I wanted to update this thread since I began it seeking help with a choice between a hospital birth with Kamm, McKenzie, etc or with Womens Birth and Wellness Center. I chose WBWC and I am so glad that I did. I am almost 3 months post partum and here is a a bit about my experience.
First of all, I asked about the 30% C-Section rate mentioned on the forum and a midwife told me this person was misinformed and gave me their % which was in the teens.
I think they must have a criteria for evaluating patients with depression history. I had a history of depression, but I had treatment and it has been gone for many years. I also had a therapist I could consult if necessary. During the later prenatal visits, home visit and 6 wk ck up they asked me many questions about how I was feeling emotionally and made sure my husband and I were aware of PPD symptoms/resources. I had already read a couple of pregnancy books and had my husband read chapters dedicated to PPD since having any depression history raises your risk for PPD. Thankfully, this was not an issue we experienced.
The prenatal care was great. I love their attention to your prenatal nutrition. I can echo from a previous poster that I felt supported, empowered and important. Every prenatal visit I had a list of various questions about pregnancy, about their practices and about my concerns. Every visit my questions were patiently answered and I was given really great info and referred to extra resources for info when necessary. I never felt like I didn't have a voice and when I had a different opinion about an issue I always felt heard. Most of the midwives were incredibly knowledgeable about every question I had. I never felt rushed. Each visit I felt like everyone at WBWC was glad to see me and it didn't feel clinical. I met and liked all the midwives, but I definitely had a favorite for whom I crossed my fingers to get during my delivery (and it worked:).
My birth experience was awesome. I was lucky to have 2 midwives in attendance, b/c a midwife in training was doing her clinicals. I met her during prenatal visits, liked her a lot and was really happy to see her when she arrived. This was my first birth so I was experiencing the unknown. I felt safe, respected and nurtured. The midwives worked very hard to make sure I was comfortable and had energy. I spent a long time laboring in the tub. The nurses were also very kind and accommodating. My beautiful son came into this world with a special CD playing and we call it his soundtrack. My doula was also impressed with the care I was given. I had a cervical lip that wouldn't budge and the midwives carefully worked it open. My doula has had a few clients with this issue and I was the first that was able to give birth naturally, but I was also her first client at WBWC. There is a good chance that if I would have chosen the hospital setting I would not have been able to deliver naturally. My son was over 8 lbs and I didn't need any stitches. I attribute this to how they guided me through the process,as well as the fact that they basted me in olive oil. I didn't even feel the need for the ibuprofen the nurse offered after it was all said and done. I will always have a special affinity for the 2 midwives who guided us on that journey. My son was born at night, so my husband and I climbed into the bed together and took turns sleeping with our son chest to chest:) Heaven!!!
The nurse came to visit us at home just before the snow storm came. Our son ended up with some jaundice issues and WBWC was proactive to keep him healthy. They were very patient and empathetic with me during this process. We called the midwife on call several times during the first few weeks for other concerns and questions that turned out to be just fine. We were always contacted promptly with good info and kindness. Our six week visit was great and we were able to see our 2 midwives again! At that point, they usually refer you to your pediatrician with any more baby concerns, but they remain there for patient breast feeding issues. I ended up needing some help a couple of weeks later due to over supply of milk causing some spit up issues for my son. Funny thing is, I didn't realized it was due to over supply. The nurse recognized the symptoms based on the description in the message we left with the person answering the phone. She gave me some tips and also referred me to kellymom.com for some visual examples of alternate nursing positions.
Bottom line: WBWC embodies the notion of powerful womanhood and supportive sisterhood. The birth center environment is calm and homey.
I still like Kamm, McKenzie and I love Dr. Smith. I just needed what WBWC offers.
Thank you to each person who took the time to respond to my question. Your insights helped me make a really great decision. I hope this thread proves helpful to others:) I agree with Jayray. Every woman has different birth needs and it is important to figure out what is best for yourself and to respect what others choose for themselves.
Edited by khalf - 3/26/11 at 3:40pm