CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The first free-standing, midwife-led birth center just opened its doors in Chesterfield.
The Embrace Midwifery Birth Care and Resource Center and Embrace Wellness Collective opened this week off Buford Road. The facility hosts a number of services, but the focus is prenatal care, birth, and care in the weeks that follow.
"We have a lot of different services," said Corina Hossle. "Our midwifery care covers all prenatal care, labor, birth, and post-partum care. We have two birth suites. So, we have the whole gamut of the child-bearing year covered."
Hossle is a licensed midwife, so she also cares for mothers and babies for six weeks after birth.
"We have a nurse midwife who is offering well-woman care, birth control, IUDs, all the hormonal replacements for perimenopausal and menopausal women," said Hossle. "We have a wellness collective with the green baby store going in. We have doulas, we have a doula internship program, we have yoga, and child-bearing classes. We have lactation support, we're really working hard to be a one-stop-shop for Richmond families in the area."
What's different is the hands-on, low-intervention philosophy. We're told moms can catch their own babies. The practice also promotes skin-to-skin bonding. And they say IVs don't get started unless they are really medically required.
"We are so committed to parents and unmedicated, empowered birth. So, our job here is to just give them another option. Healthy moms having healthy babies can have babies out of hospitals and we believe that that's a good option for them," said Hossle, who she already has more than a dozen babies booked to be born at the facility. "Women are really starting to seek out an alternative birth experience. They want to be in charge of their birth and not be delivered of their babies. So, this gives them the opportunity to really step into that space."
For those unfamiliar with how an independent birth center might work, we asked her about what they do in an emergency.
"We do all the same tests that a doctor can do," said Hossle. "We order all the same labs that a hospital would require, but we truly believe that interventions need to be truly required to stop into that space."
Hossle also pointed to the ambulance crew directly across the street and she says they have a transfer agreement in place with some hospitals.
"We ask them to give us a call and we'll talk with them a little bit on the phone and we will be offering tours on a weekly basis so they can come and see the birth centers, see if it is the right option- ask their questions. We offer free consultations and interviews so they truly can see if we're who they want to choose for their providers. And then they begin care with us."
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