WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Baby+Company and Novant Health have partnered to open the first freestanding birth center in Winston-Salem.
“We opened up Novant Health midwifery services about two years ago and that was all hospital based deliveries by a midwife, but what we were hearing from our moms was, ‘Gosh, I really wish I could deliver somewhere other than a hospital,’” said Kirsten Royster, service line leader for OBGYN in Novant Health’s Winston-Salem market.
The two groups worked together to open a facility in Charlotte in 2015, but Royster says the interest has been higher in this region.
The reasons can vary as to why this may be the right choice for some moms.
“Sometimes moms want to have more freedom of movement, they want less medical intervention if possible,” lead midwife Nona Smith said.
The center offers nitrous oxide for pain relief as well as hydrotherapy.
The birth center is located at 200 Charlois Blvd. – not far from Forsyth Medical Center.
“We partner with OBGYN physicians from Novant Health, and they actually provide backup supervision for us, so if we have something that’s not going according to plan, or if we have questions or concerns, they’re only a phone call away,” Smith said.
The facility has four birthing suites that include large showers, soaking tubs, a bed and overall décor that has a home-like feel.
The center’s team of certified nurse-midwives lead the care and express a commitment to letting moms know they have options in making a delivery choice that is most comfortable for them.
“When mom and baby are healthy, that's the only thing left to think about is where mom is most comfortable, so if for you that's a hospital then midwives are there to support that decision,” midwife Elke Bachmann said. “Making you feel empowered is the thing that we do.”
Medical professionals say a birth center experience should only be considered for women with low-risk pregnancies.
The birth center also has a clinic for gynecological services during pregnancy and rooms for childbirth classes.
The first births are expected in early July.
A community open house will take place Saturday, June 24, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. where the public can ask questions and tour the facility.