A birth center is a healthcare facility, staffed by licensed midwives and nurse midwives, where you receive prenatal, labor, birth and postpartum care.
The midwives monitor you and your baby’s wellbeing during you labor, birth, and immediate postpartum. Should additional medical assistance be required you or your baby can be transferred to the hospital.
A birth center presents a more home-like environment than a hospital labor unit.
The birth center offers much more freedom and options during labor: food/drink, music, and the attendance of family and friends whenever desired.
The birth suites are spacious, warm and beautiful. Offering privacy and relaxation with all the comforts of home. Offering large, deep, birth tubs, queen-sized beds and a private bathroom.
In the birth center, you are free to act spontaneously during your birth. You can squat, walk or bounce on a yoga ball, sit on a birth stool, or get into any other posture that assists you in labor. Being active in labor is encouraged.
The length of stay after a birth is shorter at the birth center; usually 4 to 6 hours after birth, then you and baby go home.
The birth of a child is one of the most important events in a family’s life – far too important to waste on the cookie-cutter experience hospitals offer. You chose all the details that are important to you and they are honored.
When you’re supported in a way that does not interfere with your natural instincts, birth can be one of the most memorable and fulfilling experiences you have and will deeply move everyone present.
You don’t have to drive anywhere in labor. All you have to do is call us and we come to you. We bring a birth tub and set everything up.
You choose who attends your birth and who cares for you. You choose what to eat and drink. Walk, dance or sleep uninterrupted if you want to. Home birth allows you to do what comes naturally, while your midwife monitors you and your baby in a non-invasive manor.
When a woman has privacy and feels supported she can give birth without the stress hormone cortisol slowing down her labor.
After giving birth in the portable tub, you then move to your bed to rest and bond with your baby without unnecessary interventions interfering with the precious moments following your birth.
If extra care is needed for you or your baby, we do it with baby in your arms, while explaining what’s happening.
Newborn babies don’t have words yet to tell you how they feel, but they do have feelings. For this reason, we treat your new baby with gentleness and respect.
We stay with you to provide postpartum care for about 4 to 6 hours, and then we clean everything up and leave your house as it was before we came.
Typically, the majority of our services are covered by most PPO insurance plans. Even though our general services are not covered by Kaiser, HMOs and Medical, you can still use them to pay for your labs & ultrasounds. We work directly with a Medical Biller that specializes in working with Midwives and Birth Centers. We provide verification of benefits for anyone interested in our services. Make an appointment today to meet the midwives and learn more about Thrive Birth Center.
Some of the reasons why women choose the birth center over a home birth are privacy when they don’t have that at home, comfort if the home is too small or not as comfortable as they’d like, and the convenience of going somewhere where everything is set up and ready for the birth.
The benefits are in the relaxation and comfort that warm water provides. Think about how good it feels to climb into a warm bath after a long stressful day. Once in the tub, you feel any muscle tension melt away.
The key to coping with contractions is to stay relaxed. The use of warm water submersion in labor is one of the best tools available to help you cope with contractions.
Because your baby floats in warm water in your womb during the nine months of pregnancy, the warm water in the birth tub is comforting and familiar.
Babies often don’t cry when they’re born into water. Once they’re brought to the surface, they feel the air on their face and begin breathing. Then they open their eyes and gaze straight into your face.
We attend your birth as a team. We will always have at least one licensed midwife present, assisted by another midwife or advanced student midwife. We want to be certain we have enough skilled hands during the birth and plenty of support with cleaning up afterwards.
We are Licensed Midwives; licensed by the California Medical Board, the same regulatory body that regulates medical doctors. Licensed Midwives train through apprenticeship that includes academic studies and skills training extending over many years.
We are Certified Professional Midwives certified through The North American Registry of Midwives.
We are Neonatal Resuscitation certified through the American Academy of Pediatrics/American Heart Association Neonatal Resuscitation Program.
We are CPR certified through the American Red Cross.
We also have additional training in the use of herbs, homeopathy, nutrition, breastfeeding, pre and perinatal psychology, non-violent communication, relationship coaching, supporting women with histories of abuse or trauma and postpartum depression.
We work with women that have low risk pregnancies. We do not consider age or weight significant factors in determining risk. (For more specifics about what is and isn’t considered a risk factor, please contact us directly.)
We provide all of your prenatal care, from beginning to end. It is not usually necessary for you to meet with an obstetrician before your birth. We do however have OBs available. If we have a concern about you or your baby during your pregnancy, we have you see a physician.
We perform all standard blood work, cultures, urine testing, well-woman gynecological care and holistic treatments for specific vaginal and hormonal imbalances.
We offer informed consent/refusal for all standard tests and procedures. We then ask you to decide for yourself what is most appropriate for you.
We do not perform ultrasounds, but we have several referral offices we can send you to. We do not perform amniocentesis, CVS testing, or any invitro procedures.
Whether you’re planning to give birth at home, in our birth center or in the hospital, you come to our center for your prenatal exams.
We spend about an hour on each prenatal appointment.
The physical exam portion of your appointment usually consists of checking your blood pressure and weight, testing your urine, listening to your baby’s heartbeat and checking your baby’s size and position.
Our care is family-centered. You are welcome to have your partner, children and anyone supporting you through your pregnancy, join us during our visits. We make ourselves available to support your whole family.
During prenatal appointments we discuss your pregnancy and birth options by counseling you and honoring your choices.
We follow the standard pregnancy calendar for prenatal appointments:
• every 4 weeks until 28 weeks gestation
• once every 2 weeks from 28-36 weeks gestation
• once a week from 36 weeks until delivery
During the hour we thoroughly answer all of your questions, preparing you for birth and parenting.
We give nutritional advice based on your individual practices and inquire into other aspect of your wellbeing.
We discuss signs of pre-term labor, as well as other pregnancy concerns.
Emotional support and counseling are offered as needed.
We monitor you and your baby through labor in a non-invasive way; always respecting your need for privacy, warmth and quiet. We keep the lights low and speak softly, as well as use a gentle touch.
If you lose confidence in yourself we provide comfort and support by reminding you that you were designed to give birth and have everything you need inside you.
If dad wants to be in the tub with you or catch the baby, he’s welcome to do so.
When your baby’s born, he or she goes straight into your arms and stays there.
We usually do not cut the umbilical cord until after the placenta is born. When the umbilical cord remains intact, it continues to provide oxygen to the baby for about five minutes. This gives the baby some transition time while learning to breathe.
After we’ve made sure that you and your baby are stable, we give you some private bonding time while we do paperwork in the next room.
During the first few hours after the birth, we do a full newborn exam, help you breastfeed your baby, feed you, clean you up and teach you how to take care of yourself and your baby.
Complications are something many families have concerns about. Many of the interventions that are routine in the hospital, such as pitocin and epidurals, actually cause more problems than they prevent in healthy low risk pregnancies.
If you look at the countries in the world with the lowest infant mortality rates, you see they have excellent outcomes by using midwives and out-of-hospital birth for low risk women. Another important factor is obstetrical back-up is available and ready to take over if necessary.
We have obstetrical back-up available when we need it. If a problem develops during labor, and we feel you or your baby would be safer in the hospital, we call ahead and then take you there. We do not want to risk an emergency transport situation, so we go to the hospital before we have an emergency on our hands.
Most of the problems we see are things that can deal with safely at the birth center or in your home, such as heavy bleeding postpartum or a baby that needs help to start breathing.
The number one reason we go to the hospital is for failure-to-progress. This situation is not an emergency; we just need to go to the hospital and get more help. Usually the baby is not in a good position and is not fitting in the pelvis properly. In this case a caesarian delivery might be necessary. Pitocin and an epidural can often relax the pelvis enough for the baby to rotate into a better position allowing for a vaginal delivery in the hospital.
If a woman does need to go to the hospital, we go with her, bring her medical records and continue to support and advocate for her. If she has a vaginal birth, she can go home soon afterwards and we will continue her postpartum care in her home.
Children usually do quite well at birth as long as they’re prepared beforehand with books and videos.
Being at the birth can help your child understand and adjust to the new baby.
If your children attend your birth we include them in what’s happening and reassure them if they get scared.
Having someone whose only job is to support, reassure, and care for your children is really important. This person can also take them out of the room if your children decide they don’t want to be there.