We know you have options of where you feel is best to have your baby, and we love that you do! You can choose to have your baby at any of our local hospitals with an Ob-Gyn group, at a hospital further away with a midwifery practice, or even at home with a CNM or CPM! The following are just a few reasons why we encourage you to consider having your baby at a birth center- our birth center in particular!
- Safety: Our birth center is accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers as well as the state of Georgia. Both entities ensure we meet strict requirements ensuring the utmost safety and quality of care. Our midwives who attend your birth are all highly skilled Certified Nurse Midwives. They all hold at least a Master’s of Science Degree in Nursing, have passed a rigorous national exam, and hold current State RN and CNM licenses. All of our birth assistants are nurses- either LPNs or RNs, and have also passed a national exam and hold a current state license. In addition to this, all of our CNMs and nurses are trained in Basic Life Support as well as Neonatal Resuscitation. Everyone that attends the births are highly trained in obstetric emergencies such as Shoulder Dystocia and Postpartum Hemorrhage. We perform drills every quarter to ensure all skills are up to date. We have emergency medications and equipment should the need arise. In addition to this, we have a wonderful physician group and Neonatal Transport Team that backs us up should the need arise. Last but not least, we have a stellar medical director- Dr. Baker- who is readily available for any support and assistance we may need, even if it’s to simply make a recommendation for plan of care.
- Pain Relief: While we do not offer epidurals at the birth center, we do have plenty of options for pain support! Many find getting in the shower or the birth tub to be very beneficial. We do have pain medications we can administer in your muscle or vein if desired when you’re early in labor. We also offer nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. Even simple measures such as massage with the oils we have on hand, heating packs, taking a walk around our garden trail, and position changes, can be extremely helpful. We ensure the environment is calm and supportive to help you cope through each wave. In addition to this, we use intermittent auscultation to ensure your baby is safe so you can move as you please throughout your labor.
- Home-Like Environment: We encourage you to make yourself at home when you come in for your birth. This may mean playing your own music, diffusing essential oils of your choice, lighting the flameless candles we have on hand (or more if you bring them), and bringing keepsakes from home to make it a more familiar environment. We want you as comfortable as possible and to feel like you’re within your own home- but no cleanup necessary!
- Individualized and Continuity of Care: When you’re here for birth, your midwife and birth assistant are here to provide one-on-one care for you throughout labor. While we may have another mama laboring, you still have our focused attention. No just showing up for the actual birth here (unless you come in ready to have your baby ;-P). One unique thing about our birth center is that our CNMs have privileges at Memorial University Medical Center. This means that should a need for a planned hospital birth or transport in labor arise- your midwife can go with you and continue to manage your labor as long as your situation is still within their scope of practice. Should the rare need for a Cesarean Section arise, your midwife will accompany you and your support person in the OR. You also have the option of having all of your postpartum care with The Midwife Group even if you have a belly birth.
- Choices: You’ll hear us say it again and again- we are all about choices at the birth center, within the confines of safety. Here you have to option to have a water birth, or to birth “on land”. You can birth in any position that feels best to you- hands and knees, side lying, on the birth stool, etc. You can feel free to eat and drink as you please (we encourage it!). In addition- you can choose who is at your birth. We want you to feel empowered and in control (as unpredictable as it may be) of your birth! That’s especially why we encourage you to start working on your birth plan early on in your pregnancy, and we review it with you at your 35 week appointment.
- Physiologic birth: At the birth center, we are all about undisturbed, physiologic birth. This means high touch, low intervention. That’s why our Cesarean Section Rate for 2016 was at 4% (much lower than the national average of 32%). With safety always always as a priority, we do everything we can to support your body and your baby to have a vaginal birth- and we have many tricks up our sleeve to help you achieve this.
We hope you’ll take these few points about what we offer at our birth center in mind when deciding where is best to have your sweet little one!
Contributor: Kristen Hall, CNM