She and I are from Montgomery County (I live in DC now, she lived in DC for a while), but she has been living in another part of the country for the past couple of years for work. She's moving back to the area in November and is due in March, and looking for a natural birth in the DC area.
I am of course a huge homebirth supporter, but didn't want to push anything on her. I wasn't sure how much she had thought about it, but then she said, "OMG, you should really see this movie-- The Business of Being Born?" and I LOL'ed. Obviously she's more or less on the same page. She doesn't seem 100% closed-off to the idea of a homebirth (she has a good friend that had two in NoVa), but part of her concern is due to the fact that she's not sure where she'll be living in March. When they come back in November, she and her husband will stay with her parents in Bethesda for a short while as they look for a place to buy-- likely in the Bethesda/Rockville area or Silver Spring. I'm guessing they'll be moved-in by January or so.
She mentioned Midwifery Care Associates, who work out of Shady Grove, so I looked into them... I saw some folks who were very happy with their experiences, and others (less thrilled) who made me think the midwives were more "medwives"-- or at least some of them are. Of course, I'm coming with my homebirth bias... They did seem way better than most OB practices, but still kind of... "As long as everything is textbook, you'll only have one or two interventions, but otherwise, we'll start pushing a bit d/t liability concerns." They are quoted as having a 27% epidural rate and a 15% C/S rate. They seem... kind of like natural-minded OBs to me? Like they'll spend a lot more time with you than OBs and respect your wishes more, but they're also into "active management," IYKWIM. And then the post-natal care seems like it's just standard Shady Grove. But I don't know...
Anyway.... Anyone have any thoughts about MCA? How about Special Beginnings in Arnold? I've heard slightly mixed reviews of them as well. I've heard mostly raves about BirthCare in Alexandria, and of course they also attend HBs, but anyone have any thoughts about them?
It's true that SGH is only 20-40 minutes from Bethesda/Silver Spring, though it would be more during rush hour. But Alexandria is only an extra 10 minutes, so it seems totally viable...
And then there's that Birth Center in DC itself...?
Anyone? Any thoughts?
So far, BFF's pregnancy has been totally textbook, and she's definitely low-risk, primip, early 30s, and very interested in a natural birth, avoiding all drugs possible (epidural, narcotics, and also pitocin, etc.), and having lots of space for movement, possibly water labor, etc. She also seems to be very open to the idea of a birth center vs. a hospital (especially given the fact BCs in this area are never much more than spitting distance from hospitals, "just in case.")
I just don't want her to be disappointed, if possible... She said things about MCA (not having visited yet) like, "It's just like a birth center, but in a hospital!" and I admit I was a bit skeptical, LOL. Of course, it's COMPLETELY her decision, I just want to help ensure (in the tiny way I might be able to) that whatever she decides is what she's gonna get-- that she won't be subject to any bait-and-switch. I guess 'cause I felt like my SIL thought she was going to have a birth-center-like birth (in another city), and the only difference between her "birth center" part of the hospital and the rest was wood paneling and a dimmer switch. She ended up with every intervention but a C/S.
Thanks for listening to my ramble! I'm just soooo excited for her!!! She and I were maid and matron of honor at each other's weddings, we've been best friend since we were 11, etc., and as far as I'm concerned, she's my sister. I just want the best for her-- at least for her to get what she thinks is best for her!
x-posted to the Maryland/DC area