Mothering Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know how Bay Area Midwifery compares to Special Beginnings? A friend of mine recommended SB, but after calling them both this morning, I'm leaning towards Bay Area, just judging by the way I was treated on the phone.

I mean, I get that you're in a staff meeting right now, you don't have to be rude about it!

I know you mamas have opinions - don't be shy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Heh...

I went with SB from the start, based on the way I was treated over the phone at BAM.

BAM has a reputation for being more "med-wife" than "midwife," but I have no first hand experience in that regard.

If you're looking for a free-standing birth center, I would highly recommend SB. I had a wonderful experience there, from well-woman care, through pregnancy and delivery, through postpartum care.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Honestly, I would give them both a chance. Do interviews and tours both places, and see how you feel about both. Ask hard questions, and see if you're pleased how straight forward their answers are.

I chose Bay Area for babe 2 and now for #3, and have been very pleased and not found them "med-wifey" any more than SB. Their c-section rates are very comparable, and they transfer for the same reasons. The transfer rate at BAM happens to be higher partly because they have the contract with AAMC to care for Spanish-speaking Medicare patients, many of whom come to them not out of a commitment to natural birth, but because it's their only option. To still have a comparable c-section rate with SB even with many of those patients is, in my opinion, very commendable.

Don't be afraid to ask he BAM ladies why they have the reputation on MDC for being more med-wifey. I asked on my last visit, and it was enlightening


In addition, two other things swayed me away from SB:

1. First, their male-midwife David. I'm sure he is a very nice man and I've heard he does a wonderful job, but personally I am NOT interested in having a male support person anywhere near me while I'm naked and in pain. When I get ready to push, the world could show up, for all I care
I'm totally in a zone by then and don't care who is there for pushing and delivery. Ina May Gaskin's book even makes the point that having an unrelated male in the room while a woman is laboring definitely has the potential to slow a labor down (modesty kicks in and can cause dilation to go backwards), and I know myself well enough that this would be the case for me. (Obviously others may not care a hoot about him being a male, but for me personally, this was a deal-breaker.)

2. Much better back-up docs at BAM. SB uses Annapolis Ob-Gyn, who have high c-section and intervention rates, not to mention it being a huge practice. In the last few months, BAM has switched their back-ups to the two Ob-Gyn hospitalists at AAMC, and from what I was told two visits ago, they are SO happy with these two docs. Both are quite laid back about a lot of birthing practices and are NOT quick to intervene or section. The female hospitalist (don't know her name), especially, practices much more like a midwife (she's a DO, which may explain her positive views of birth) and is very, very supportive of VBAC. This switch has raised BAM's VBAC success rate.

Just my two cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Just wanted to put in a plug for SB. (I don't know anything about Bay Area.) My 19-month-old was born at Special Beginnings, and I was so completely satisfied my experience.

I was pleased with all of the midwives there, including and especially David. Totally understandable that some women may prefer not to have a male midwife, but for everyone else, once you meet him I guarantee you'll feel comfortable with him. Furthermore, he really put my husband at ease.

As for transfer and c-section rates, all I can say is I felt that the midwives at SB do a good job of balancing their responsibilities as health care providers with a respect for the woman's wishes, preferences, and concerns. I'm speaking as someone who had an utterly uncomplicated (though really long) labor, so it's just one perspective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
[]Does anyone know how Bay Area Midwifery compares to Special Beginnings? A friend of mine recommended SB, but after calling them both this morning, I'm leaning towards Bay Area, just judging by the way I was treated on the phone.

I mean, I get that you're in a staff meeting right now, you don't have to be rude about it!

Well I am the Director/Midwife at Bay Area Midwifery, and you should meet the midwives they will be attending to your birth not the people that answer the phone. I am sure SB didn't mean to be rude, as ours do not mean to be rude, but they are human and have bad days also.

I have to say I cringe everytime I see this Bay Area are Med Midwives Post! Both us and SB have similar transfer rates, low section rates, have OB backups, etc. You should never be comparing your labor experience to another moms labor course, as after nearly 900 births that I have attended, they are all different. Also since the initial "medmidwife" term showed up, staff has changed in both birth centers, so please call and ask questions and talk to the midwives about what you want in your birth.

We are all midwives who want to give you the birth you want.
Jen Caniglio CNM
Bay Area
I can always be reached for personal questions through our website www.bayaremidwifery.com
The contact form messages go to my personal blackberry.

SB and Bay Area have a good relationship with each other, we feellike there are enough moms who want a BC birth to go around!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,302 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by midwifemom3 View Post
Also since the initial "medmidwife" term showed up, staff has changed in both birth centers, so please call and ask questions and talk to the midwives about what you want in your birth.
My first child was born at Special Beginnings 7.5 years ago. At that time, I had strong feelings about which birth center was better. But now, I can only agree with the above. Staff has changed in both centers since my older son's birth. Levels of intervention may have changed. You'll get your best replies from people who have birthed with either group most recently, not from people like me. Definitely pay attention to when the births took place. And go on tours, meet the midwives, ask questions. You have to find the right provider for you, and that may not be the same as the right provider for MDCuser#16.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
My apologies for bringing up the term "med-wife." A few years ago, when I started asking around, that was the only thing I ever heard about BAM. Based on word-of-mouth, though, things have shifted at both centers. I'll try to be more fair in the future!

I look forward to hearing more birth stories and reviews from BAM. I know several women who had great outcomes at SB, and one who did not, but I don't know personally any women who have delivered at BAM.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
I delivered DD2 with Bay Area. While the birth wasn't quite my plan (baby decided to move from her ready and head down position to footling breech during the last 6 days of my pregnancy, and I didn't notice until Jen felt feet instead of a head when I came in, in labor, 12 hours after my membranes had ruptured). So, I did end up with a c-section, but I would have been a c-section anywhere.

I was thrilled with the care I received from Bay Area. Dona and Jen are wonderful and were very helpful and comforting to me while I was dealing with the emotional impact of the c-section. Dr. Jasper (the hospitalist who did my section) was wonderful. She was the first OB I have dealt with that I can actually say that about.


I have friends who have delivered at Bay Area and friends who used Special Beginnings, I've never heard anyone who used either birth center have a complaint about their experience.


I would recommend checking out both centers and go where you feel comfortable. I don't think you'll go wrong with either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for all the replies, ladies! I'm glad to hear the both SB and BAM are so good! My first birth was in a hospital with an OB - one who was totally willing to let me do my natural thing - in a city where there are no birth centers. After doing that, I'm really excited about a BC! Looks like I'll need to do my homework to decide between the two - So nice to have options!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
I had a wonderful birth with DD in '07 at BAM and have continued to go back for well-woman care and will deliver the next there if we have another.


I get really annoyed every time I see comments on forums and loops about BAM being somehow less natural etc. That hasn't been my experience at all. I actually have several friends who have had very difficult/negative experiences with SB. I personally know of no one who's had a similar negative experience with BAM, on the other hand. Everyone there was warm and supportive and it's a very homey comfortable atmosphere. DD was almost 42 weeks and the midwives did SO MUCH to help me avoid induction! I ended up with a completely natural and very well-supported birth of my dreams.

But, as pp's have said the best way to tell is to go and tour and chat with the midwives and go with your gut on how the place feels to you. Congratulations and good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I just delivered my first child three weeks ago at Bay Area Midwifery Center, and I can't imagine having a more positive experience ANYWHERE else! I went to BAM for all of my prenatal care, and had the opportunity to spend lots of quality time with all of the midwives, nurses, and office staff. My partner and I were always treated courteously and respectfully by everyone at BAM. We were totally committed to having a natural childbirth, and we always felt that our midwives shared our same goals and ideals as far as avoiding any and all unnecessary interventions.

I was in active labor for about 24 hours, 16 of which I spent at the birth center. My birth was attended by my partner, my doula, and two BAM midwives: Cristin and Kimla. Cristin determined very early on that my baby was in a transverse position and that his hand was raised up by his head, so we immediately began performing exercises and techniques to turn the baby around and try to get his hand down away from his head. He decided to take the long way around, first turning posterior and then eventually making his way around to the anterior position. As a result, my labor lasted much longer than we originally anticipated. However, my BAM midwives knew exactly how to handle my labor, they were incredibly patient, and they trusted that my body would do exactly what it was supposed to do. Thank goodness! I eventually delivered a beautiful, healthy baby boy...vaginally (with no perineal damage)...in the birth center...without the use of any pain medications. I'm convinced that if I had been in a hospital, I would have ended up with a cesarean, whether I liked it or not.

Choosing to deliver my baby at BAM was one of the most important decisions that I made throughout my entire pregnancy. I received exceptional care, had an incredibly positive experience with the best possible outcome, and achieved my ultimate goal of having a natural childbirth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
after reading several posts on midwives in the area, I too called both SB and BAM...and got the opposite. SB was great on the phone and BAM not so great. It was more like the receptionist at BAM didn't have a clue or maybe BAM just has some rigid policies..either way she didn't seem to have very good people skills. LOL...That said, I am going to check out SB next week and they certainly seemed interested in having me as a customer...which I can't say about BAM.

On another note..someone posted about Kathy Sloane and Assc. and I looked her up as well. I came across a very very traumatic review (google) and couldn't even fathom calling to talk to the office after reading it.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top