When I was seven, I watched my mother give birth to my baby brother at home and it was a beautiful process. When I became pregnant 18 years later, I knew I wanted to attempt natural labor. The area I lived in gave me one option: the hospital. There were no homebirth midwives or birthing centers anywhere nearby, so I found the only Certified Nurse Midwife in the county who delivered at the hospital and had the natural labor I desired.
When I moved to Knoxville, I scoped out the choices for delivering mothers, just in case we decided to have another. I was pleased to see all the options–one of which was Lisa Ross Birth & Women’s Center.
Written by Hillary S. Tune on behalf of Baby+Company
As many of you may have already heard, the birthing center has joined forces with Baby+Company, and moved to a new location at 1512 Coleman Road, Knoxville, Tennessee 37909. If you’re interested in care at the birth center, please come to our grand opening 10am-1pm on January 21, 2017! There will be tours, fun demonstrations, arts and crafts activities, and lots of great giveaways. You can pre-register here so we can know to expect you.
If you’re a Lisa Ross patient, you’ll see many familiar faces at the new center, and some new ones, like mine! I have been blessed to become the center’s community outreach manager – quite literally a dream job for me. I now get to work in a beautiful, new birth center surrounded by the miracle of pregnancy and birth.
More and more families are choosing to welcome their babies in birth centers, and for good reason. These family-friendly facilities bring the right combination of personalized care, a comfy environment, and access to medical treatments when they are needed. Here are five more great reasons to give a birth center a try.
You want your care to be about you.
Having a baby affects your whole life, and no two women experience pregnancy and birth the same way. You need health advice that’s relevant to your real life, a friend to listen and help with those “TMI” symptoms, someone to hear your hopes and fears, and someone to answer all of your questions. Pregnancy care in a birth center is designed to help you build trusting relationships with midwives and the rest of the care team. Visits are longer and the community is tight-knit.
You’ve heard about the benefits of midwives, but want access to doctors, too.
Most health systems around the world rely on midwives to provide care to almost all pregnant and birthing women. Midwives are experts in what all women need—education about pregnancy, birth and self-care, support through the challenges of childbearing, and a watchful eye for problems. For women who experience problems or who have high-risk pregnancies, midwives team up with doctors who are experts in managing complications and risk.
You’d like to avoid an epidural if you can, but you don’t want to suffer, either.
Epidurals take pain away, but they can transform birth into a morass of tubes, wires, and beeping monitors. Many women are grateful for the option, but understandably interested in avoiding it if there’s another way.
Birth centers offer a long list of alternatives, and the presence of a midwife who believes in you throughout labor. A deep tub is called “the midwife’s epidural” for good reason—it provides relief from the most intense parts of labor. More birth centers now also offer nitrous oxide (“gas and air”), a safe, quick-acting medicine that lets you move around. Moving is one of the best ways to manage pain and ease labor, and the birth center space is designed with large rooms, props and furniture to help you change position, spacious showers, and more.
Out of the hospital sounds good, but not too far out.
Hospitals are where the sick and injured go, and an out-of-hospital birth can make you feel less like a patient. But hospital resources are just what the doctor ordered if problems come up in pregnancy or birth. Birth centers can offer the best of both worlds; a comfortable, family-friendly “mini-hospital,” equipped with supplies for the most common problems, and close proximity to a hospital—and a teamwork approach with the staff there—to make a seamless transfer if needed.
You want your baby born into a peaceful and calm environment, surrounded by love.
The best part of giving birth is holding your baby in your arms, and in a birth center that’s just where your baby will stay. The staff will monitor you and your baby closely after birth, but won’t disturb your magical first moments unless there’s a clear medical need. The room will be quiet and calm while your whole family bonds and cuddles in family-sized beds. Skin-to-skin with your baby, you can get breastfeeding off to the best start, supported and guided by expert staff who are there to keep you comfortable and calm.
Some tips for finding a good birth center:
Look for an accredited birth center—that means it meets national safety standards and has policies in place to ensure quality.
Ask about the relationship with the doctors and hospital. A tight-knit and team-based relationship is what you’re looking for.
Ask who is eligible to give birth at the center. Birth centers are proven to reduce the need for c-section and improve the overall experience, but they are only safe for low-risk pregnancy and birth.
Baby+Company is a growing network of birth centers that offer a new kind of pregnancy and birth experience built for you and your family. We bring together the best elements of highly personalized care along with the benefits of partnership with a leading local health system and physician practice. Our highly skilled staff, led by Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs), spends the time it takes during your pregnancy to build close relationships with you and your family. We develop customized care plans that address all of your health needs and are available 24/7. When it’s time for your baby to be born, our team will be by your side throughout labor and birth in our birthing suites or arrange care at the hospital whenever needed, and will visit you and your baby at home after you give birth.
To complement our clinical care, we offer wellness services and classes, including healthy pregnancy workshops, childbirth education, breastfeeding and newborn classes, and a new mom’s group.