As mothers become more educated about birthing opportunities, many are opting to try something different than the traditional hospital route.
Starting Oct. 1, moms will have a homelike atmosphere in which to deliver their babies, says Jen Geary, a nurse of 19 years and the first outreach and education coordinator of NorthPointe Birth Center, a brand-new freestanding building located on the NorthPointe Health and Wellness Campus in Roscoe, Ill., which is part of Beloit Health System.
The center primarily will be run by midwives, with registered nurses serving as birth assistants. Three birthing suites – each with their own vibe and distinct features – will have a queen-size bed, separate tub to labor in, support bars, birthing balls and more. The other side of the center will include a full-size kitchen, as well as a common seating area with a fireplace. Four clinic rooms will be available for midwives to see patients for prenatal and postpartum visits, and there also is space for classes.
“We really stress education for our patients,” says Jamie Turner-Rose, a Certified Nurse-Midwife who has worked in labor and delivery for 20 years. “We’ll have prenatal classes in the birth center, and prenatal visits will last 30 minutes to an hour – not the 15-minute visits some of us have experienced in the past.
In order to utilize the services of NorthPointe Birth Center, pregnant mothers must have a low-risk pregnancy, Geary says. This accounts for roughly 85% of women who deliver in hospitals.
There’s a vast difference in pain management options provided by the birth center versus a hospital.
“We don’t offer IV pain medication; we don’t offer epidural,” Turner-Rose says. “We do offer water birth, freedom of movement, ability to eat through labor – a lot of choices to make people more comfortable. There are people who want a more natural birth experience.”
However, in the middle of labor, if a mother changes her mind about wanting pain medication, “that’s OK,” Turner-Rose says. “Then we take a trip over to the hospital to get that pain medication. Our goal will be to make anyone who comes to see us really comfortable.”