25% of Childbearing Aged Women Will Choose A Birth Center as Their Place to Give Birth–and other Good News

The fact that a quarter of all women will choose to birth at a birth center is not a surprise to the midwives of Alma. We have become steadily busier every year and the phone keeps ringing! Women on the other end of the phone are asking all sorts of questions about our care. “There is a tremendous curiosity about birth centers”. Said Laura Erickson owner of Alma Midwifery. “It is not uncommon for people passing by to want to come in and look at our birth rooms. We have hired more midwives to keep up with the demand. It is within the midwifery philosophy to keep the midwife to client ratio low. We also added another birth room in case four babies want to all jump on the same birthday. We are well stocked and ready to keep up with this incredible surge of births”!
The Journal of Midwifery & Woman’s Health published a study in January highlighting the benefits to women who choose to give birth in midwifery-run birth centers. The findings reinforce the evidence that midwives provided safe and effective care for pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. The rising number of surgical births, and the costs related to that also mean that birth centers are cost effective for insurance companies.
This is just win/win for families that choose birth centers. Since the theme of this blog is “Good News for Birthing Families” I must go on…recently the Affordable Care Act has mandated that Medicaid Reimburse licensed birth center for facility fees. There is still a lot to work out and Medicaid is still trying to find a way for this NOT to happen in Oregon. We may need to call upon consumers to become politically active on this front. Stay tuned! At this point they are not allowing birth centers to receive payment for our facility fees.
As midwives we work hard to advocate for your right to birth where you choose for all these reasons and so many more, but it is much more powerful for consumers to advocate for their rights! Let us know if you have time and energy to devote to this, and we may call on you later!