You won’t see medical equipment or Pitocin drips in these rooms, but what you will find at the Karmanos Center for Natural Birth at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak is a serene and comfortable environment to deliver your baby naturally.
Thanks to a $6 million donation from Danialle and Peter Karmanos Jr. – whose four sons were born naturally – moms opting for a natural birth experience deliver in style at this one-of-a-kind center.
The center offers six private birthing suites that come equipped with large hydrotherapy tubs, massaging showerheads, a queen-sized bed and other amenities that aid in natural childbirth. Each room also overlooks two rooftop gardens – one for viewing and the other for walking around during labor.
You’ll also find a sleeper sofa, personal refrigerators, iPod docking stations, a private waiting room and complimentary Wi-Fi for the families while they wait. There’s a special baby-care area so the baby is always in the room with mom, too.
All the medical equipment needed for a standard in-hospital birth is in the room, but is hidden out of sight in the walls.
“It feels very different than a hospital,” says Missy Knudsen, a registered nurse and the administrative manager at the center. “If you had not walked through the doors of the hospital, you would feel like you were in a spa.”
It sits across the hall from the hospital’s medical birthing unit and is just as close to the surgical unit in case that’s needed.
“The center is specifically about creating an environment that is beautiful and designed to feel like home but with the safety net of having a hospital around them,” Knudsen says.
Each nurse receives specialty holistic training through BirchTree Center Integrative Healing Arts Program and is well versed in the therapies used by the center, Knudsen says.
Obstetricians, midwives and lactation consultants are also on hand to aid in the birthing process.
Natural birth process
Instead of Pitocin, epidurals and other forms of medical treatment, moms that utilize the center receive music and aromatherapies, therapeutic touch, reflexology and other natural remedies to cope with labor.
“The idea is to give our mothers the chance to work through the natural birthing process without intervening,” Knudsen says. These women who have an unmedicated birth recover more quickly – and so do their babies, she says. Also, women who give birth naturally tend to feel very empowered.
Knudsen adds that natural birth is not for everyone and stressed to not be pressured one way or another, but to find the right process to fit mom and her family.
“If she’s interested in natural birth, my advice would be to get prepared, talk to your doctor, read up on natural birth and surround herself with people that are willing to support her decision,” Knudsen says.
Expecting mothers who are interested in giving birth at the new Karmanos Center for Natural Birth must:
- Be early to late term at time of delivery (37-42 weeks)
- Have a low-risk pregnancy
- Complete natural childbirth preparation
- Agree to be transferred to traditional labor room, if needed
- Have no need or desire for an epidural
- Talk to your healthcare provider about your interest
At around 28 weeks into the pregnancy, a nurse at the center will sit down with the mommy-to-be to develop a birthing plan that best fits her needs. Best of all, there are no additional fees for giving birth in the center – aside from standard hospital delivery fees.
“Our intention has always been that this is available and accessible to all,” Knudsen says.