I posted this in the VA forum too :) I forgot to mention that the lactation consultants at Meritus were EXCELLENT in 09.
Hi I just joined and found your question. I don't know how "natural birth friendly" Meritus is, my daughter turned into a high risk pregnancy at 32 weeks and came early by induction at 36 weeks. Even though NOTHING went the way I wanted it to, it was the best it could have been. We currently use Women's Health Center at Robinwood in Hagerstown, md. I don't 'do' male doctors, esp OBs, if I can help it, and they have a huge team of midwives. You don't get your choice on who delivers, it's whomever is at the hospital when you go into labor, but if nothing is 'wrong' with your pregnancy you get a midwife instead of an OB.
What I can say about the old WCH (now meritus) is that the labor/delivery rooms (one and the same) were very large, with beds for hubby (real beds not cots) and the nurse staff was absolutely fantastic with me, but I was a high risk case so I got lots of attention. I don't remember there being lots of noise or anything while in the room, but I was kinda occupied with the stress of the whole situation. I've heard that the rooms in Meritus have deep tubs in each room and are just as large and nicer, they give tours every Sunday at 430p.
I have heard from one of the midwives at WHC@Rw that they do explore different positions to give birth and you can for-go the IV, etc.
I'm upset that I cannot travel, for various reasons and my husband's job, to one of the birth centers or have a home birth. Maybe with the next baby!
If you are looking for a birth center in MD there is one in Arnold, MD--it's the only one I've found so far within 2 hours of Hagerstown, md. There is a CNM practising out of Shepherdstown/Charlstown, WV named Nanette, Riverside something. She'll come to your home, other than her practise I have not found a mw for a HB in our area at all.
Let me know what you find/think, thanks!