Thursday, February 3, 2011

Midwifery Center tour

As I previously blogged about in my midwife appointment summary, our practice has 4 OBGYNs and 4 Midwives {as well as a myriad of nurses, lactation consultants, etc. Bonus! if you give birth in the midwifery, the lactation consultants will see you fo free even after you leave the hospital}.

They all practice together as one large practice at a local hospital. A small part of the practice is referred to as the Midwifery Center. They are revamping their website so check back if you live in Hampton Roads and are looking into information about them.

If you want to give birth in the Midwifery, which includes rooms with queen sized beds and huge jacuzzi tubs, you have to let them know ASAP {they have recently had to put a cap on how many new patients they take in a given due-date month, and they never turn away moms who have given birth there before} and then, so long as you are not high risk, you complete 3 things:

1. Midwifery Center intro and tour
2. One of the three approved childbirth classes in the area
3. A third trimester class put on by the midwives themselves

This week A and I attended out tour. Woot! I was pretty pumped to finally see this place and get a feel for the midwives that I hadn't yet met.

As we followed the crowd to the midwifery {hmmm, look a whole big group of preggos, all arrived at the same time...could it be we are all here for the same reason?} we got our first glance. Now the midwifery is really small, and on the same floor as L&D (the OR is right around the corner should an emergency anything be necessary). As you go down the hallway you enter a clearly different place.

It goes from blue walls that look very hospital-y to a small semi-circle of rooms with bay footprints all over the walls. Either pink or blue, and with names, dates and measurements written below. Here and there you see vines drawn from one foot print to another indicating siblings. So cute!

We all signed in and sat around waiting for the show to begin. Soon, two of the midwives, Blair and Nell, came out in their turquoise scrubs and got the show on the road.

Blair did most of the talking and was both matter-of-fact and hilarious. I loved them both. They spoke a lot about the idea behind the midwifery, the history, etc. Mainly what made me feel comforted is they did not look the other way about some of the stuff we all had heard regarding medication free birthing.

Blair clearly stated, "This is for you if you do not risk out. If you risk out, we will take you around the corner to L&D. We will still handle your birth, but with a little more care. If you risk out, we will not look the other way because you want to be here. We appreciate that, but your baby has it's own path into this world and you need to walk that path."

The best thing about a situation like this is I know that these women will not make me feel bad if something happens and I do need to move to L&D. Plus it is literally steps away, and they

Hearts and stars and unicorns forever. I love you people.

Ok so, back to the facts. They only have 3 rooms in the midwifery - the blue room, the pink room, and the small room. The small room is still larger than our bedroom at home, so take that name with a grain of salt.

Each room has a queen sized bed, a huge birthing tub that looks like a freaking hot tub that could fit 6 people comfortably, and a private bathroom with "awesome" showers. That is a quote from Blair. A went into the showers to see how awesome they were and seemed satisfied, so...that's good right?

So far, in their 11 year history, they have never had a patient arrive to labor and find all of the rooms full. But, it varies. As their popularity has grown, they have had to move people to an L&D room for recovery on day 2 (since most insurances cover a two day stay). But, sometimes there is one mom all by herself down there and she can stay in the midwifery center room for the full two days. It just depends.

Also, good to know, if the mom is a second time mom with the birthing center, and she got moved early the first time, they are not moving that momma until she chooses to go home. I love that they value their repeat customers.

The way they can keep this cycle going, of course is that they have put the limit on how many moms they will take at the same timeline of due date. I am frankly surprised at how few moms are taking advantage of this place! Crazy.

A personal takeaway from this conversation for me was eating healthier and being active. They touched on being able to tell who their athletes were when they were pushing.

Ack. Me = kid who spent more time reading than playing, and volunteered to sit out or third base coach when playing little league.

They mentioned, in a totally nice but upfront way, that when a woman spends hours and hours laboring and trying to push out a 10 lb baby, and then they have to stitch that woman up (who has had no pain meds mind you) they secretly think "well honey, you did this to yourself".

TAKEAWAY - stay active and eat healthier for realz. I am an overachiever and will need them to think I did great, not that I was clearly a weak willed woman overindulging in Mexican food who stopped by McDonald's for a milkshake on the way to this very tour. Oy. Uphill battle. (on that note though, this comes today!)

Blair also touched on family, visitors, and people in the room during labor. Her theory and rule is as follows:

  • She doesn't care how many people you have in the room, so long as they are there to support you through the labor and be there for you the momma, and they are not just there waiting for a baby. If they are the latter, she will eject them from said room.
  • She is aware that everyone will want to see the baby right away, but all the baby cares about for that first hour is bonding with its parents. So, when the baby is born, send the family out to get you food, and then when they come back they can hang with baby while you eat.
Isn't that the best? Love it.

After she chatted for a while, they opened for questions and let us wander around the suite. We chatted with Nell and had a few questions and then we peaced out for some dinner already. This preggo lady was hungry.

19 weeks along

...and I also randomly came across a birth story from the midwifery center. You should read it and laugh if you are into reading birth stories. Like me.

1 comment:

  1. I am a huge proponent of no one (other than people really important to the mom) visiting until AFTER the mom and baby have had their nap (about 2 hours after birth babies tend to get really sleepy, have a good nurse, and pass out for a few hours). That is the last good bit of rest most people have the opportunity to have for the next few days. I always urge my clients to have only mom,partner, and doula there right after birth unless they have a mom or sister or bff that is attending and helpful. No people who just wanna see the baby.

    The birth center seems awesome. what a great thing for the women of hampton roads!

    eating healthy (80-100 grams of protein and 80-100 ounces of water!) and exercising reduces your risk of gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. you don't want either of those. trust.