SUN CITY WEST, Ariz. – Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center will launch a hospital-based birthing center for patients wishing to have a birth in a hospital but without the medical and physician interventions associated with a typical hospital birth.
The center is anticipated to open in early June inside the hospital’s Louisa Kellam Center for Women’s Health. A similar birthing center currently operates at Banner Ironwood Medical Center in southeast Valley.
The birthing center at Banner Del E. Webb, like the one at Banner Ironwood, will cater to mothers who desire a natural birth experience, yet want the safety net that only hospitals can provide.
“We’re going for a ‘home experience’ in a safer setting,” said Karon Ford, nursing director of the Women and Infants Services Department at the Surprise/Sun City West hospital.
Mothers who choose the birthing center want a labor and delivery experience that doesn’t include the typical medical interventions, such as the use of medications to expedite labor or control pain.
Additionally, patients in the center would use the services of certified nurse midwives (CNM) and doulas for their birth, as opposed to obstetricians.
The doula is hired by the patient and is trained to help with the laboring process, perform massage on the patient and journal the experience. The midwife does the delivery, catching the newborn.
An obstetrics physician would be available to provide emergency interventions should it be required.
“We have obstetricians on call, emergency anesthesia and neonatal intensive care unit services available right away should mother or baby require them,” said Chief Medical Officer Scott Anderson, MD.
A dedicated team of labor and delivery nurses in the center would be present for purposes of oversight, aiding with delivery by positioning the patient, providing intermittent fetal monitoring, and caring for the newborn post-delivery.
Newborns will receive the same care as any other newborn in the hospital.
The hospital dedicated four rooms in its Labor and Delivery unit for the new birthing center. The rooms were modified to make them more "home-like." They feature soft, calming colors on the walls, traditional full-size beds (as opposed to hospital beds), a rocking chair and a small dining table.
“We’ve been observing a shift nationally to less invasive and more natural childbirths,” said Dr. Anderson. “If it’s their choice to do that, we want to make sure they can do that in an environment that is comfortable and, most importantly, safe.”
The birthing center’s services are covered by many health insurance plans. The center will also accept self-pay patients.
Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center is a community hospital in Sun City West, Arizona. The hospital specializes in orthopedic surgery, heart care, Emergency care, cancer care, and obstetrics. Banner Del E. Webb is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health care system with 29 hospitals in seven states. Supporting Banner Del E. Webb’s mission of excellent patient care is Sun Health Foundation, which encourages charitable giving to enhance health care delivery.