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Sunday, July 22, 2007

What is The Birth Center?

"More than 5,000 babies have bee
n eased into life by the nurse-midwives who work here. Located in a cozy house across from Bryn Mawr Hospital, this freestanding center provides warm, nurturing, and totally professional care from early pregnancy through post-partum."
(From Philadelphia Magazine's 2003 Top Hospitals: Where to Get the Best Care).

Over the years we have talked to many friends who have had both hospital and midwife maternity care. While some have told good accounts of hospital births, those who have experienced midwife care can not say enough of their experiences. Now facing the choice ourselves, we wanted the midwife model for ourselves.

Last Thursday, we returned to The Birth Center for an informational seminar explaining their child birthing philosophy. After an extensive Q & A time, a tasteful video of a Birth Center delivery, touring the birth rooms, and having already attended our first appointment the previous day, we are even more excited to be under care of this excellent facility.

Here are some impressive stats from The Birth Center:
  • C-Section -- 14 % (Hospitals average 29.1 %)
  • Episiotomy -- 4 % (14 % including hospital transfers) (Hospitals average over 39 %)
Should complications arise, Bryn Mawr Hospital is located conveniently located right across the street.

Instead of cold, sterile hospital rooms, The Birth Center offers bedroom- style birthing suites. This atmosphere promotes a more relaxed environment to focus on the job at hand and pain coping strategies. Eileen is encouraged to move freely or relax in the jacuzzi -- whatever is most comfortable for her as she is coached by a midwife.

There is also a kitchen, dining room and living room that is shared by the three birthing suites. Because no drugs are used during delivery, the mother-to-be is encouraged to eat during labor, keeping up her strength . This means that after giving birth the new mom is much stronger and Mom, Dad, and Baby can return home sooner.

For the next couple of days a midwife will call and check-in on Mom and Baby. After 2-4 days a midwife will make a home visit.

We are looking forward to our continued care and the birth of our child at The Birth Center.

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