We believe that how you are born, and how you are treated while you are giving birth is important.
The day you labor and give birth is one of the most important and memorable days of your life. We don't take this for granted.
You will be in close contact with your midwifery team during your early labor and together you will decide when it's time to come to the birth center. Usually birthing parents are admitted to the birth center when they are in active labor.
Some families arrive with a team of supporters and others prefer a much smaller, more intimate team. Within the boundaries of safety we work to facilitate the birthday you imagine for your baby's entrance. Your midwifery team will be made up of the primary midwife on call, one or two senior student midwives and a second attendant who may be another midwife, or a trained Birth Assistant.
We require that all first-time families take comprehensive childbirth education retain the services of a doula for labor support. We believe strongly that doula care improves outcomes, reduces likelihood of the need for transfer to hospital for pain relief and dramatically improves parent's experience of their labor and births. If a doula were a drug it would be unethical not to use it! You can find a list of community doulas here, or our midwives will give you a list of resources during your care.
We encourage families to bring with them whatever items they would like to feel most at home: a change or two of comfortable clothes, some toiletries, cell phones and chargers, a camera, music on your device of choice (we have a bluetooth speaker system for music). Some families bring their own pillows or comforter if you would like to be wrapped in your own things from home.
You and your baby will be monitored to evidence-based standards during labor and birth. You will be encouraged to eat and drink to comfort and move around during labor, we have large soaking tubs, birth balls and a birth stool you can use. Active labors facilitate normal birth! Many of our families choose to give birth in the water. After your baby is born, you both will be monitored for several hours, until both you and your baby are stable and ready to go home. We will perform a complete newborn examination before you're discharged home with comprehensive instructions on how to monitor your baby for the first few days of life.
Your family will be able to relax in one of our two comfy family waiting rooms and prepare light meals in our kitchenette. Our facility is located close to many of Poulsbo's great eateries, and you're welcome to order carry-out or delivery during labor or for your first meal after your baby is born.
While the majority of births which are planned in the birth center unfold there, a percentage of families who plan to give birth at the birth center will need to transfer to one of our local hospitals. In most cases the transfer is needed for pain relief (usually first-time mothers/parents experiencing long labors) and is not an emergency. Non-emergent transfers unfold in an unhurried fashion and take place in private vehicles. In a very small minority of cases (about 2% of all transfers) the transfer is considered more urgent. In that event, an ambulance transfer occurs. If you transfer to hospital during your labor or postpartum, you will be accompanied by your midwifery team for the duration of your labor. Most families return to our care once they are discharged to resume their postpartum care with us.