Can anyone have a baby at the Birth and Women’s Center?

If you’re healthy and have no chronic medical problems such as heart disease or diabetes, you will probably be eligible for a Birth and Women’s Center birth. You’ll be carefully screened on your first visit and continuously evaluated throughout your pregnancy to promote a safe and satisfying birth experience. A Birth and Women’s Center birth is an option for families with uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancies, labors, and births.

Is it safe to have a baby at the Birth and Women’s Center?

Yes. A study of over 11,000 women published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that birth centers provide a safe alternative to hospital childbirth for healthy women with normal pregnancies. If a mother or baby needs hospital care, our location, only a few blocks from our back-up hospital, insures a rapid transfer.

How much does it cost to have a baby at the Birth and Women’s Center?

Having a baby at the Birth and Women’s Center costs much less than a delivery in the hospital setting. The Birth and Women’s Center base fee includes prenatal office visits, childbirth education classes, management during labor and birth, initial newborn care, and postpartum care including visits the 2nd day, and 2 and 6 weeks after delivery. Additional costs are incurred for any lab tests, ultrasound, medications, IV fluids or other extra services. For women without insurance a discount is given if she pays in full by 28 weeks of pregnancy. In case of a hospital transfer (which happens in less than 10% of our clients), the charges will be adjusted accordingly.

Will my insurance cover Birth and Women’s Center fees?

Most insurance companies reimburse for care at freestanding birthing centers; however, policies differ, so out of pocket expense to the patient varies. Checking with your insurance company or calling Birth and Women’s Center for help, will provide information on out of pocket expense. Of the state of Kansas medicaid plans, Birth and Women’s Center accepts Sunflower Health Plan and United Healthcare Community Plan. We are an in-network provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Do I have to lie on my back during labor and birth?

No. Our staff will encourage you to find the position most comfortable and effective for you. You may lie on your side, kneel, squat, stand, or be on your hands and knees. Birth is a highly individual experience and we encourage women to do whatever will make them most comfortable, and their labors the most effective. This may include walking around, relaxing in our birth tub or shower, sitting in a chair, lying in bed, or whatever helps you maintain the maximum level of relaxation while allowing labor to progress. Throughout your labor, we’ll encourage you to drink liquids such as fruit juices or water to keep your body well hydrated. Instead of using electronic fetal monitors strapped to your abdomen, we listen to your baby’s heartbeat with an electronic stethoscope (doppler) giving you the freedom to move about.

What are your policies on episiotomies, intravenous fluids, and newborn treatment?

We don’t routinely perform episiotomies (surgical enlargements of the vaginal opening); however, we are qualified to do them and do them when necessary. The episiotomy rate at the Birth and Women’s Center is less than 5%. We encourage women to drink plenty of fluid during labor, but if you are unable to drink enough, we have intravenous fluids available to prevent dehydration. We will provide you with information regarding the state of Kansas’ requirements for newborns, such as antibiotic ointment for eyes, metabolic screening (PKU and thyroid), and vitamin K injections. We support your right to make responsible decisions regarding your newborn’s care.

Can my baby stay with me after birth?

At Birth and Women’s Center , we don’t separate babies from their mothers. Families have uninterrupted time immediately following the birth to get to know their baby. The Birth and Women’s Center staff is available to answer questions and to teach families about caring for their newest member.

What kind of medical equipment do you have at Birth and Women’s Center?

We have equipment to evaluate you and your baby during labor, postpartum and the newborn period. We have a radiant warmer to keep your baby warm, medications to slow bleeding, help with pain, help prevent infection, and help the uterus contract after birth, intravenous fluids and routine medications for newborns. We also have emergency medical equipment including oxygen and equipment to resuscitate a baby or mother.

What happens if there is an emergency during labor or birth?

The staff at the Birth and Women’s Center is highly qualified to deal effectively with most emergency situations associated with labor and birth. In addition, the Birth and Women’s Center is just minutes away from two neighboring hospitals which can provide emergency care if needed. If you need to be transferred to one of the hospitals during labor, a member of the staff will accompany you. You’ll go by car or by ambulance, depending on the situation.

What kind of pain relievers are available?

Although medication is rarely needed at Birth and Women’s Center , it is available if you and your midwife determine it would be helpful. If you need stitches, we have local anesthetic. If significant pain relief is required, such as the need for epidural anesthesia, you will be transferred to a hospital.  The freedom of movement and the use of our large bathtub can be very helpful for pain management.