One of the first and easiest questions in this search may be, “Where do I want to have my baby?” Your options are at a hospital, in a birthing center, or inside the comforts of your home. For some, that decision is easy, and certainly no one location is right for everyone. It’s no surprise that fear can drive that decision, and I mean that from all perspectives. Some moms, and partners, are afraid to be far from a hospital in the case of an emergency involving mom and/or baby, while families choosing to birth at home may fear being pushed into procedures, interventions or procedures they are wanting to avoid unless absolutely necessary.
In the Des Moines area, birth place options include…
Hospitals: Make sure to check with providers ahead of time for which locations they deliver at.
Iowa Methodist – downtown
**Midwife Services of UnityPoint Health
Mercy Hospital – downtown
**Lori Steinmann and Lacy Lundgren (Steinmann Family Health) – Midwives
(Mary Greeley in Ames)
Willowsong Midwifery Care (733 19th Street, Des Moines)
Healing Hands Women and Children Health Clinic – Sheryl Puderbaugh, CNM
Midwife and Doula Services – Dana Ericson, CNM
Willowsong Midwifery Care – Cosette Boone, CNM, and Kari Ward, DNP/CNM
Prior to conception is a great time to interview different providers and set up your annual visits and exams with them to establish a relationship and get some preconception advice.
Things to consider may be what area of town you would prefer to deliver in and what amenities are important; what is the provider’s standard of care and what are your expectations/desires; do you want just women to attend your birth and perform exams or are you comfortable with males as well; what is your insurance contribution; how much time and information do you want dedicated to prenatal appointments; how many practitioners are in a group; etc.
Next month I will help you explore different questions you can ask providers to help further guide your decisions.
Remember… this is YOUR body… YOUR baby… YOUR birth…. Know your options and make an informed decision.