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Nine Healthy Portland Babies Welcomed at Women’s Healthcare Associates’ New Midwifery Birth Center

Jun 06, 2017

The new Portland option supports natural birth in a home-like setting, integrated with the full spectrum of obstetric care.

Midwifery Birth Center, Portland, OregonWomen’s Healthcare Associates (WHA) has welcomed nine new babies into the world at its new Midwifery Birth Center since births began there in April 2017. Led by certified nurse-midwives with structured physician support and hospital back up, the Midwifery Birth Center is a part of WHA’s network of 15 OBGYN specialty clinics and team of more than 120 clinicians dedicated to caring for women across the Portland metro area. 

These recent births are among thousands of Portland-area hospital births supported by WHA physicians and nurse-midwives each year, but they are the first in the organization’s brand new Midwifery Birth Center. Open since February 2017, the birth center was developed by a team of physicians and certified nurse-midwives and is dedicated to supporting the growing demand for natural, safe out-of-hospital birth in a comfortable setting that feels like home. 

Unlike many of the out-of-hospital birth options currently available, the Midwifery Birth Center is covered in-network by many insurance plans, including CareOregon and Family Care, among others. 

“We are able to offer physiologic, out-of-hospital birth to a wider group of women than those typically served by out-of-hospital midwives,” said Lauren MacKenzie, a certified nurse-midwife and Director of Advanced Practice Clinicians at WHA. “Also, in this country it’s unusual for a birth center to be fully integrated into a traditional OBGYN practice as our Midwifery Birth Center is. With that integration, we can offer all of the services and care a pregnant woman may need, seamlessly and safely.”

WHA clinicians supported 5,400 births at seven Portland-area hospitals in 2016 alone - that’s nearly 12 percent of the babies born in the state of Oregon. “In the hospital, we care for women at risk for serious complications of pregnancy right alongside women who are having completely normal, natural births, even though the likelihood of them experiencing those complications is extremely small,” said WHA’s Director of Birth Centers, Dr. Greg Eilers. “We developed the Midwifery Birth Center to provide the appropriate level of care for healthy women at a low-risk of developing complications who desire a natural, out-of-hospital childbirth experience, but with the additional assurance of physician back up and hospital integration, if the need arises.” 

The Midwifery Birth Center is located at 10566 SE Washington St in Portland and schedules tours and consultations daily. For more information, please visit www.midwiferybirthcenter.com.

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