Hospital Birth or Elsewhere?
Expecting mothers in West Michigan are considering their options when it comes to choosing how their birth will proceed. While ultimately baby decides when (and sometimes how) to enter the world, a certain peace of mind can come with crafting your birth plan.
Here’s a look at the choices a few local moms have made:
*Please note that the following article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. You should seek the medical opinion of your doctor before proceeding with any healthcare plans.
Mary Ward, Home Birth
Mary wanted to birth in a place she felt comfortable. She also wanted a drug free, natural childbirth. Those wishes, coupled with watching her sister have a very negative hospital birthing experience, led her to opt for home birth.
Mary’s Story: My labor started early Friday morning October 5, 2012. I had contractions all day. We drove to Newaygo to the midwife’s office so that she could see how I was doing. There was minimal sleep Friday night and things were much stronger on Saturday. My midwife and her doula assistant came Saturday afternoon. It was nice to have her near and also be free to roam my house, shower, eat, etc.
Sunday morning my midwife decided to break my water and let me go into the birthing pool. I had planned to birth in the pool, but after progressing very quickly at first, I started to slow down again. I was back to pacing the house.
Our sweet girl was born at 12:48om on the bathroom floor. It was amazing and beautiful. My husband and I both reached down and pulled her onto my chest for our first hello.
Jenny Wittkoski, St. Mary’s (Mercy Health) C-Section
Jenny’s Story: I chose Metro because the home like atmosphere in both delivery and postpartum. My OB practice is exclusively works with Metro and I found their teamwork impeccable. Attending pediatricians were phenomenal. I delivered at Metro Health Spring of 2014. The most amazing nurse was by my side the entire time, even when we had to change plans to a c-section. My amazing nurse even came to visit me the next night. Postpartum nurses were equally amazing, giving first time parent tips and tricks. The anesthesiologist was the best. Helped keep you calm during the c-sec prep and post delivery. I could not have asked for a better experience especially during a changing birth plan.
Jen Byrne, Midwife Delivery at Spectrum Health
Jen’s Story: We delivered at Spectrum with a midwife (Brenda Daniels) and we had a fantastic experience all four times. We delivered at Spectrum because that is the only hospital our midwife delivers at, so hospital choice was an easy decision for us. Granted, there are always “those nurses” but overall we had great care.
Brenda has a earned a lot of respect around Spectrum. The only people in the room are people that you choose along with Brenda, and a nurse. Having Brenda there eliminates all of the extra people. And I loved having the children’s hospital right there if baby had any complications.
More Hospital & Birthing Options in West Michigan
West Michigan Hospitals
What they say: At the Spectrum Health Family Birthplace, we realize that we are part of one of the biggest moments of your life—the birth of your precious baby. As you go through labor and delivery, we want to make sure we are addressing all your needs–delivering not only a healthy baby, but also a warm, memorable and positive experience.
Home-like birthing suites, including private postpartum rooms, Cesarean birth rooms and recovery areas and OB special care rooms (for women experiencing complicated pregnancies)
100 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616.391.5000 or toll free 866.989.7999
What they say: At The Birth Center at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, we’re known for our warm, personal, one-to-one care. And if you need advanced medical care, it’s a comfort to know it’s also right here. We have on-staff specialists and the latest technology that you just can’t get everywhere.
Holistic approach caring for body, mind, and spirit, including complementary approaches like massage, acupressure and music therapies.
200 Jefferson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
What they say: Obstetrical care at our Birth Center is performed by experts who are specially trained in caring for mothers and their children. We’ve created a friendly, comfortable atmosphere where you and your new baby can get to know each other. Plus, our staff is always on hand to answer your questions and provide reassuring advices on how to best meet your infant’s needs.
Private labor and delivery rooms, in-room Jacuzzi tub for relaxing during labor, private mother and baby rooms with partner rooming-in option.
1700 Clinton Street, Muskegon, MI 49442
231.726.3511 or toll free 1.800.825.4677
What they say: At the Spartan Stores Family Childbirth Center we understand how important it is to choose the right place to bring your little one into the world. We’ve made sure you, your baby and your family receives exceptional care and personalized attention.
Top-quality, compassionate care, expert staff, private spacious maternity rooms.
5900 Byron Center Ave, Wyoming, MI 49519
616.252.7200 or (800) 968.0051
What they say: We’ve gone to great lengths to bring you the most comfortable, peaceful delivery experience possible. From the moment you arrive at the Boven Birth Center, we are completely focused on your needs and desires, ensuring your new family makes a healthy, happy transition from hospital to home.
Skilled care for baby and mom by dedicated pediatric hospitalists and obstetric nurses, private birthing suites and family-centered care, care for babies needing a more advanced level of care in a special care nursery.
602 Michigan Avenue, Holland, Michigan 49423
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What they say: Our facility provides a “Home away from Home” atmosphere to allow women the space to labor and birth safely and comfortably. When at the birth center, women have the freedom to labor how they please – whether that is in the tub, shower, resting in the bed, walking, or even spending time outside.
Quiet and calm birth rooms with low lighting and music of your choosing, towels, pillows, comfort supplies, and support provided, continued care for mother and baby following birth.
118 E Benton St, Greenville, MI 48838
What they say: Cedar Tree is providing families experiencing healthy, low-risk pregnancies an option that cares for their perspective experience as a whole. With a highly qualified midwife and doula team, along with close proximity to local hospitals, this is an option that many families can benefit from.
When birthing at Cedar Tree, you’ll be situated in an entire apartment – complete with a full kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living area.
Cedar Tree Birth Center is currently closed until a new building is found, but Simply Born Midwifery is still available to assist in home and hospital births.
Midwifery services including home birth, birth center, water birth, and doula/montrice care
Midwifery services including one home visit at 36 weeks, care during labor and birth, portable birthing pool available if water birth is desired
Midwifery services including one hour prenatal sessions, homevisit, personalized education, birth attendance and immediate postpartum care, counseling and availability 24/7, 4 week postpartum checkup
Full midwifery and home birth services including prenatal and postpartum care, water birth, VBAC, Aqua Doula Pool rentals, breastfeeding support, and education
6410 Alpine Ave NW, Suite B, Comstock Park, MI 49321
Comprehensive prenatal care, nutritional counseling, and birth preparation, 24/7 availability, attendance during labor and birth, thorough newborn exam, postpartum care including home visits with follow up phone consultations, breastfeeding assistance, waterbirths, doula care at hospital births. Photography and massage therapy also available at an additional fee.
Do you have a birth location to share?
Leave a comment below- other parents would love to hear your experiences!