Monday, January 26, 2009

Excellence in Care: PeaceHealth Nurse Midwifery Birth Center

The Birth Center
  • More than 5600 babies have been born in its more than 20 years of service.
  • It is the only certified and Master’s prepared midwifery group in Lane County.
  • Its mother-baby care practices predate current healthcare reform recommendations for maternity care emphasizing evidence-based care.
Access to care
  • Birth Center midwives staff the PeaceHealth Prenatal Clinic, the only prenatal service provider for Lane County’s nearly 300 uninsured, low-income pregnant women.
  • Pregnant women are seen at the Prenatal Clinic and the Birth Center regardless of insurance status or ability to pay
Postpartum care and breastfeeding
  • The Birth Center provides superior breastfeeding education and support, probably the best in Lane County. Postpartum home visits ensure the healthy progress of newborn infants and provide critical breastfeeding support.
  • The Birth Center is Oregon’s only midwifery practice to earn the “Baby Friendly” designation from UNICEF and the World Health Organization in recognition of its exemplary breastfeeding support practices.
  • Women consistently comment on the value of the Birth Center’s weekly drop-in well-baby clinic. Without an appointment, they can consult lactation consultants, weigh their baby and connect with other moms.
Birth Centers are a safe, increasingly desired alternative to hospital birth
  • Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the landmark National Birth Center Study provides clear evidence that birth centers offer safe and satisfying alternatives to hospital confinement for healthy women (1).
  • Approximately 20% of Oregon births are attended by certified nurse-midwives compared to 11% in the rest of the country (2).
  • Because they spend more time with clients, midwives build meaningful relationships allowing women to enter labor well prepared, calm and confident. In the past year, the number of clients using the Birth Center has increased 75% (3)
The American Association of Birth Centers (AABC), the nation’s most comprehensive resource on birth centers, accredits the Birth Center. AABC has built a strong foundation for growth in birth centers through promotion of state regulations; reimbursement; a quality improvement program; national standards; recognized accreditation by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers; an annual forum for discussion of issues; education of parents, professionals, and policy-makers to the birth center concept; major research efforts; and development of industry indicators.

Additionally, Birth Center practices comply with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) written standards of care developed in accordance with standards set by the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM).

1. Rooks JP, Weatherby NL, Ernst EKM, Stapelton S, Rosen D, Rosenfield A. Outcomes of care in birth centers: the National Birth Center Study. N Engl J Med 1989; 321:1804-1811.

2. National Center for Health Statistics quoted in the PeaceHeatlh campaign statement

3. PeaceHealth campaign statement

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