Natural Beginnings Birth Center at Atrium Medical Center exceeded expectations in its first full year of operations.
Premier Health officials said the new center is meeting the demands of women in the Cincinnati region for a natural birth choice in a safer hospital setting.
Natural Beginnings, the first comprehensive natural birth center in the greater Cincinnati area located within an acute care hospital, is located within Atrium Medical Center, a full-service hospital and Level III Trauma Center at One Medical Center Drive in Middletown. It started offering services in December 2016. During the first year, 72 women opted to have their natural birth at Atrium.
The natural birth program provides expecting mothers services to cope with labor without traditional interventions. Two private natural birthing suites for labor and delivery are part of the hospital’s Family Birth Center, offering an additional safety net of nursing and medical staff nearby who can respond with emergency and surgical care if necessary.
The remodeled suites, which opened for patients in May 2017, feature queen-sized beds, built-in whirlpool tubs and more space for a family-friendly experience.
The home-like birth center allows women to labor, deliver and recover in the same room, with options available such as massages, aromatherapy, water birth and other supports.
“The real plus to Natural Beginnings at Atrium is you have people — midwives, nurses and board-certified obstetricians — who believe and support your goals of having a non-medicated birth experience,” said Dr. Rhonda Washington, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Atrium Medical Center.
Overall, deliveries grew at Atrium Medical Center from 896 births in 2016 to 956 deliveries in 2017, a 6.6 percent increase. Last year’s growth includes babies born as part of the Natural Beginnings program.
“It’s empowering to know what your body can do, that you can work through the intense pain and bring this child in to the world without medication,” said Trina Brucker, of Maineville. “After three kids, we moved here from Illinois and I chose the Natural Beginnings Birth Center at Atrium because they would let me and my husband Adam have the natural birth we wanted for our daughter Isla.”
Brucker said she had a midwife with here the whole time, helping her through delivery.
“I wanted a water birth and the birth tub was right in the room with me,” she said. “Every single person at Natural Beginnings respected our wishes and that’s enormous.”