As part of my childbirth education training I am required to interview hospitals, birth centers, homebirth midwives, and OBGYNs that could be a possible place to recommend to my future students. So far, I have visited Austin Area Birth Center, Central Texas Birth Center, Cedar Park Medical Center, North Austin Medical Center, and OBGYN North.
The two birthing centers are clear choices if you want to go natural without any intervention. The midwives there are dedicated, caring, and good at what they do.
But what if you want to or need to have your baby in a hospital so you can have access to technology or pain relief.
Many hospitals in the area are pushing, cold, and firm when it comes to their strict rules. You must, for instance, at Cedar Park Medical Center, be connected to electronic fetal monitoring at all time, have an IV, are not allowed to eat or drink. The doctors that serve there have typical high C-section rates and induce and augment regularly.
On the other hand, OBGYN North, serving at North Austin Medical Center is a doctor/midwife practice that encourages woman to move around during labor, uses intermittent fetal monitoring, allows eating and drinking, showering, and practices delayed cord clamping.
Plus, with a low 11% C-section rate, is a great option for in hospital births.
OBGYN North also allow post dating to 42 weeks and laboring longer than most standard practices. Of course, with any pregnancy, things can change and what is believed to be best for mother and baby will always take priority, but with such a supportive staff and environment, you chances of having a natural birth at OBGYN North are much higher.
OBGYN North also just recently opened a birthing center right next door to the main practice where you can birth in the water and has all the regular amenities of a traditional free standing birth center just right across the street from North Austin Medical Center. They also now offer Nitrous Oxide to help get laboring women through those difficult times, if necessary.
I used to believe that the only way to give birth naturally was at home or in a free standing birth center.