So this week’s Family Friday is going to be all about going to visit a birthing center. Basically, Ashley and I want to be super prepared and informed on our options when the time does come to select a place and provider. I already know quite a lot about the Birth Center at the hospital and it is a very nice one at that. But, of course, we are crunchy granola and wanted to look at more ‘natural’ options. After a lot of research regarding insurance coverage and birthing centers in our area, we found that the only one on my insurance and one of the closest birthing centers to us was Inspiration Family Birth Center in Winter Park. It was formerly The Birthing Cottage of Winter Park. As the Birthing Cottage, the midwife had been in practice for many many years and was, from what we heard, in the 70ish age range. She retired and the office manager at the time left as well. They still have some of the same staff but a new midwife, who has close to 15 years experience, and a new office manager, who is in midwife training.
We drove over last week to meet with them both and get a tour of the facilities. Basically, the birth center is a house that has been re-purposed. There are a couple of birthing rooms, a birthing tub for water births, a reception and waiting area, a clinical area where they see patients for office visits, and a bathroom with jacuzzi tub. We were able to talk with the midwife and office manager for almost an hour. We felt very at home talking with them and they answered many of our questions.
Basically, the benefits for us at the Birthing Center is that we are able to do whatever we want during labor. The midwife is mostly just there to make sure that things are going okay. It is also completely natural in that the midwife does not supply any drugs or anything like that and you are allowed to sit, stand, walk, lay flat, recline, sit in a tub of water, squat, scream, flail, etc. Photos and videos are allowed at any time. This was a huge issue for us, not that we want to video, we just don’t want someone to tell us we can’t. IV’s are only done when necessary, eating is allowed whenever, water births are encouraged (though we are not sold on it), and visitors are kept at a minimum. The office manager is self-proclaimed “crunchy granola” and had two water births of her own.
We have not made a definite decision and it this topic will be revisited in the future when we are actually in need of prenatal care. As for now, we are slowly becoming the most well-informed not baby owning couple ever. Any thoughts or comments about this topic (and other topics) are welcome!