Latest news non-related to individual births.
Are you an experienced nurse interested in supporting women in an out-of-hospital setting? We are currently looking for full-time Labor and Delivery Nurses to join our team. This is a unique opportunity to support mothers in labor and postpartum. Email Emily Slaughterbeck, RN, firstname.lastname@example.org, with your resume or any questions.
“As a nurse at Women’s Birth and Wellness Center I love deeply connecting with women and families as they bring their little ones into this world. I love being empowered to truly provide the type of care that all women deserve whether it is here at the birth center in a birthing tub or sitting cross legged with them on their bed as I assess there newborn during a homevisit. The midwives make me feel like a valued part of the team as we talk through the plan of care whether it is discussing which herb or homeopathic remedy we should use next or if we are dealing with an emergency resuscitation of a baby. I love using my full range of nursing skills from supporting a mom in labor to teaching a newborn class to assisting a postpartum mom with breastfeeding.” – Asha Oakes, RN, IBCLC
Women’s Birth & Wellness Center is dedicated to providing women of diverse backgrounds with comprehensive well woman, maternity and preventative healthcare throughout the life cycle.
On behalf of the staff, volunteers, Board of Directors and, most especially, those individuals whom we serve, we thank you for considering a donation. More than ever, our independent fundraising efforts go to ensure and sustain the work of Women’s Birth & Wellness Center.
We are a 501 (c)3 charitable organization and all contributions to our center are tax deductible – we will gladly provide a tax receipt for any donations received. Thank you on behalf of the staff and special women who give birth and receive care at our center.
- Laptop computer/computers for the nurses who do home visits: Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon
- Glider Rocker
- Refrigerator for Lab
- Baby Blankets
- Full Size Fleece Blankets
- Coffee Supplies for kitchen
- Digital Scale
- Juice Boxes
- Full size sheets with pillow cases
If you’re interested in making a donation, please contact Brianna Honea at email@example.com or by phone at 919.933.3301, ext. 218.
By Bradley Bethel
If I could make one recommendation to every expectant dad, it would be this: accompany your partner to her prenatal appointments (with her permission, of course).
For many of us men, pregnancy seems like an unfathomable mystery. Obviously, if we’re about to be become dads, we know something about how a woman becomes pregnant — that’s the easy part. Beyond that, however, society does little to help us understand pregnancy itself or how to support our partners through the process. For generations, we’ve been socialized according to gender norms that minimize men’s role during pregnancy and keep us ignorant about it. No wonder we’re often bewildered by the whole experience.
Unlike the days of Call the Midwife, men are now welcome, even expected, to be with their partners during labor. Yet often our only preparation is a short series of weekly childbirth classes. Somehow, in six weeks, we’re supposed to undo a lifetime of exposure to sensationalized, frightening media depictions of childbirth and then feel prepared to assume the role of a calm, supporting partner.
When my spouse, Tracy, became pregnant two years ago, I was eager to become a dad. But like most expectant fathers, I was anxious about my role during childbirth. Would I be able to provide adequate support to Tracy while she labors? What if something were to go wrong? Would I know what decision to make? How could I possibly remain calm and supportive through something as seemingly terrifying as childbirth?
Fortunately, by the time Tracy woke me up on a Thursday morning several months later to tell me today is the day, my fears had subsided, and I felt ready to provide the support she needed.
My change in confidence began when I accompanied Tracy to her first prenatal appointment with a nurse-midwife at the Women’s Birth & Wellness Center. Midwife means “with women.” Midwifery is a fundamentally woman-centered approach to maternity care, based on respect for women’s bodies and women’s autonomy over their bodies. Many women who choose midwifery-based care describe it as empowering.
Sitting by Tracy’s side at her first appointment, I found it empowering, too. And so I decided to go with her to every one of her prenatal appointments after that.
At each appointment, we learned what was going on with our developing baby and Tracy’s body. As my understanding of the whole process grew, I felt many of my fears dissipate. Childbirth, I realized, isn’t as terrifying as our culture leads us to believe. Tracy’s confidence in giving birth increased, and my confidence in supporting her did likewise.
Our experience shows that the nurse-midwives at the Women’s Birth & Wellness Center are not just “with women” but “with families” as well. They were with us all the way through pregnancy and childbirth. Our daughter was born at the Birth Center without complications, and she remains happy and healthy to this day.
My positive experience with the nurse-midwives at the Birth Center left such an impression on me that it’s actually influenced my current work as a documentary film producer.
Coincidentally, while Tracy and I were working with nurse-midwives here in North Carolina, my filmmaking partner, Ned, was photographing a homebirth in Costa Rica. When he returned from his trip, he told me he had met Costa Rica’s last traditional midwife, a 95-year-old woman named Doña Miriam, who has delivered more than 2,000 babies. Immediately, I wanted us to produce a documentary about her, and Ned was already thinking the same.
Our project, The Last Partera, will document the passing on of the midwifery tradition from Doña Miriam to a new generation of Costa Rican women fighting for their right to choose how they give birth. Over the past year, our production team has expanded to include three women and two men. Two of the team members spent a month filming in Costa Rica last May, and we’ve been raising funds for a return trip later this month.
The project became more urgent two weeks ago when members of the Costa Rican medical establishment made an official statement calling for severe restrictions on the practice of nurse-midwives, which could effectively strip women of their right to choose how they give birth.
From the nurse-midwives at the Women’s Birth & Wellness Center, I learned the importance of educating and empowering women to make their own choices in childbirth. And since I became a father to a daughter, women’s issues have taken on new significance to me. I want my daughter and every daughter to have the right to choose not only whether they give birth but how they give birth.
Although The Last Partera takes place in Costa Rica, the issues we’re covering are relevant here in the U.S., where the C-section rate is well above what it should be. We believe our film will make an original contribution to the global fight for access to quality maternity care and for women’s reproductive rights in general.
Our crowdfunding campaign ends on April 11. Donations are tax-deductible and come with rewards such as opportunities to see the completed film before it’s available for purchase. We’re grateful for all contributions, and we’ll be keeping supporters updated through our newsletter.
Before I conclude with a quote from Ina May Gaskin, I want to note that two years ago I had never even heard of the legendary midwife from The Farm. Now I’m immersed in midwifery literature and consider myself an advocate. My passion for protecting midwifery was ignited at a simple prenatal appointment and has blossomed into production of a documentary film. We need to preserve the tradition of midwifery, and no one articulates the reasons more effectively than Ina May Gaskin:
“When you destroy midwives, you also destroy a body of knowledge that is shared by women, that can’t be put together by a bunch of surgeons or a bunch of male obstetricians, because physiologically, birth doesn’t happen the same way around surgeons, medically trained doctors, as it does around sympathetic women.”
Visit the crowdfunding page for The Last Partera here: seedandspark.com/fund/the-last-partera
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.
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
By Claire Caprioli
I remember one cold morning when my fourth child, Rosie, was a toddler. I had just sent my husband and three older children off to work and school, and I was cleaning up the remnants of breakfast: toast crumbs, banana peels, and cups of milk (always with just one sip left). I desperately needed a shower. Rosie licked the butter off her fingers and happily finished her milk.
“Okay, I think we could both use a shower,” I said.
“Can I have some hot cocoa?” she asked.
“How about we get in the shower first and have cocoa a little later? I don’t know about you, but I’d feel a lot better after a shower.”
“How about you make me cocoa, and I drink it in the shower?” Rosie is accommodating, but she also knows what she wants.
“No way, goosey-Lucy! Nobody drinks cocoa in the shower!”
And that’s when I had my golden mom moment: instead of the instant “no” that eagerly danced on my lips, I actually took a moment to pause. To think. Hmm. Toddlers seldom drink hot cocoa without getting at least a chocolate mustache and often dribbles down their shirt. Nothing to worry about when they are naked and already in the shower. (And no, there’s no risk of burn—who serves a toddler hot cocoa that’s actually hot?)
In the kitchen, there’s the risk of a full-out spill on the table and floor. In the shower, that would go right down the drain. The cocoa could go in a travel mug so there’s little chance of soapy water going into the drink. Hey, this isn’t sounding too bad. If she’s busy drinking cocoa, I might… *gasp* …I might have an extra minute or two to shave my legs!
“YES!” I enthusiastically cried. “Why not?”
I got to be the champ mom that said yes! She was happy. I was happy. It all worked out so dreamily that I briefly considered serving beverages to my children only while they were bathing. Less laundry! No spills! Okay, I never seriously considered that, but Rosie still remembers that first time, and she did get to do it a few more times after that.
The moral is: kids can have great ideas that work out for everyone. When you are tempted to say “no” out of habit or because something simply sounds silly, take the time to pause and consider. What do you lose by saying “yes”? What might you gain? If I had told her no and made her wait for the cocoa, she might have been grumpy and uncooperative getting clean and may well have made a mess of herself shortly thereafter. If I had given in to the request before I showered, I may have been grumpy and impatient for her to finish. Either way, our attitudes would have fed off each other making us both unhappy and not setting a great tone for the start of the day. Sure, we would have gotten over it quickly enough, but look at what actually happened just by saying YES!
[Claire Caprioli birthed all four of her children in the peach room at the WBWC and used to contribute regularly to the newsletter under her married name. She’s still happily married but uses her pen name. She is a children’s writer and has completed her first (as yet unpublished) novel. She is excited to once again share her articles about pregnancy and parenting with the WBWC. You can find her at https://twitter.com/ClaireCaprioli]
WBWC women and their babies showed up in force to join the Women’s March on Raleigh on January 21. The group took a bus from the Birth Center to downtown Raleigh to march in support of women’s right, health care, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA issues, gender and racial equality, and economic justice. There was an excellent turnout, and it was a great opportunity for peacefully empowering women and talking about important issues!
By Latasha Jordan
WBWC is grateful to all the wonderful volunteers who share their time and talents with us! Volunteers are vital to keeping the clinic running smoothly and efficiently. They serve as clerical assistants for Women’s Birth and Wellness Center (WBWC). We have recently created a volunteer title called The Front Desk Helper. The Front Desk Helper serves as a valued team member who participates in completing daily tasks that help WBWC provide a positive, professional, yet personal experience for the client throughout their visit to the center. Each volunteer works with the Front Desk Manager to complete and perform daily administrative task that include faxing documents, pulling charts, filing, making reminder phone calls, scanning charts, and taking messages.
Length of Appointment: The Front Desk Helper is assigned to one day per week for a period of three months. After three months, the Front Desk Helper may be reappointed for another three months at the discretion of the supervisor.
Time Commitment: One day per week (Monday – Friday) for three hours (9 AM-12 PM or 1 PM- 4 PM.), for a minimum of three months.
Qualifications: Basic knowledge of computer and data entry. Pleasant manner, patience, problem-solving ability, dependability.
Support: On the job training for this position will be provided. In addition, the Front Desk Manager will be available for questions and assistance.
Dress Code: Business Casual
If you are interested in volunteering with the center please contact Latasha Jordan at Latasha@ncbirthcenter.org.
First session for June due dates will be January 11. Reserve your spot in your group now!
Call 919-933-3301, x207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Prenatal Care (CPC) at WBWC is a unique program designed to meet the needs of families delivering at our birth center. It is an an alternative to traditional prenatal care. After your first two prenatal visits in the clinic, you can choose CPC: monthly group visits alternating with individual clinic visits until your baby is born.
Inspired by an evidence-based model of offering prenatal care to women in a group setting and research that indicates a higher level of satisfaction, increased knowledge of pregnancy, and fewer preterm births for women in group prenatal care.
CPC consists of six 90-minute group sessions that include health checks for you and baby, time to ask questions and share advice and support with other moms/families with due dates close to yours, information from the midwife and nurse facilitators.
The group setting is focused on you and your family. This type of prenatal care enhances your ability to make decisions about your own care, and builds your confidence in your ability to birth, feed, and parent your baby.
You can read FAQ about CPC at www.ncbirthcenter.org.