As you may remember from my recent posts on the perspective of midwives and choosing a midwife, I had a wonderful birth experience with the midwifery clinic here in town. Here are my top ten favorite things about working with the Nurse Midwifery Birth Center:
- Personalized attention. My appointments are generally between 45 minutes to an hour and involve plenty of time for questions and information. The midwife always presents all the options and allows my husband and me to make the final decisions. It’s so empowering!
- Flexibility. It was up to us to choose whether we wanted to give birth at the clinic or the hospital. (Although pregnancies with high risk of complications have to be delivered at the hospital). Either way, our midwife would supervise the birth and support our pregnancy.
- Comforting atmosphere. I gave birth to my first son on a bean bag in a room filled with an antique, quilt-covered bed, a birthing ball, and beautiful artwork. The medical equipment fits into this beautiful old home but doesn’t overwhelm it.
- A quick return homeward. We spent just eighteen hours at the midwifery center and then were happily back in the comfort of our own home. Most parents there return home far sooner than we did!
- Follow up visits. Within 24 hours after the birth, a nurse visited our home to weigh our child, help us with breastfeeding, and answer questions. It was such a gift not to have to leave the house.
- Ongoing support. Once a week the midwifery center has a free baby clinic where parents can come to weigh their babies, discuss breastfeeding, and ask questions. But most of the best stuff happens in the waiting room when parents get a chance to bond about the traumas and joys of early parenting.
- Breastfeeding education. Not only does the clinic provide a breastfeeding class, they have a tremendous amount of information available after the baby is born. I was able to call a hotline 24 hours a day to problem-solve and get further support at the free weekly baby clinics.
- Family-friendly environment. Now that we’re expecting our second, it’s wonderful to be able to bring my two year old to the clinic and know it’s built for family. There are loads of toys in the waiting room, a potty seat in the bathroom and plenty of crayons and scratch paper.
- More freedom. We were able to bring our own food to the birth and prepare it in the small kitchen which adjoins the birthing room. My mom, a former Lamaze teacher, and my husband were right by my side the entire time and only had to share my room with one nurse and one midwife. At other births I’ve attended, there have been a herd of medical people in the room during labor.
- Eco-friendly community. Many birth center parents are using cloth diapers, wooden toys, and slings. It’s nice to talk to a group of people who are also going green with baby.
There’s more, but I’ll have to stop because the list could easily go on forever. I’m infinitely grateful that we had the opportunity to give birth at the center. Next week we’ll help you search for a midwifery services in your area!