Twenty years ago, Special Beginnings was opened in Arnold, Maryland, and has since been one of the only freestanding birth centers in the state. For families that live too far from Special Beginnings, there are two options: use your local hospital or birth at home. There’s a wide swing to that pendulum in consideration of care providers, cesarean rate, interventions , maternal and infant health, and financial cost. Having options is important, and families should be able to find a birthing place that best fits their family.
Fortunately for our Maryland families, there will be another option. Meet Mychal Pilia, CNM and owner of the Frederick Birth Center.
Mychal holds a bachelors degrees in Nutrition, Nursing and a masters degree in Nurse-Midwifery. She has been serving the home birth community since 2014. Mychal has spent extensive amounts of time in both business research and seeking feedback from the community. You may remember seeing her at Baker park last summer completing surveys, and talking with families.
Her vision for the Frederick Birth Center includes a holistic and family centered approach to pregnancy and birth. Evidence based care is the mainstay of the practice, and means that parents are active participants in their prenatal care.
What makes a birthing center different?
The care at the birthing center is personal and is built on a relationship with Mychal and the midwives at the birth center throughout your pregnancy. You develop personal trusting relationships with your providers, because they spend more time with you. Your appointments are typically a half hour long with the initial one being an hour. Discussions include everything from nutrition, options for prenatal testing, mental health and emotional health, and how your feeling physically. It’s a whole person approach.
Not only do they provide more one on one time and attention, but they also offer classes you can take with mothers due around the same time. These range from early pregnancy topics, sibling preparation, labor and birth, breastfeeding and new parenting classes.
Rather than cycle through all the doctors and midwives at a large practice, your time is spent with your midwife and her nurse. When you come to the center in labor, your midwife is the one meeting you there. She’s the one evaluating your labor and overseeing the safety and comfort for both you and your baby. At a hospital, you are meeting with a group of strangers, wondering who’s on call, and only seeing that doctor for mere moments at a time, and often only at the glorious moment of when baby is crowning to its birth.
The birthing center facility is a beautifully designed home like atmosphere, with a real bed, shower, full immersion tubs for labor and birth, equipped with all the medical needs for mom and baby. This isn’t birthing in the hospital where it tries to not resemble a hospital. This is a home away from home.
When can you receive care at FBC?
The Frederick Birthing Center is now open and is currently taking patients. You can begin care before you even get pregnant or transfer care almost any time during your pregnancy. After all this is a “service industry” and your health care providers work for you!
What does care include?
A midwife and nurse are on call if you have emergent or non-emergent needs during your pregnancy. Care includes 10-12 prenatal visits depending on when you begin services, and group classes are available. You will also have access to the lending library if your enjoy to prepare for your birth through reading.
You are fully supported during your birth, and families can leave for home as early as four hours after birth (upper limit is twelve).
Postpartum checks are completed with a 24-hour phone call, 1-2 day home visit, and a 1-2 week and 6 weeks office visits.
Well-woman care is also available at the center including pap smears, full range of family planning options, health screenings (cholesterol, blood sugar, thyroid, and anemia labs to say the least), and mental health counseling and screenings.
Cost of birthing at a Birth Center
Cost is $7,000 and includes the professional care and the facility fee. Check with your insurance provider for full understanding of benefits and what can be covered or reimbursed for your out-of-hospital birth.
Having your baby at a birthing center is a lower cost option, with lower interventions, high level of satisfaction and high safety standards proven with large national studies (check out the National Birth Center Study II to see the birth center difference!). The cesarean rate in Maryland is currently ~36% (higher than the national average (33%), where the rate for birth centers is only 6%. For healthy low-risk pregnancies, out-of-hospital births provide options that protect maternal and infant health, while lowering health care costs, and providing a memorable experience for your family for a lilfetime.
For a look at hospital care cost, check out this article here: http://www.scpr.org/blogs/health/2015/07/22/18049/pricecheck-how-much-does-it-cost-to-have-a-baby-at/
Plans include two more Maryland freestanding birthing centers, located in Baltimore and Silver Spring.
For more information
You can reach Mychal Pilia at the Frederick Birth Center (frederickbirthcenter.com).
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