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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has probably been discussed many times. But does anyone have any expereince with the Cambridge Birth Center? I'm totally bummed that the Birthplace shut it's doors.
 

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Just wanted to say how happy I am to see your sig!!! Hooray!

Lots of people have used and liked Cambridge. You'd also be such a great homebirther, Be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Rachel. . I'd love a homebirth but 1) it makes my mom a little bit nervous and 2) we don't really have the $$ to pay out of pocket for a midwife.

I'm totally bummed that the Birthplace closed and is still closed. That would have been wonderful and so so convenient.

And hey, how are you doing?
 

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When I first moved here I went to the Cambridge birth center for my Gyn care, b/c I assumed I would go there when I got pregnant. Well, it was a very nice place and the midwife that saw me was really nice. I did have to wait over an hour for my appt, though and that is always frustrating.

So, fast forward a few months when DH & I are TTC. I was having some strange things go on with my cycle so after 3 months of dealing with it I put a call in. Well, the midwife that called me back was so freakin rude to me! She said, "You know, I don't really have time to explain why this may or not be happening. There are women in labor." She then told me to just give it a few more months and call back. That whole exchange left a really bad taste in my mouth. I now go to SJPHC. I still kind of wish I was doing a birth center, but I can still change my mind if I want.

Oh, and to be fair I should say that part of my decision to not go there was based on transportation issues. We thought we may be going carless and I did not want to mess with the T to get there.
 

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I almost went to the Cambridge birth center when I was due with #2 and found out the Birthplace was closing just before my due date. (Stayed at the Birthplace and squeaked in just under the wire. Mine was the last birth there.) The midwife I saw at Cambridge was not a good fit for me. I am not sure if she was a good representation of the entire birth center but she turned me off enough to not go back there even though I thought I would end up birthing in a hospital otherwise.

earthgirl - Our ped is at SJPHC. We adore him! Have you chosen a ped yet? I would definately put Dr Bastian on your list to interview. Who do you see for prenatal care? Where will you deliver? I was a Birthplace client for #1 and #2 and although we are not even trying for #3 yet I often think about where I would go for #3.
 

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Man, I am really bummed to hear people had bad experiences at the Cambridge BC. I had thought that would be the obvious choice now that the Birthplace closed...

amy
 

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I had both my kids there and had really good experiences both times. I wouldn't say the place is perfect, but the person who I had the biggest problems with has left.
 

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I switched from the Cambridge Birth Center. The whole experience was not what I expected at a "birth center" - I was rushed, the administrative staff was non-welcoming. The front desk personnel either needs a vacation or should be replaced. The few midwives I saw were either temps or not what I imagined a midwife to be. I was hoping for warm, nurturing, slow-paced experience but I didn't get it here. Phone calls were not returned and when I called for test results, I was reprimanded more than once that I shouldn't be calling and that my midwife will call me when she has the time. Also I didnt like the fact that I really had a slim chance of actually having my midwife at the birth since there are so many there and due to rotating schedules, it all depended on luck. On the plus side, the rooms are beautiful.
 

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I LOVE the Cambridge Birth Center. DS was born there 3 years ago, and I still smile and wave every time I drive by there. In fact, we took DS in there when he was about 1 1/2, and one of the nurses said, "well you have to show him where he was born!" And ushered us up to the beautiful room in which he had been born.

I love the front office staff...my partner and I used to meet up there for my prenatal appointments, and they would always let her know if I was there yet, and made her feel totally comfortable. And when I went back for an annual exam 2 years later, they all seemed to remember me, which felt so great.

But more important...the pregnancy/birth experience itself... I loved my midwife, though she took a couple of visits for me to get used to. She really cared about my well-being, like encouraging me to find ways to put my feet up in my last few weeks...as a school teacher! While I was pregnant, I never hesitated to call the midwife on call about anything I was unsure about.

I was initially nervous about not knowing who the midwife would be for the actual birth, but that's why I had a doula...and they billed insurance for it and got it covered! And then it turned out that I had the BEST midwife ever! She sang to me, she encouraged me to trust my body, she even offered to get me back in the tub when DS was about to be born because my birth plan said that I would like a waterbirth (I had gotten out due to high blood pressure).

The nurse who took care of us for the 12 hours we stayed after DS was born made me feel so incredibly competent as a parent. She helped get breastfeeding started, helped us bathe him, and just generally took amazing care of all of us.

I give CBC a HUGE thumbs up, and would be happy to discuss further with anyone if you want to PM me.
 

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i started labor at the cambridge birth center but was transferred to cambridge hospital. i loved the experience of the birth center though. if i had been at a hospital i wouldn't have had the chance to labor at my own pace and try natural ways of inducing labor. sometimes the front desk can be rushed but it is definitely a more friendly place than a hospital! i would recommend cambridge birth center to anyone who wants a home birth-like experience away from home.
 

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overall, I had a great birth center experiance. The first midwife I was assigned to did not really mesh well with me, personality wise, so I asked to change and I LOVED the new one. (pm me if you want a recomendation)

My birth experiance was really quick, but just what I had planned. Unfortunetly, Charlie was born with Mecconium and had to go to the hospital nursery for a couple hours of observation, but they brought him back to me as soon as they could.

I also really love the reception women and the women who draw blood and do your vitals.

I will be going there again and plan on using the center for my regular gyn care.
 

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For an alternative:

I gave birth at Brigham & Women's Hospital. I *know* -- hospital birth, but hear me out.

The midwives there were fantastic. I had a totally non medicated, non intervention birth. I never even saw an OB once. The nurses were great, too. I can only speak about my experiences and I've only had one baby, but it might be worth a look. I did labor at my own pace and was NEVER pushed to have any non-natural procedures. My midwife was very skilled and used oil massage etc to prevent me from tearing at all -- and my baby was over nine pounds!

B&W periodically holds a "meet the midwives" meeting where you can go and meet all the midwives and ask any and all questions you have. It's probably on their website, if you want to check it out.

Just one other point of view.
 

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I had a really great VBAC experience with Beth Hardiman at Mt. Auburn Hospital---went all natural and had a very positive experience during the short part of labor I had at the hospital but also during all of my appointments with her. (I arrived pushing so was able to skip the mandatory hep-loc they do for VBACs) She's worth checking out I think if you're willing to deliver at a hospital.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Noisette's_Maman
I had a really great VBAC experience with Beth Hardiman at Mt. Auburn Hospital---went all natural and had a very positive experience during the short part of labor I had at the hospital but also during all of my appointments with her. (I arrived pushing so was able to skip the mandatory hep-loc they do for VBACs) She's worth checking out I think if you're willing to deliver at a hospital.
Well, I'm willing to drive that far for a non-hospital birthing experience. . but if I end up going for a hospital birth I'd rather no drive all the way into the city (I'm out on the 495 belt)
 

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Be, I am not sure where you are on the 495 belt, but if you want a hospital birth, Leominster Hospital might be a good option. I have not given birth there, but have attended a few with clients and they are very birth center-y. They only have one GYN group that delivers there and it includes both OB's and MW's and they are very naturally minded.

The biggest issue with them is that they won't do VBAC's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've heard many good things about Leominster Hospital. It's still close to an hour drive, but definitely one of the options I'm considering.

I called the Cambridge Birth Center last week, they were so unhelpful on the phone. . .

Yonit, I take it you've worked as a doula there? If I do go with a hospital birth I'm definitely going to be looking for a doula.
 

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I know this post is a little old, but I really just had to add that I too had a BAD experience with the Cambridge birth center. I was so excited to use them with dd, and they were so unprofessional, rude, unorganized, and basically in my opinion my care was bad enough to be malpractice. I switched at about 22 weeks to a regular OB, had a wonderful female doctor deliver me at the Beth Israel without any hint of unwanted intervention. I would never, ever go back to Cambridge Birth Center, even though it was much, much more convenient to my house (and to where we will move back to when we move back to MA). It has been three years since dd was born and I could still work myself up over how horrible they were to me - in a nutshell they gave me a triple screen and told me dd likely had downs (she doesn't, and the test should never have been interpreted that way) and then they didn't call me back for over a week even though dh and I called about the test and a follow up level three ultrasound every day at least twice (it was Christmas week, so I'm sure they were short staffed, but it was unbelievable). If you don't know how to interpret a test don't give it, and then don't leave a pregnant woman hysterical for a week due to your stupidity!
 

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Don't forget the NOrth Shore Birth Center and Beverly Hopital. I LOVED THEM. Can;'t say enough good about them! I have posted previously about my experiences there and tell everyone I know to go there! LOVED THEM!!
 

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I am not in any way arguing with anyone's history with the CBC, but it is so weird how different people have such different experiances. I am wracking my brain trying to think of anytime someone was rude to me on the phone or unhelpful... but I can't think of any... and I have seen several posts in this thread and others of people saying that very thing.

I wonder if different nurses/administrative assistants work on differents days. I almost always called and had my appointments on Wednesdays, although I had good experiance whenever I called the midwife on call on other days too.

No real point to this post, just an observation on how much this is all personal.
 

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I don't have firsthand experience, but my brother and SIL started off at the Camb center and ended up switching. Their main reasons were, a) the thing about only staying at the birth center 12 hours after birth made them nervous as first-timers, and b) my brother was very leery about the fact that if they had to be transfered to the hospital, it was across the street (which seemed far away, in an emergency situation) and their midwife wouldn't come with them. Due to my SIL's family history and her small size and the large size of their baby, they were pretty nervous that they might end up with a c-section -- which is exactly what happened. Their baby just had an enormous head and after 36 hours of intense labor it became clear that SIL was not going to be able to birth him vaginally. (she is less than 5 feet tall, and he was a 9.5-pounder with a HUGE head!)

Fortunately for them, they had the opportunity to observe a birth at Mount Auburn -- my DD's birth, which came 8 weeks before their due date. I used the midwives at Mount Auburn for both my births and was extremely happy with it. Hospital birth, yes, but still very positive. I had very little interventions and birthed both babies at my own pace, naturally, with no drugs, and never saw an OB the entire time I was pregnant or in labor. I *really* liked the midwives and the nurses, and my brother and SIL really liked them too, and they greatly appreciated being able to witness my DD's birth so they could get a feel for what Mt. Auburn and its midwives are like.

After that, my brother and SIL did switch over to Mt. Auburn and had their baby there. The midwife was wonderful with them and very sympathetic when the time came and they asked her what she honestly thought and she said she honestly thought that they needed a c/s. And she stayed with them the whole time, even in the operating room. And I know that my brother was relieved at the fact that the OR was literally just a few feet down the hallway.

anyway -- the bottom line is that I think the CBC is a wonderful option for some (i.e., those who are truly comfortable with going home only 12 hours after the birth; those to whom it's really important to birth in a room that doesn't look like a hospital room; etc.) but I personally would, and do, recommend the midwives at Mount Auburn to everyone. I love them and if I were having any more babies there is no question that I'd use them again.

-Joan
 
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