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Questions & Answers

What is a birth center?

It is a fully-equipped medical facility that specializes in out-of-hospital births.  The center provides services related to pregnancy, childbirth, and women’s health.

This is a high-touch and low-technology place of wellness and birth for women and their families. A birth center is not a mini-hospital.

What is a certified nurse midwife?

Certified nurse midwives are licensed healthcare providers educated in both nursing and midwifery. In addition to prenatal care, nurse midwives also offer primary care and gynecological care to women throughout their lifespan, assist physicians in surgeries, and provide direct care to newborns for the first 28 days of life.

Midwives do not practice obstetrics – we need our physician partners to provide medical expertise for women with pregnancy complications requiring medical intervention or surgery.

Is it safe to give birth outside of a hospital?
It is safe for healthy women without risk factors to give birth outside of a hospital. Current research shows birth center care is as safe as a hospital for healthy low-risk women. The American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ACOG) and the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM) have recommend birth centers as the first level of care for pregnancy and childbirth for women without risk factors.

Who can give birth in the birth center?
A birth center is specifically designed for women seeking an alternative to hospital birth that are healthy without medical conditions or pregnancy complications that would require medical intervention or management.

Our first goal is to provide a safe birth.  There are some women that are best managed in a hospital setting where immediate emergency care is available if needed.  Women with twins, placenta previa, pre-eclampsia, hypertension, previous uterine surgery, pre-term labor, and other significant pregnancy complications should be managed in a hospital.

Do I have to give birth at the center or can I choose to go to the hospital?
We offer a variety of choices and options for you to decide what you want for your birth experience either at the birth center or the hospital.

Can I labor in the water and/or give birth in the water at the birth center?
Yes. All our midwives are certified and experienced in water-birth.

What pain management options are there at a birth center?

Birth centers are for natural childbirth. Our midwives and birth assistants provide continuous labor support which increases success with un-medicated labors. There will be no restriction to your movement in labor. There are non-pharmacological options such as hydrotherapy, massage, essential oils, aromatherapy, TENS, saline papules, and hypnosis available for use.

There is no option for an epidural in the birth center. If your pain cannot be managed at the birth center, there is always the option to transfer to the hospital for an epidural or other medications.

Can my family stay with me? Are there visitation restrictions?

Yes.  It is your labor – so you choose who you want to share this experience.

We do not have visitation restrictions. Please be mindful that we do not have sleeping quarters for your guests. We do have a kitchen area for meals and snacks so you may bring food of your choice to the center. We do not restrict food in labor, so you may eat throughout labor if you desire.

What happens if there are complications in my labor? What if I need a C-section?

Our midwives have the skill and expertise to handle complication during labor and birth.

If an emergency happens, we are located close to the hospital for transport by EMS within a matter of minutes. Your midwife will travel with you from the birth center to the hospital. We communicate with the physician, hospital, and EMS to arrange a seamless transfer to the hospital.

If you require a cesarean section, your midwife and a physician will be there to perform the surgery.

Who will take care of me if I need transfer to the hospital?
We believe strongly in continuity of care– so you will always be under our care.

We will remain with you throughout your labor and birth wherever that may be.

Who will take care of my baby after it is born?

Your midwife will perform the initial newborn exam and newborn screenings that are required on all newborns. We will make sure that your baby is ready to go home with you.  Your baby should be seen by your pediatric provider within 24-48 hours from discharge.

If there are any concerns identified during the initial newborn time, the midwife will communicate directly with your pediatric provider prior to you leaving the center.

If there are significant concerns that warrant immediate evaluation by a pediatric provider, you and your newborn will be transferred to the hospital for further evaluation and care.

How long do I stay in the center after birth?

Most women are stable to go home within 6-12 hours after birth.  If you require longer than 23 hours – we will arrange transfer for you and your newborn to the hospital for extended postpartum care.

What kind of follow-up do I have after my birth at the center?
You will remain in close contact with your midwife after your birth.  We offer three follow-up visits during the first six weeks after childbirth.

We encourage you to bring your baby for your follow-up visits. We promote and support breastfeeding with access to lactation consultants at the center as needed.

What about care after childbirth?
Your midwife is available by appointments for annual physical exams, gynecological concerns, STD screenings, birth control including implants and IUDs, urinary tract infections, basic primary care, weight management, preconception counseling, and other health concerns for women of all ages.

Do you take my insurance? What if I have Medicaid?
We will not initially be participating in-network with insurance or Medicaid, but we can assist you in filing  out-of-network claims.  The cost of the care in a birth center is a fraction of the cost of a hospital birth. Our staff can assist you with payment options.