NWA Birth Center a Labor of Love

by Serenah McKay  on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 8:30 am  

Home Suite Home

Osborne and Bedore want women and families who walk into their birth center to feel more like they’re walking into a friend’s home than into a clinic.

The front door opens into a room that will be set up and furnished like an open floorplan living room, with a fully equip-ped kitchen so families can prepare the foods they like during their stay.

The birth rooms will look like typical bedrooms, with TVs, nightstands and regular beds instead of hospital beds. The bathrooms will have both a tub and a walk-in shower.

Each birth room has windows that look out over the adjacent lake, and the partners said the lake with its landscaping, walking trail and soon-to-be-built fishing pier was one of the reasons they chose that location.

But perhaps what most differentiates the birth center from a hospital environment is what’s not there — no hospital gowns, no stirrups, and no IVs or fetal monitors to keep women in bed during labor. And though pain relief will be available, Bedore said, there’ll be no epidurals, which can slow the labor process.

Also unlike in a hospital setting, women will not only be allowed to eat and drink during labor, but will be encouraged to do so to keep up their strength, Osborne said.

The setup is meant to reflect a view of childbirth as a life-stage event rather than an illness. And they want moms to feel empowered throughout the labor and delivery process.

“We’ll provide all the tools,” Osborne said. “You pick which ones you want, and which ones you feel like are applicable to you and your family and your baby.”

In fact, Bedore said they call the mom the quarterback, and everyone there is the team that supports her.

“You’re calling the shots,” Bedore said. “You’re in charge. It’s your baby, it’s your birth. If you have a birth plan, we want you to follow your birth plan and we’re here to support you to make sure you have the experience that you want in this space.”



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