Lifecycle WomanCare’s Campus Expansion Campaign
The clock is ticking for a local reproductive health center to secure a matching grant.
More than a name has changed in the field of reproductive healthcare in Bryn Mawr. Formerly known as The Birth Center, Lifecycle WomanCare (LWC) is taking its services in new directions and into new digs. With the help of a generous matching grant, plans are underway to revamp the third floor of its current building, as well as to renovate the newly purchased building next door. But LWC needs help to attain its long list of goals aimed at serving the community.
LWC has a community which has blossomed over the years. In 2017, a satellite office in South Philadelphia opened to provide outpatient care to residents of that area. Prenatal care, GYN visits, and lactation consultations are available on-site at this location. In addition, LWC offers free lactation support groups throughout the region. You don’t need to have given birth at LWC to join. “Many of the people who are coming for lactation consults are not even our birth clients,” says Kate McHugh, Executive Director. “They gave birth somewhere else and they come to us for one-on-one advice.” Meanwhile, back at the main campus, in May 2021, LWC purchased the building next to its current one. Planned renovations include more exam rooms, and a dedicated office for an in-house mental health professional to add to the comprehensiveness of LWC’s services.
Various classes, workshops, and support groups offered by LWC come at a modest or no cost, and have been available even during the COVID-19 pandemic. ”Our childbirth educators did a really fantastic job of pivoting to online,” says McHugh. “But we want to get back to in-person because we think there’s really some benefit to the community.” (Read more about how LWC adapted to meet the challenges they faced with COVID.) Plans for a larger education center with breakout rooms along with dedicated parking at the main location will make workshops and classes more accessible to clients. “We’re really excited about the fact that we can start to offer more programming around the issues that our clients are facing,” McHugh says. “It could be adjusting to having a baby, it could be nutrition while you’re pregnant, it could be issues related to getting through menopause.”
Birthing and Beyond
LWC seeks to serve clients in every phase of life. “People don’t realize how much GYN care we can provide,” says McHugh. “People think of us and they think [of] having a baby but we really do have a very robust GYN practice with the nurse midwives and the certified registered nurse practitioners who work here.”
Throughout its manifestations, LWC has emphasized the establishment of trust between client and care provider. “Trust has to be built over time,” McHugh emphasizes. Longer appointment times help build that trust. “Whether you’re a return OB visit, a new OB visit, a gynecology visit, you are allocated at least twice the time you normally would get in a typical practice,” she says. Care goes well beyond a lengthy visit time. “We’re one of the few places in the area that is still doing really comprehensive childbirth and parent preparation,” says McHugh.
For 44 years, LWC has stood as an advocate for reproductive healthcare in a field of dwindling options. If you wish to show some love in return, the non-profit welcomes tax-deductible donations to its $600,000 Campus Expansion Campaign, which will wrap up in March. Watch your dollars go directly toward making improvements in reproductive healthcare here at home. Whether you are looking to make a difference, or are searching for a healthcare provider for any stage of life, consider LWC in Bryn Mawr.
As McHugh points out, “When the name was changed from The Birth Center to Lifecycle WomanCare, it really was to say that we’re here for people across their lifespan.”
This Sponsored Story was written by Kristin Walker
Photos courtesy of Lifecycle WomanCare, Rachel Utain-Evans Photography, and Snapshot Anderson