"The Birth Centre of Charlottesville."
"Charlottesville HAS A BIRTH CENTER?!"
YES!!! I would like to say that the birth center run by Janna Grapperhaus, CPM, is the best-kept secret in Charlottesville, but I DON'T WANT it to be a secret!
I would love for every woman in Charlottesville to know that there is an option for giving birth that is safe and beautiful, and is staffed with well-qualified midwives and assistants who really care about each mother and baby. So here are the top 4 reasons why I LOVE the Birth Centre of Charlottesville.
Did you get that? 1.8% chance of cesarean birth vs. 31% at a local hospital.**
I don't know about you...but I think those are pretty good numbers, and plenty of reason ALONE to consider planning a birth at the Birth Centre. (Despite this low number of cesareans, there have been no maternal or newborn deaths at the birth center). But there are several more reasons why I love this place.
Nothing says "birth cave" like a curtain!
Yes, there are twinkle lights. They are awesome. As far as I am aware, no dolphins or unicorns are provided.
Need I say more? Well I will. I have a few more reasons.
Prenatal appointments at an OB typically involve scheduling an appointment, arriving at the office, waiting in the waiting room for anywhere from 5 minutes to even an hour (yes, this happened to me), being shown to another room, waiting for the doctor AGAIN, being given maybe 5 minutes to ask questions of the doctor who you may or may not have met before, then leaving and scheduling another appointment. Cue repeat. I know because I experienced it in my first pregnancy! (If you had an awesome OB office that was different, great!)
By contrast, prenatal appointments at the Birth Centre of Charlottesville tend, in my experience, to be prompt, personal, and much more detailed than a prenatal with an obstetrician or group practice. Although rescheduling might be necessary due to a birth in progress, that was rarely the case. I arrived in the clean, bright waiting room with my child/children, who played happily with the toys in that room. We were usually quickly ushered to the room with the really cushy exam table or the family room, where an assistant or midwife would take blood pressure, pulse, and a few other measurements. Discussions with the midwives were long and included ANY and ALL concerns about my health, comfort, and plans or concerns for the birth of my baby. Nothing was deemed too insignificant to discuss. Janna took detailed notes about my birth preferences, and presented all options regarding prenatal testing and postpartum baby procedures.
When it came down to the end of my pregnancy, I was the one to decide whether to wait for labor to begin naturally or try to encourage it to start by other means. Because everything seemed to be going well and both baby and I were healthy and happy, there was no fear about continuing the pregnancy. I greatly value the ability to make decisions for my health and that of my family, so this is a BIG deal to me. If my midwife had been concerned AT ALL about our health, I know that she would have said so, and because of the relationship that was established, I would have likely trusted her opinion and been open to options that she presented.
So those are my top five reasons for loving the Birth Centre of Charlottesville.
I have to say also that I am receiving NO compensation for writing this, nor did anyone at the Birth Centre ask me to write it. I haven't attended any births at the Birth Centre as a doula, but I tell all of my friends and clients to consider planning a birth there because I know that the chances of having a great birth are simply higher at the Birth Centre of Charlottesville than the hospital. I don't harbor any ill will towards the local hospitals, but NUMBERS DON'T LIE. Can you have a wonderful birth at the hospital? ABSOLUTELY. But it's simply easier at the Birth Centre. The entire prenatal process and beautiful environment empowers mothers and helps to create an informed, relaxed atmosphere, which encourages a physiological labor and birth.
As a doula, and a mother who has had a wonderful at the Birth Centre of Charlottesville, I hope that you will consider touring it to see if you would love your next baby to be born there! I sincerely feel that you won't be disappointed.
** This number represents all cesareans. Of course hospitals perform more high-risk and repeat cesareans, so these numbers can't be compared exactly, but low-risk mothers typically have a 25% or so chance of cesarean in most studies. The local "lower risk" hospital actually has a HIGHER cesarean rate, so there are many variables. Since hospitals and obstetricians aren't required to make this data public, if you really want to know the updated cesarean rate for a low-risk mother seeing the office of your current OB, it would be best to ask them.
I look at birth from the perspective that our bodies are wonderfully made, and if we really believe that and work with the birth process and nourish our bodies properly, they will function optimally, most of the time!