth so she will be here for the future generation we are birthing gracefully!
No. And here is why.
1) If we become an "in-network" provider we ruin it for all the other birthing center in town, because they will no longer be able to get "in-network exceptions" - which means you will be limited to where you can choose to give birth with insurance. Not only is this not fair to other birthing centers in town, but the insurance companies give us a 30 mile radius. If you know Los Angeles well, this can create an un-safe birth as you might end up in traffic for an hour trying to get to an "in-network" birthing center 20 miles away.
2) Insurance companies pay out SO LITTLE to us if we become "in-network" we would never be able to run our business and keep our doors open - unless we overbooked out clients and then spent about 10 minutes with you at a prenatal.
We, like the other birthing centers in town, refuse to be manipulate by insurance companies. We are happy to give you a quote to work with your insurance as an "out-of-network" provider and our insurance biller can offer some simple suggestions to teach you how to get an "in-network exception". We are choosing to work with insurance companies as an "out-of-network" provider so they can understand what we do, which we hope will help with getting better re-imbursements down the road for families everywhere.
If you would like to get an estimate of your costs before you meet with us (or any other midwifery practice in town) please contact Natural Health Advocates, 818.925.0642. For a fee of $25 she will join you in a phone conversation with your insurance to ask all the right questions and explain your insurance benefits and out of pocket costs to you. Nicole works with many midwifery practices in town, so if you choose to birth with another practice, this information will still be useful. Feel free to call or email her
As we have mentioned, we have an in-house biller at no extra fee to you once you sign up with GraceFull who will do all the detailed work of submitting for payments.
To support our desire to help you build your community before baby is born we have included the following complimentary classes for all GraceFull Families. Yes, these classes are open to anyone in the community for $25 per person:
Welcome to GraceFull - An introduction to GraceFull’s practice and philosophies, nutrition & exercise tips, an explanation of genetic and lab testing, explanation on how informed consent works and when you would need to see a medical doctor. (60min.)
GraceFull Breastfeeding - Our Lactation Consultant, Lauren, will go over breastfeeding basics in this introductory class to help you feel confident in your body’s ability to nourish your child. (90 min.)
The First Few Weeks - Stephanie Blank, our parenting expert and mother of 2, will be teaching not only the basics of taking care of your baby (cleaning, diapering, holding, dressing…) but also how to connect with your child for long lasting and healthy bonding. (90 min.)
Babywearing - Brook Merkel, our Chiropractor, is a certified baby wearing expert and on the medical advisory board for Ergo. Join us for some hands on fun and see what wrap and carrier fits your body and is better for baby. (60 min.)
Creating Your Support Team for Labor - Elizabeth Bachner, GraceFull’s owner, has extensive training with Ray Castellino where she learned the art of differentiation and a few other simple skills that can help support families to have the efficient labor they desire. This unique class is exclusive to GraceFull and will support you to not only birth your baby, but yourself as a parent. (90min.)
GraceFull and our families are helping' to get the word out about Midwifery Care and Home Births.;
Midwifery is not just about birthing babies. It is a philosophy of connection & listening that we have adopted as a way to run our business.
GraceFull Birthing INC
2815 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026
2 blocks west of Silverlake Blvd
#105 - Birthing Center
#205 - Classroom & Practitioners
We have 3 assigned parking spots in our lot
( you are in labor we will take your care underground for free parking)
Free street parking in the neighborhood both across the street and down on Silverlake Blvd.E: firstname.lastname@example.org