Monthly Archives: March 2017

Cooper Jax’s Birth Story

Some births are short and calm; other births are long and intense; all births can be powerful and sweet! Not all births go according to plan but WBWC midwives are there for every step of the way when mothers need to be transferred to UNC Hospital. This is the story of a long and intense birth:

By Hillary Prazak

I wanted to be done with my pregnancy around week 37, so January 4th. By week 39, I was miserable. My stomach was still growing, 2-5 pounds a week, sleeping was near impossible, and walking was out of the question. My life revolved around sitting at the dog park until I had to pee and reading books on the couch. Then my due date, January 25th, came and went and I wanted to cry. Each passing day I knew I was one day closer to meeting Cooper, but I also had a fear I would never naturally go into labor. Once a woman reaches week 40 each day counts as a week – or it should. Based on these conditions I got to 49 weeks pregnant ;). Let me reiterate I was miserable and pregnant. Labor. Could. Not. Come. Quick. Enough. Then week 41 came around – February 1st. Brent and I went to UNC Hospital for an ultrasound to make sure baby Coop was still doing well in utero; he was, yay!! The midwives would let him bake for one more week, and if he didn’t come out by February 8th I would be induced. By this point, I thought about pulling the trigger and being induced even if Cooper was safe. I’m glad I decided against that.

On Thursday February 2nd, I was 41 weeks +1 day pregnant. This is the average date when first-time moms go into labor. I woke up around 3 a.m. having period-like cramps. I crossed my fingers they would get progressively worse and turn into labor pains. But a couple hours later I was back to feeling my new ‘norm’, which was a big fat freaking whale. And then I had a HUGE burst of energy. Fellow mom friends have told me this is a sign labor is right around the corner. I hoped. I was in the shower and started panicking about the house being dirty. It definitely wasn’t. But when I got out, I deep cleaned everything for about the millionth time this pregnancy. This is part of the nesting pregnant women go through; it’s totally a real thing!!

With my new burst of energy I wanted to move! I had an urge to dance and walk and run and swim or do SOMETHING physical. Some women have tried dancing to break their water and start contractions. I wanted to give this a try so I pulled up some favorite Zumba dances on YouTube and got to dancing for 45 minutes. After I danced, I took Louie on a big walk. The activities for the day got the best of me, and I took a little nap on the couch until Brent got home.  Then we went to dinner.

There is a Mediterranean restaurant in Chapel Hill that is Brent’s and my favorite! We decided to go to dinner there. Out of nowhere, I was feeling exhausted and really sick. I didn’t think much of it, though, because I often felt exhausted and nauseous. The car ride home from Med Deli to our house is about a five minute drive. 30 seconds into the drive, at 7:46 p.m., I felt a gush of wetness. I thought it was the usual pregnancy wetness until it kept flowing… ‘MY WATER JUST BROKE!!!!’ I started excitedly yelling and immediately called my doula, Kacy, to let her know the exciting news!!! I know that when waters break contractions don’t always start, and labor can be a long ways off. The plan was to take Louie to his dog sitters (thank you Penelope) and then go home and get as much rest as possible. The hour it took to take Louie to the sitters and get back home, I was having contractions every 2.5 minutes apart lasting 30 seconds. They were very mild, but it was definitely at the start of labor. I didn’t want Kacy to come over prematurely, so we held off having her come over. At about 10:30 p.m. when my contractions started to gain intensity, we called her; she arrived by 11:00 pm. My contractions went from mild to strong quickly. Nothing felt good but standing and swaying. You’re supposed to lay down and rest between contractions especially at the earlier stages. I tried to get on all fours, sit on an exercise ball, and lay in bed, it all sucked unless I was standing up. So, Brent, Kacy, and I stood in the kitchen area for a couple hours talking and laughing between my contractions.

Around 1:00 a.m., I wasn’t able to talk during contractions but they were still 2.5 minutes apart lasting 30 seconds. The rule of thumb is you don’t go to the Birth Center until contractions are 3 minutes apart lasting a minute long for an hour. However, I was unable to talk through contractions at this point because of the discomfort. My body wasn’t on the 3-1-1 schedule, but I felt the need to go in to the BC so we called the midwife on call, Allison, and headed in. We arrived around 2 a.m. It was lightly raining outside; the cold air felt good. We waited outside in the rain for Allison and the nurse to show up. I was bending over and breathing deep when contractions came. They were still regular 2.5-3 minutes apart and 30-45ish seconds. At this rate we stopped counting them. I’m not sure how far apart or how long they lasted towards my transition phase – I wish I did know!

There are three different rooms to choose from at the BC – a green, peach, and blue room. When Brent and I took the tour, the blue room stood out to me so this is the one I chose to labor in. Shortly after we arrived, Stephanie, my photographer who is also a doula, showed up. At this point I remember thinking about how time was flying by. I got checked at 2:20 a.m. and I was 5 cm. YAY!! I kept thinking how devastated I would feel if I was less than 5cm. I was glad to be at the halfway dilated mark. Around 2:45 a.m., I wanted to bathe, so I got in the bath for a bit. After the bath I tried to lay in bed to get some rest. At this point my back pain (back labor) started to really hurt. They offered me a TENS machine around 4:00 a.m. It basically stimulates your nerves …”is the use of electric current produced by a device to stimulate the nerves for therapeutic purposes..”. At first it just annoyed me, and I didn’t want it on. Later on in labor it resided on my back.

At some point things become very blurry. The pain was increasing with each contraction, and my tolerance was decreasing. I was exhausted. A couple hours after my first bath, I took another one, 5:35 a.m. This bath was a huge relief. I got into a Zen-like mode and kicked ass for about an hour. Kacy was massaging my feet; it was literally the best massage of my life. I was breathing and swaying through my awful contractions. Brent was by my side pouring cold water on me. Women go through a transition phase in labor right before pushing, and I figured this was it. I got into what is referred to as ‘labor land’. I was completely primal and felt out of body. My only thought and goal was to get Cooper out of me. After this bath, I got out and saw a huge bloody show. I thought it would mean I was almost out of transition and ready to push. I got checked again after this, at 7:35 a.m., and I was 9 cm dilated!!!! HECK YES!!! Everyone thought it wouldn’t be much longer; I was making great progress. It’s typical for women to get to 7 cm and then labor goes very quickly from there.

My story did not take this route…There was a shift change at 8:00 a.m., so I had a new midwife, Carey, and new nurses. I don’t remember their names, and I wish I did. They were so kind and helpful, especially in the next excruciatingly painful hours.

When I got checked again around 10:00 a.m., they realized there was still a bit of the water sac between Coopers head and my cervix. I’m not sure how or why this wasn’t noticed before. This is also when the city of Chapel Hill had a water shortage. That meant no more baths and no more drinking water.  During labor – I ran out of water. Talk about shitty. For some reason, I was really scared to have that little bit of forebag popped. Brent and I talked about it and he convinced me to just get it over with. I went ahead and had it popped. It was painless. I felt a HUGE gush of warm water come out. That wasn’t all that came out. Shortly after I smelt baby poop… Little Cooper took his first poop in utero known as meconium. This can be problematic for babies when they are born if they ingest any of the poop. I started to get very nervous and asked if we needed to transfer to the hospital and if Coop was going to be okay. Everyone reassured me that all would be okay.

One hour later, 11:00 a.m., I was in so much pain that I requested to go to the hospital. I was also stuck at 9cm dilated. This was 15 hours into my labor and I was DONE. I didn’t want to go through one more painful contractions. Carey suggested I try other pain coping mechanisms before transferring to the hospital. At the Birth Center they have nitrous oxide you can breathe in to help ease the pain. This was given to me, and all it did was make me feel high. Again, these next couple hours are super blurry and I’m not for sure what happened when. I remember hysterically crying, being massaged all over my body, and telling Brent I would rather die than go through one more contraction. I wasn’t messing around. I. Wanted. An. Epidural.

Carey convinced me to try one more thing, and if it didn’t work we would transfer. I was stuck at 9 cm because a little piece of my cervical lip, on the left, wouldn’t get the heck out of the way. Carey suggested that I start pushing while she tried to manually move it over. I agreed to try. This actually gave me some relief. The pushing through contractions felt so much better than whatever sort of pain I was in before. I gave it an honest effort and pushed with all my heart for 3ish contractions. Carey looked at me and said, “This is going to be hard work. You tried, and I told you we could transfer if it wasn’t progressing. You can keep trying, but it’s going to be hard work.” or something along those lines. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. Get me the hell out of this birth center and stick a needle in my back. SO. DONE. I immediately said no way pack my bags, let’s get out of here. This was around 12:45 p.m., so almost two hours after I initially wanted to transfer. I gave it my all. My plan from day one of knowing I was pregnant was to have a natural, unmedicated, vaginal birth. But after 17 hours of labor, that was no longer the plan, and I was more than okay with that.

The car ride was literally the worst part. It’s 2.4 miles from WBWC to UNC Hospital. When we transferred, it was right as class let out, and there were students all over the place. It took 15ish minutes to go those 2 miles, and that was the worst 15 minutes of my life. I had one contraction walking to the car, I think three in the car, one right as we entered the hospital (as we entered someone greeted us and asked if I was in labor as I was screaming through a contraction. Yeah, buddy, I’m in labor), and two before my IV and epidural were in. The anesthesiologist was listing all the risks and warnings with an epidural, and I’m pretty sure I said “I don’t care if I die, just put the needle in my back NOW.” The epi gave immediate relief. They stuck that bad boy in my back, my leg twitched and I almost kicked Brent, and then relief.

The plan was I would rest for two hours, Brent could sleep and eat, and everyone else would go grab some lunch and take a break. It was a nice theory. As I was in the bed with only a sleeping husband in the room my mind was racing. What the hell just happened? I felt traumatized. 18 hours later, and I was lying in a hospital bed feeling delusional, numb, and still pregnant. Not my plan. Not what I thought would happen. Carey came back two hours later, and my contractions had stalled. They were 10-12 minutes apart. She started me on Pitocin to speed things back up. If there was one thing I absolutely wanted to avoid during labor, it was Pitocin, and here I was needing it. It was pretty heartbreaking for me.

Stephanie and Kacy came back around 4:00 p.m., and we started talking about what had happened. It felt nice to have these ladies, who have been through two labors themselves, to talk to. At 16:40 I had an urge to push!! Yay! Baby Cooper would be here so soon. I could see the finish line. Carey came back to check, I was finally 10 cm and ready to push. Oh, and there was still no water so I was drinking fruit juices that were giving me the worst heartburn.

I pushed for 20 minutes, and then I was asked to stop… HAHAHA. There were so many women pushing at the same time, there was a shortage of nurses. So 22 hours into my labor I was asked to wait a little longer. SERIOUSLY? Due to sleep deprivation I happily agreed.

Finally, at 6:35 p.m. I was given the okay to push. I had Brittany the nurse, Carey, Brent, Kacy, and Stephanie all in the room with me. Surprisingly, pushing was the most relaxing of all of it. We put on my 2016 most played songs on Spotify and got to pushing. Occasionally they would put the mirror in front of me so I could see the progress I was making. It was fascinating to see his big head emerging. Then around 9:20 p.m., his head was really making its way out. It only took a couple contractions, and I could feel myself crowning. I was still numb so it didn’t hurt, but there was a lot of pressure. And then his head and his shoulders were out with the next big push. At 9:31 p.m. Cooper Lamar-Jax Prazak was born!!! He was on my chest immediately after coming out. Brent got to cut the umbilical cord!! It was pretty gross, but the gross factor doesn’t seem relevant when you have a newborn in your arms.
There were nurses and doctors in the room from NICU because the meconium. If Cooper wasn’t responsive, they would need to take him to the warmer and make sure his lungs were okay. A couple minutes after he was on my chest, they decided to take him because he was making some odd noises. This was heartbreaking. I held Kacy’s hand and bawled my eyes out. Brent went over, with tears in his eyes, and stood next to Cooper as he was examined. He was okay!! They gave him back and Brent and I kissed him. We instantly fell in love. Labor was long and hard for everyone. Thank you to Kacy my doula for being there from start to finish literally holding me up through most of it; Stephanie for taking the amazing photos and subbing in for Kacy when she needed a break; the whole Birth Center and UNC staff that took care of us, everyone was so kind and helpful; and Brent my partner in babymaking: I love you dearly and I love our beautiful son <3.

For anyone interested in a doula or birth photography here are the websites for the ladies I used!!

Kacy Harker:

Stephanie Capps:

By |March 29th, 2017|Birth Stories|0 Comments

Birth Announcements

Welcome, Sweet Babies!

*Thomas Wesley Langdon – February 2 – 9 lbs., 1 oz.

*Cooper Lamar-Jax Prazak- February 3 – 8 lbs., 7 oz.

Ethan Andrew Mueller – February 6 – 9 lbs., 13.5 oz.

Timothy Philip Stockton – February 6 – 8 lbs., 10 oz.

Onyx Jade Coston – February 7 – 7 lbs.

Marigold Joy Reading – February 11 – 8 lbs., 4 oz.

*Hatton Parker Howard – February 11 – 8 lbs., 4 oz.

*John Clarus Hayes – February 14 – 8 lbs., 4 oz.

*Cash Brockman – February 14 – 9 lbs., 1 oz.

*Marianne Hillary Spring – February 18 – 9 lbs., 14 oz.

Leandro-Enrique Arthur Dias – February 19 – 9 lbs., 1 oz.

Annabelle Lena Ellor-Salganik – February 19 – 6 lbs., 13 oz.

Lucy Ladd – February 20 – 6 lbs., 14 oz.

John Henry Miller – February 21 – 9 lbs., 9 oz.

Laurel Jean Ambrose – February 22 – 7 lbs., 4 oz.

Elliott McCray Crooms – February 24 – 7 lbs., 5 oz.

Charles Ishan Nix – February 24 – 10 lbs., 1 oz.

*Lyra Belle Earle – February 26 – 8 lbs., 8 oz.

February stats:

Total babies born: 28

Biggest baby: 10 lbs., 1 oz.

Smallest baby: 6 lbs., 5 oz.

To be included in this celebratory list, please email Tori at 

with your baby’s birth announcement information that includes 

their name, date of birth, and birth weight as well as a photo, if available.

If you would like to send us your birth story along with photos,

we are happy to include that in a future newsletter!


By |March 29th, 2017|Birth Announcements|0 Comments

Spotlight: Tiffany Thompson, RN

WBWC is been pleased to welcome another experienced women’s health nurse to our staff! Tiffany graduated from UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Nursing in 2009. While in nursing school, she attended the birth of a friend’s son, which happened to be at Women’s Birth & Wellness Center. At that time, she became hooked on the beauty of an out-of-hospital birth experience. After graduation, Tiffany began working as a maternal-child public health nurse in an intensive home visiting program where her passion for improving maternal and child outcomes blossomed. Tiffany’s career has always focused on women’s health and she has carried her public health roots with her in her work as a Labor and Delivery nurse in both the hospital and out-of-hospital setting. Tiffany is continuing to pursue her passion for maternal child health as she studies midwifery at East Carolina University. In her free time, you will find her spending time with her three nephews, learning new languages, discovering the Triangle’s great eateries, or planning her next trip abroad.

By |March 29th, 2017|News, Staff Spotlights|0 Comments

MILC Moment

By |March 29th, 2017|Breastfeeding / MILC Moment|0 Comments

Recipe: Quick Mock Apple “Pie” à la Mode

per person:

1 medium apple

1-2 tsp brown sugar

¼ tsp cinnamon or apple pie spice

1 graham cracker

1 scoop vanilla ice cream

optional: caramel ice cream topping

This recipe can be made on the stove top (ideal for thickening juice) or in the microwave (fast!)

Peel and dice apple, mix with sugar and spice. Microwave 1.5-2 minutes. (Or cook on stove top with 2 tsps of water on med-low for about 5 minutes, allowing apple to soften and juices to reduce and thicken.)

Cool until just warm, top with ice cream (or pour over ice cream if you are using a different dish), crumbled graham cracker, and caramel.

Great way to add the benefits of fruit and spice when the kids (or you) want ice cream for dessert!

(courtesy of Claire Caprioli)

By |March 29th, 2017|Recipes|0 Comments

Breastfeeding for Doulas and Birth Professionals

Photo credit: Heart and Hands Doula Services and Photography

Are you a birth or postpartum doula? A childbirth educator or other birth professional? In this class, you’ll supercharge your breastfeeding support skills! Whether you’re starting from scratch or have helped hundreds of babies, you’ll get a grounding in the latest breastfeeding information and learn something new (and customized to the Triangle area!).

We’ll be covering topics including:

Preparing your clients for breastfeeding success

The anatomy and physiology (making milk, letdown, suck)

Baby reflexes, abilities, and cues

Optimal latch and positioning, and helping parents get comfortable

“Protecting the space” immediately postpartum and navigating local hospital protocols

Helping parents catch early signs that something isn’t going right, and navigate to the help they need

Breastfeeding gear: pumping, bottles, and milk storage

Overcoming common obstacles including engorgement, sore nipples, and worries about weight loss and milk supply

Hot topics: understanding tongue tie, and bodywork for breastfeeding challenges

The class will be taught by Rebecca Costello IBCLC CD MPH. Rebecca sees patients full time at Women’s Birth and Wellness Center where she’s the Director of Lactation Services. Before coming to WBWC, she worked at UNC Women’s Hospital as an LC, and was a birth doula for many years prior. She knows the importance of doulas to breastfeeding success, and how helpful it was to have breastfeeding education in her doula role.

Cost: $50

To register call (919)933-3301

By |March 29th, 2017|Breastfeeding / MILC Moment, Events & Workshops|0 Comments

Road Trip Tips


Part I: Essentials

By Claire Caprioli

When you have four children aged 15 months to 8 years, the most reasonable and sane way to enjoy family time over the summer is with a staycation. Being neither reasonable nor sane in our house, we loaded the kids into the minivan for a 10-hour drive (in one day) to New York. Fifteen minutes into the trip, the baby vomited all over herself. The result of a rushed morning, she showed no signs of distress or illness. The child sitting next to her helpfully observed, “Hey, I can see the peach chunks from the yogurt she ate this morning!” One child in the back began dry-heaving. Another child requested an immediate opening of all the windows. My husband pulled over, his jaw clenching and unclenching, as he mentally calculated that to head home, clean up, and head back out would put us back in our current location 45 minutes from now.

I, Supermom, with a smile and dismissive wave of my hand, popped into action. This was, after all, just a routine and minor hiccup in the day. (This was also several years ago, so my exact words, attitude, and demeanor have been lost to antiquity.)

While windows and doors were opened wide, I headed to the trunk. I retrieved paper towels, wipes, baby wipes, 3 plastic produce bags, an infant blanket, a roll of lifesavers, and baby clothes.

In fewer than 10 minutes (no joke), we were back on the road (did you not catch the Supermom reference?)



As girl scouts, boy scouts, and Scar from The Lion King all know: BE PREPARED. With proper preparation, 90% of your work is done and all that is left is to 1. Prioritize and 2. Act.

The next few minutes went something like this:

Lifesavers were handed out to children (this is akin to showing a bird a shiny object. It serves as a distraction and is met with wonderment: “Wow, mom never lets us have lifesavers at 7:30am!”)

My husband held open produce bag #1 while I wiped up as much as I could with paper towels. The baby was removed from her car seat, wiped with baby wipes, and changed. Her dirty clothes were placed in produce bag #2. Produce bag #2 was tightly tied off and placed in produce bag #3, which was also knotted (this would need to make the trip to NY without creating an odor.) Wipes were used to wipe down the car seat, and all wipes were discarded in bag #1, which could now be knotted and disposed of at the next pit stop. The baby was dry, but the car seat was now damp. The thin infant blanket was folded in half and draped on the seat to keep the baby dry without being too bulky and interfering with the seat belt. Boom. Done and ready to hit the road again.

There were no further incidents on that trip. Incidentally, this exact incident happened again about a year later. So, BE PREPARED.

Experience is a great teacher. Had this occurred with our first child, we likely would have tearfully made our way back home. Preparation requires: thinking out scenarios in advance, knowing what you need, and having everything handy. If what I needed was buried under suitcases or scattered around the car, this would have taken much longer.

In hopes that I might save you from just such a tragedy, I offer you a peek into my car:

  • A mesh bag containing:
    • Paper towels
    • Baby wipes
    • Produce bags. I can’t say enough about produce bags—they are flat, a decent size, can be folded into tiny squares, and work great for garbage and a myriad of wet or dirty items.
  • Small plastic bucket within easy reach for kids, known as the “Puke Bucket” (name optional) which is lined, of course, with a produce bag
  • Tissues, also within easy reach of kids
  • Small bottle of hand sanitizer, napkins, straws, lifesavers in the passenger side door
  • Small duffle bag with emergency clothes for everyone (updated yearly), and towel/baby blanket

These items do not take up much room and always remain in the car in a known location. May your next trip be trouble-free, but if it isn’t, I hope these tips help!

[Claire Caprioli is a parenting and children’s writer who birthed her children at the WBWC. Part 2 of this article will feature keeping the kids entertained.]



By |March 29th, 2017|Claire Caprioli, Family Resources|0 Comments

Herb of the Month – Nettle

By Violet Trisolini

Nettle (Urtica dioica) is a useful herb for combating the all-too-common symptoms of allergy season. Nettle is a great source of vitamins important for healthy menstruation, pregnancy, and nursing, including iron, magnesium, and calcium. Its antihistamine properties make it a favorite for lessening springtime symptoms of hay fever and allergies. It is also a galactagogue and can increase milk supply! Can also be a mild diuretic. What’s not to love about this stinging plant?



Nettle can be found in the following products in the Boutique…

  • Nettle Tincture (Suki’s Blends)
  • Nettle Leaf capsules (Nature’s Way)
  • Kick-It Allergy (WishGarden) – proprietary blend of Yerba Santa, Nettles, Echinacea, & orange peel.
  • Teas including Nettle Tea (Traditional Medicinals), Woman’s Mother To Be (Yogi), Third Trimester Tea and Monthly Comfort Tea (Earth Mama Angel Baby), Pregnancy Tea, Woman’s Vitality, Fertility Tea, and Allergy Aid (Suki’s Blends)
  • Many galactagogues, including Milk Rich with Goat’s Rue (Wish Garden), More Milk Plus, More Milk Two, and More Milk Special Blend (Motherlove)



“Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide,” Rosemary Gladstar (2012)
“Body Into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care,” Maria Noel Groves (2016)
By |March 29th, 2017|Boutique, Health|0 Comments

Upcoming Events – April

Click to view detailed calendar

  • Babywearing Class – Saturday, April 1, 10 AM-12 PM, FREE
  • Breastfeeding Basics – Tuesday, April 4 & 18, 6:30-8:30pm, $30/couple
  • Coping with Motherhood – Thursday, April 6 & 20, 10:30 AM-12 PM, FREE
  • Babywearing Dance Class – Every Friday 9:15-10:15 AM, $10/adult or $40 for 5 classes
  • Weekend Breastfeeding Cafe – Saturday, April 8, 10:30 AM-12 PM, FREE
  • Breastfeeding for Doulas and Birth Professionals -Saturday, April 8, 1:30-4:30 PM, $50
  • La Leche League Meeting – Wednesday, April 12, 7-8:30 PM, FREE
  • Young Moms Meetup – Thursday, April 13, 4:30-6 PM, FREE
  • Breastfeeding Cafe – Friday, April 14 & 28, 10:30 AM-12PM, FREE
  • Cloth Diapering Class – Saturday, April 15, 10-11:30 am, FREE
  • Meet the Doulas – Wednesday, April 19, 7-9pm, FREE
  • Craniosacral Therapy Clinic – Saturday, April 22, 2-4pm, FREE
  • Express Yourself, Pumping and Breastfeeding Class – Tuesday, April 25, 6:30-8:30pm, $30/couple
By |March 29th, 2017|Events & Workshops|0 Comments

Community Prenatal Care

What is Community Prenatal Care?

Community prenatal care (CPC) at Women’s Birth & Wellness Center is a unique program designed to meet the needs of the family delivering in a birth center. CPC is inspired by an evidence-based/researched model of delivering prenatal care to women in a group setting. After two individual prenatal visits in the clinic, you begin monthly group visits from 16-20 weeks in your pregnancy until your due date. You will know the dates of all six of the group sessions in advance. You will also have regular visits in the clinic between group sessions.

Why Community Prenatal Care?
CPC is woman-focused, enhances a woman’s ability to make decisions regarding her own care, and encourages the social support that is so critical to successful out-of-hospital birth. You also receive the benefits of one-to-one care and meeting all the WBWC providers during your regular clinic visits.

For the family planning a birth center birth, the group sessions offer the opportunity to meet with like-minded women and partners who have made the same choice. Having a forum for discussing questions and concerns about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and parenting provides you with a supportive community which will enhance your pregnancy and birth experience and build your confidence in your ability to birth, feed, and parent your baby. In community, you have the opportunity to challenge the traditional philosophy of birth that treats pregnancy and birth as disease states, embraces technology, and builds fear. You will help to empower each other with confidence in your body’s knowledge and wisdom, trust in your ability to cope with pain, and belief that you know more about your body and your baby than “experts” do.

What happens at group?
A group of six to ten women with similar due dates meet for six monthly sessions for 90 minutes in an informal setting with two WBWC co-facilitators: a midwife, who rotates, and a nurse, who will be the same for all sessions. Partners may participate as well. You check and record your own weight, blood pressure, and weeks of pregnancy and keep a copy of the information in your “chart”. Growth of the uterus and fetal heart tones are checked by the midwife in a private area of the group space. You will only be apart from the group for three minutes for the tummy checks! The group sessions follow a syllabus but the majority of the time is spent in conversation with others, learning about and sharing pregnancy, birth, and parenting concerns. And we serve snacks.

Is there an additional charge for group care?
CPC is part of your prenatal care so there are no extra charges. If you have health insurance, group care is covered. If you are self-pay, it is included in the fees you are paying for your care.

Can I bring my other children?
No, to avoid distraction for all those in group, as well as space and time constraints, we are unable to include siblings in group care. Children of any age find 90 minutes in a group boring! Since you will know the date and time for all of your CPC visits ahead of time, you
can make child care arrangements more easily. WBWC staff is unable to provide childcare during group. You are always welcome to bring children to your individual appointments.

What happens if I have a personal problem or complication of pregnancy?
If you have a problem that needs additional evaluation by the midwife, there will be time before or after group to address these concerns. Please call the day before the group session to reserve additional time, if possible. You may also schedule problem visits between group sessions. If specific health conditions emerge during the pregnancy, those conditions may be managed in group or may require extra individual visits in the clinic.

Will I still get the lab tests and ultrasounds that I may need?
Yes, you will still get all of the same testing offered if you participate in CPC that you would get with traditional care. Any labs, prescriptions or ultrasounds can be ordered for you as needed by your CPC midwife. Your labs will be drawn during your individual clinic visits.

Would I still need to take Prepared Childbirth classes?
Yes, prepared childbirth classes are required for all first time pregnant women and highly recommended for first time fathers-to-be. If for some reason you are unable to take childbirth education classes, you must make an alternative plan to prepare for your birth and review the plan with a midwife.

This is a group. How is my privacy protected?
Special confidentiality rules are maintained throughout the program. All participants, including support people, are required to sign a confidentiality agreement at the first group visit. We stress that a person’s specific concerns should not be discussed outside the group setting. Any information shared with the group is up to each person. No one is ever pressured to disclose private concerns.

Why does each group session last 90 minutes?
Discussions get pretty lively when women (and partners) get together to talk about pregnancy & birth! The commitment we make to group participants is that we will start and end ON TIME – so instead of sitting in the waiting room when the office is busy or your midwife is running behind, you will start your visit as soon as you arrive and be learning and interacting the entire time. We have found that once women get to know each other, the time goes by very quickly.

“We participated in group prenatal care when we were pregnant with our daughter, and I
loved the experience. It was great to have people to talk to throughout pregnancy that were
at the same stage as I was and experiencing some of the same things. Especially for first-
time parents, I can’t recommend group prenatal care at WBWC enough!”
Sarah, group prenatal care mom

If you’re interested in participating in Community Prenatal Care, please contact Nancy at or Allison at


By |March 15th, 2017|News|0 Comments