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Alaska Water Birthing

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I'm interested in having a water birth and have been looking at all the options in Anchorage and Mat-Su. I've noticed there are a few birthing centers that offer it. Does anyone have any experience with the birthing centers? I'm not interested in doing a home water birth, but looking into either a birthing center or having a water birth in a hospital.


Has anyone had a water birth in a hospital in Anchorage or Mat-Su? Did you use an OB and a midwife? What was your experience?


For those who used a birthing center, did any of you have any complications and have to be transferred to a hospital?


Thanks for any info and help you can give me!

post #2 of 21

the Geneva Woods Birth Center offer(ed) water births. I think they still do.


I did experience complications, did have to transfer (at 9.5 cm), and did end up at the hospital for birth. My midwife from GWBC delivered me. I did not attempt other out-of-hospital births after that, so this is my only experience I can share with you. My baby required NICU care for 2 weeks after delivery, and we were at Providence for the actual birth (about 20 min. after I arrived).

post #3 of 21

btw, the hospitals around here do not offer waterbirths. I have heard of a couple "oops it happened so fast" waterbirths at ANMC, but unless you're native, that's not going to help you very much.

post #4 of 21

I think Mat-Su offers Water Birth but not sure about that. They do have a Tub and you can labor there. My birth expertise lies with VBACs and I know they do not allow VBACs to birth in the Tub. There was a few "Oopps" births in the tub but that is rare.


The Military base has a Tub but I have never seen anyone use it, never even heard of anyone use it. I have a nice picture of it on my phone. :) It looks comfy.


Geneva Woods Birth Center has a Tub.


The Alaska Birth Network meeting this Sunday features a midwife from Geneva Woods, perhaps you can come?


post #5 of 21

I am pretty sure mat-su midwifery offers it,  also my favorite midwives; windsong midwifery will do a water birth,  My third was a water birth there.  I don't think that mat-su regional will let you but I am not sure on that. 

post #6 of 21

One Family Birth Center in Anchorage has a fabulous tub.  Geneva Woods does a lot of transfers and has a lot more requirements that risk people out of water birth and make them go to the hospital.  You might want at least consider a waterbirth at home.  Most women birth best in their own environment and driving to the birthing center (then getting sent home multiple times, and driving back again in heavy labor, having another woman laboring in the room next door, etc.) can be very disruptive to the birth process.  Also, most people don't realize that there is no advantage as far as safety is concerned unless you live far from the hospital.  The midwives bring the same equipment to your home that they have at the birth center....plus a birthing tub, of course!

post #7 of 21

I am having #3 at one family.  I am in love with their rooms.  I have had two other children, both water births in different states.  One at a birth center and one at home.  No complications.  I can close my eyes and seeing the tub makes me feel both very calm and very excited!!  It's an actual sunken tub.  My last kid was born in a kids fishy pool!  Can't wait. 

post #8 of 21

Heritage Birth Center in Palmer has a lovely tub too.



post #9 of 21

I know 2 people that ran into iffy situations with OFBC.


As far as GWBC transferring "a lot" it didn't seem like it to me when I went through them for baby #3. They transferred me for very valid reasons and my baby absolutely DID need the care at the hospital. *shrug*


I'm not at all defending them, I didn't go back with this pregnancy and wouldn't necessarily recommend them, but that's because I've had too many "shouldn't have happened"s go on in my births.

post #10 of 21

Yes, One Family doesn't have the greatest reputation, that's for sure.  It's a shame because the bad stories are from midwives who no longer work there, or from one of the two times when they were transitioning between owners.  It's too bad it's had such a rocky past.  The ones who work there now are highly experienced and competent with really good reputations individually.

post #11 of 21

interesting. The most recent "bad story" I'm personally aware of occurred in the last quarter of 2010. Would that be covered in that timeframe? Not being a birth center user any more, I wouldn't know the specifics of OFBC's reputation.

post #12 of 21

Most birthing centers, O.B. practices and hospitals for that matter are like salons.   They vary in quality and they come and go.  Most people have gotten great facials at Allure Day Spa.  I got a chemical burn the first time I went there.  Does that mean that Allure is a bad or dangerous place to get a facial?  Not at all.  I just got unlucky an esthetician that was fresh out of school. 


The most important question to ask re: OFBC  "who was the midwife"?   FYI:  The Birth Survey is a really good resource when researching providers. 

post #13 of 21

That's a great analogy.


I have heard good and bad about just about every midwife and OB in this area. 

There is a good care provider for you, one size does not fit all. :)

post #14 of 21

Agreed!  But I also find that people assume they are going to have a fantastic birth just by hiring a great midwife.  Your provider doesn't give birth for you.  (except for a c-section) Preparing and educating yourself are key.  Exercising throughout pregnancy, not eating junk food, taking care of any emotional trash, not letting them induce you, not leaving the house too soon...those are just as important than where and with whom you give birth.

post #15 of 21


Your provider doesn't give birth for you. (except for a c-section)

SERIOUSLY??? Did I just really read that? Because I had a c-section, and NO, it was not the doctor "giving birth for me". No way in HECK.


I understand that some people have issues with c-sections but comments like this are hurtful. *I* gave birth to my son. The doctor DEFINITELY did not.

post #16 of 21
Originally Posted by happyblessedmama View Post


SERIOUSLY??? Did I just really read that? Because I had a c-section, and NO, it was not the doctor "giving birth for me". No way in HECK.


I understand that some people have issues with c-sections but comments like this are hurtful. *I* gave birth to my son. The doctor DEFINITELY did not.

I'm sure she did not mean to upset you. I've had a 2 c-sections and her comments did not bother me. ??? privateeyes.gif

post #17 of 21

well if I overreacted, I'm sorry. I've had one too many people imply that a c-section isn't "birth" to me lately and it gets VERY old VERY quickly. I think I have my unmed birth credentials/experience and I just... well, read it very much the wrong way to see someone else saying that a doctor is "giving birth for you" if you have a c/s.

post #18 of 21

I've had all 3 of my kids at Mat-Su Midwifery & they have some great tubs in thier suites!  I did not birth in the tubs but spend most of my labor in either tub or shower - moving out of the water was my choice.

post #19 of 21

I'm sorry.  The word I should have used was "deliver", not "birth".   Cesarean birth is a birth and you do "give birth" via cesarean. 

post #20 of 21

Hello everyone-


I happened to come across this post and would like to clarify some information- Unfortunately waterbirth isn't allowed (and therefore not offered) at any hospital- in Anchorage nor Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. There is actually policy against it, unfortunately.


To clarify specifically about Mat-Su Regional, I do know that while birth in the tub is not allowed, women are free to labor in the tub, as they please. This includes VBAC's and even other women who may need to be continuously monitored for one reason or another, as the hospital offers telemetry, which is portable monitors that can go in the water.


While you would be able to labor in the water if you chose a hospital birth, if you are desiring a waterbirth, your only option is to choose a midwife and have an out-of-hospital birth.


Hope that helps!

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