A 2020 report revealed that 98.4 percent of women in the United States give birth in a hospital.
When we became pregnant with our first child, no one in my family, or circle of friends, had chosen a birth plan that included an out-of-hospital experience. I was seeing pregnant patients at the time and had begun doula work and the discussion around homebirth was fascinating to me. My husband and I spent hours upon hours researching birthing options, talking to various providers and visiting multiple locations.
Only a year before, I had never considered not having my baby in a hospital. Our first son was born at a birth center, and our three additional children were born at home. Each of them has questioned me ‘Why did that mom go to the hospital to have her baby?’ For most people in the United States, they don't consider anything outside of the hospital, many time because they don't know other options exist.
My intention in the statements above are not about judgement in the least, but rather about the notions in our society about where women do, and should or should not, give birth. In my humble opinion and after talking to hundreds of women on this topic, there is no one right answer. The only answer I advocate for is an informed decision.
The truth is, if you don’t know what options you have, you don’t’ have any.
Many women don’t know that birthing options outside of the hospital exist, and often the ones who do are bombarded with statements of fear and unsupportive demeanor.
Sometimes the answer of where to birth seems simple. If you are high-risk, want the option of pain medication in labor, don’t have qualified care providers providing out-of-hospital birth in your area, or even the fear and uneasiness of a birth outside of the hospital may guide you to a hospital birth.
For some mothers-to-be, the hospital is where they feel the most comfortable. One of the silver-linings that came out of the recent pandemic was more people were looking for resources and answers to question about birthing options.
Options for birth in Central Iowa are variable. We are blessed with many providers and birth place options. The first thing for a couple to consider is where to have birth. Then with whom as their provider. And lastly, with what additional support.
Physical options of where to have a baby are a:
Birth Center Birth
Providers local to central Iowa:
Central Iowa Midwife – Lacy Lundgren (@CentralIowaMidwife)
Des Moines Midwife Collective – Caitlin Hainley and Emily Zambrano-Andrews
Free Spirit Midwife – Sarah Sorvillo
Birth Center: Healing Passages Birth and Wellness Center – Cosette Boone
Heart and Hands – Sheryl Puderbaugh (515-243-6408)
Home Sweet Home Midwifery & Birth Services – Lauren Delgado
Midwife and Doula Services – Dana Ericson
Woman Rising Midwifery – Rebecca Schleuger-Valadao
Woman’s Health Specialists
And at the end of the day, an educated mama is an empowered mama. Chose an option that feels comfortable, safe and in alignment with your birthing goals.