The Transformative Experience of Birth-Center Birth and Midwifery Care
Whether you’re having your first or fourth child, every birthing experience is different, remarkable, and special. When researching delivery options, consider the advantages of a birthing center and midwifery care on the Main Line.
At its core, birth center and midwifery care is a deeply personal and unique experience. Julie Cristol, clinical director of Lifecycle WomanCare in Bryn Mawr, and practicing midwife, stresses this distinction. “Midwifery care provides the unique support that each family needs to maximize the joy and surmount the difficulties,” she says. And she would know, having worked at Hahnemann, Pennsylvania Hospital, and Greater Philadelphia Health Actions as a midwife since 1988.
What is right for the client is right for the baby is the principal concept of care for clients at Lifecycle WomanCare. And the midwives are trained to help patients through the process, whether it’s their first time or last. “There are as many ways to give birth as there are women giving birth,” says Cristol.
Flexibility is key. “The actual birth may occur on a stool, on the bed, on hands and knees, standing, or a variety of other positions,” says Cristol. “If women are given the freedom to find their own rhythm in labor they will gravitate to the position that is right for them.” The midwife observes, suggests, and guides, rather than the more succinct directions one might get at a hospital. They are there to eliminate the fear and anxiety of birth and foster the journey.
Lifecycle WomanCare is esteemed in the process of facilitating the journey of childbirth, from the first consultation, the multiple prenatal visits, all the way to the main event, and post-care visits.
Just ask Jamie Kuttner, who has birthed all four of her children (2002, 2003, 2013, and February 2016) at Lifecycle WomanCare. From labor that lasted just a few hours to a labor lasting two days, she commends the staff. While all her birthing experiences were different, unique, and special, the one constant was the transformative experience she had with her midwives. “My midwives and nurses were so loving, compassionate, and accommodating,” says Kuttner. “They made each baby’s birth a wonderful experience and gift I will remember and cherish forever.”
Client concerns are paramount to the midwife. It’s this compassion gives the parent the confidence they otherwise might not gain without such personal care. When choosing her career, Cristol says, “[midwifery] gave the ability to spend time meeting a woman and her family and helping them make positive life changes. Especially in a birth center setting, I never feel that I don’t have time to listen. That is a huge luxury in healthcare. The teamwork with our staff makes it possible.”
This is especially true at Lifecycle WomanCare, where woman have traveled from as far as New York City. It’s not surprising; the staff has the passion, know-how, and experience to guide families through a safe pregnancy and parenting journey.
Lifecycle WomanCare, previously known as The Birth Center, has been providing exceptional healthcare services for women of all ages, regardless of income, since 1978. We were the first licensed birth center in Pennsylvania and are one of the oldest continually operating birth centers in the United States. We have changed our name to Lifecycle WomanCare (LWC) to illuminate and highlight the breadth of high-quality care we provide to women over the course of their entire lifetime—from adolescence through post-menopausal years.