Every woman deserves choices in her prenatal care. Your choice of obstetrical provider and place of birth will profoundly affect your options for labor and birth as well as your chances for having an episiotomy, a cesarean section or an epidural. As you explore your options, consider how caregivers might meet your needs during pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum. Birth in a free-standing birth center is a safe option for women without health or pregnancy complications.
At Birth Care, we individualize your care and consider your personal preferences and values. We take time to learn who you are and what you would like for yourself and your baby. We involve you in decision making. We care for you throughout pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, care for your baby though the first month of life, and manage routine gynecological care , minor problems, and family planning throughout your life-span.
Care by Highly Trained Professionals Birth Care Midwives are highly educated professionals with Masters degrees in nursing, and can prescribe and administer medications. Many of are also nurse practitioners or have degrees in other fields. Our clients have access to all routine screening and diagnostic tests that are considered standard for maternity patients in the United States, including genetic screening, laboratory testing as well as on-site ultrasounds through Baltimore Ultrasound. We are licensed as midwives and nurses in the state of Pennsylvania. Birth Care was founded in 1978 by Rita Rhoads, CNM, CRNP, and as a practice we have vast experience in and out of the hospital.
Free-Standing Birth Center The free-standing birth center at 1138 Georgetown Road in Bart Township, PA, has three large home-like birthing rooms, each with a Jacuzzi tub which can be used to ease discomfort in labor or for water births. Clients have the use of two family areas and a kitchen. Women are encouraged to move freely around the facility or take a walk outside while laboring, and to bring food to eat during and after labor. Each birth is attended by one certified nurse-midwife and one nurse who is certified in neonatal resuscitation and knowledgeable in the use of medications and emergency equipment. Many insurance policies will cover accredited birth centers.Find out about the safety of birth centers http://www.birthcenters.org/?page=NBCSII
Hydrotherapy and Water Birth Relaxing in a warm tub of water is one of the most effective ways to manage the discomforts of labor. Sinking into a deep tub enhances relaxation, and helps you to get out of your own way so your body can do the work of labor more effectively. The tubs at the birth center have jets, and are deep enough to allow you to change positions as you feel the need. Your partner can bring a swim suit and climb in beside you! Many women deliver in the water, and bond with the baby skin to skin in the tub immediately after birth. Babies born in the water are usually very calm and alert. Read the ACNM position statement about water birth.
Hospital Birth Our midwives have privileges at Wellspan-Ephrata Community Hospital. While many people envision a hospital environment as clinical and unsympathetic, many hospitals offer comfortable environments, family-centered care, nurturing staff, and are open to a variety of birth experiences. If you transfer to WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital for complications in labor, your Birth Care midwife (or a midwife from another practice) may attend you as you labor, deliver, and recover in a large, comfortable private room. We have an excellent relationship with a talented team of obstetricians for back up and collaboration. Women who birth in the hospital have the option of epidural anesthesia for pain management, and are close to the operating room and a level 3 NICU in case of complications. Many healthy women and babies can opt for 24 hour discharge. We are not currently accepting patients planning hospital births. If an emergency develops while you are in labor, you will be transferred by ambulance to the closest hospital, and will be attended by the on-call staff at that facility.
After the Baby Arrives If you deliver at the birth center, plan to leave for home about 4 hours after delivery. If you live close enough for a home visit, one of our nurses will visit two days after you deliver to make sure you and the baby are well and to perform the Newborn Screening test and congenital heart disease testing. (If you live out of the area you must come to the birth center.) At two weeks postpartum, the midwife will examine you and your baby in the office - we can provide care for your healthy baby for the first 4 weeks of life. At 6 weeks postpartum, you will come to the office for your postpartum exam.