The Mercy Birthing Center is prepared to walk through every step of your pregnancy and delivery with you!
Birth is a unique experience for each mom— no two stories are the same. Some moms have specific wishes regarding how they want their birth to go, and others, not so much. When it comes to birth, what moms have in common is a desire to be heard and seen, cared for, and listened to. When you walk through the door of the Mercy Birthing Center, you can sense all of that and more right away.
Immediately upon entry, you see a library of books related to pregnancy, birth, and parenting. These books are available to all birth center moms! On a nearby table, you’ll spot pamphlets for local businesses and resources that help support new moms, from birth photographers to chiropractors. You’ll also catch a quick glimpse of the office/exam room where you’ll have your prenatal checkups.
The birth center is decorated in the soothing theme of the four seasons. Each of the four birthing suites represents a season. You’ll be able to tell right away the difference from suite to suite with the wall color, bedding, and art on the wall! There’s a fully-stocked kitchen for you and your support partner to enjoy (eating and drinking are encouraged during labor!). The birth center also overlooks the main courtyard, which serves as a nice distraction during labor, and you can even take a walk outside!
One differentiating factor of the Mercy Birthing Center is that you’re followed by their team of midwives throughout the course of your pregnancy. They prefer you’re registered with the Birthing Center as early as possible in your pregnancy so the team can get to know you in advance of delivery! You’ll have the opportunity to get to know each midwife on staff throughout the course of your pregnancy.
The Mercy Birthing Center is run by midwives with master’s and doctoral degrees – all certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). They attend your baby’s birth and provide prenatal, postpartum, and early newborn care. You will receive the same testing opportunities, such as genetic screening and ultrasound, as you would with a physician. In the event of a medical need, the nurse-midwives collaborate with Mercy obstetricians. If you need to transfer to their regular Labor and Birth suites during your labor, your nurse-midwife will go with you upstairs and continue your care.
Labor and Delivery and Pain Management
For moms who desire an unmedicated birth with a focus on holistic measures, the Birthing Center is a wonderful option! One of just a handful of other birthing centers in the nation attached to a large hospital, the Mercy Birthing Center offers the best of both worlds. In terms of pain management during labor, your midwife will work with you and your partner at various stages to help you find what works! The birth tub is available in all of the suites, which many mothers find to be a comfort while laboring. A birth ball, labor sling, peanut, and queen-sized bed are also available, in addition to a shower in your room! They do offer nitrous gas as their only pharmaceutical option, but if you decide you would like an epidural during labor, you would be transferred to Mercy’s general maternity unit, just a quick elevator ride away, for the remainder of your labor, delivery, and postpartum stay.
Once baby makes an appearance at the birthing center, most moms are cleared to return home within a few hours after breastfeeding is established and all other vital functions have occurred (using the restroom, taking a shower, etc.) in addition to ensuring the baby is doing well. Most mothers and babies go home with their families four to six hours after giving birth, and return the next day for follow-up care, or they move to a Mother/Baby room for a traditional 1-2 day stay. They will check on both of you after you go home. Your baby receives the same testing after birth that all newborn babies receive at Mercy.
You might be wondering how much it costs to deliver at the Birth Center. The cost of this type of natural birth is similar to a traditional birth, and it is covered by most insurance plans. Self-pay options are also available for those without health insurance.
It can be really challenging to start breastfeeding off on the right foot! The Birthing Center offers a Lactation Circle every Tuesday from 10am-11:30am in the birth educator’s room. There’s no sign-up, feel free to just drop in! And this support isn’t just available exclusively to birth center moms, but any local moms seeking community with other moms and lactation support!