When Kira Young learned that she was pregnant last summer, her sister’s friend suggested that she consider giving birth with the help of a midwife rather than a obstetrician. Young was intrigued and visited the Midwifery Center at DePaul. She says, “I wanted to have a natural childbirth. Staff members at the center were very helpful and made me feel comfortable.”
During her visit, Young discovered that the Midwifery Center at DePaul features private family rooms with queen-sized beds. In addition, Jacuzzis are available for mothers who need help relaxing during labor. Family members and friends can await the birth of the new baby in the nearby family waiting area. She also learned that Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM), nurses who are specially trained and certified to assist women with their child’s birth, as well as doulas, provide personal attention and a hands-on approach to enhance the mother’s personal care and comfort.
Young decided that midwifery was right for her and her baby and entrusted her prenatal care and birthing to the Midwifery Center at DePaul. On February 28 at 2:30 p.m., assisted by a nurse and a CNM, she gave birth to her 7 pound 10 ounce, 19 ¾” son Oriah, the center’s 2000 birth. She says, “It was a very natural way to have a baby.” Referring to the bond between her and her midwife, she adds, “It is very important to have a close relationship with the person who will be with you during the birth of your child.”
The Midwifery Center at DePaul, the only accredited midwifery center in Hampton Roads, opened its doors to expectant mothers in November 1999.The region’s first and only hospital-based midwifery birth center, it is designed to offer a high-touch experience in a home-like environment within the safety of a hospital. At the center, childbirth is treated like a natural process, not an illness. In addition to midwifery, the Midwifery Center offers a variety of birthing options and expectant parents have the freedom to make an individualized birth plan.