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Frederick Birth Center

Twenty years ago, Special Beginnings was opened in Arnold, Maryland, and has since been one of the only freestanding birth centers in the state. For families that live too far from Special Beginnings, there are two options: use your local hospital or birth at home. There’s a wide swing to that pendulum in consideration of care providers, cesarean rate, interventions , maternal and infant health, and financial cost. Having options is important, and families should be able to find a birthing place that best fits their family.

 

Fortunately for our Maryland families, there will be another option. Meet Mychal Pilia, CNM and owner of the Frederick Birth Center.

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Mychal holds a bachelors degrees in Nutrition, Nursing and a masters degree in Nurse-Midwifery. She has been serving the home birth community since 2014. Mychal has spent extensive amounts of time in both business research and seeking feedback from the community. You may remember seeing her at Baker park last summer completing surveys, and talking with families.

 

Her vision for the Frederick Birth Center includes a holistic and family centered approach to pregnancy and birth. Evidence based care is the mainstay of the practice, and means that parents are active participants in their prenatal care.

 

What makes a birthing center different?

 

The care at the birthing center is personal and is built on a relationship with Mychal and the midwives at the birth center throughout your pregnancy. You develop personal trusting relationships with your providers, because they spend more time with you.  Your appointments are typically a half hour long with the initial one being an hour. Discussions include everything from nutrition, options for prenatal testing, mental health and emotional health, and how your feeling physically. It’s a whole person approach.

 

Not only do they provide more one on one time and attention, but they also offer classes you can take with mothers due around the same time. These range from early pregnancy topics, sibling preparation, labor and birth, breastfeeding and new parenting classes.

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Rather than cycle through all the doctors and midwives at a large practice, your time is spent with your midwife and her nurse. When you come to the center in labor, your midwife is the one meeting you there. She’s the one evaluating your labor and overseeing the safety and comfort for both you and your baby. At a hospital, you are meeting with a group of strangers, wondering who’s on call, and only seeing that doctor for mere moments at a time, and often only at the glorious moment of when baby is crowning to its birth.

 

The birthing center facility is a beautifully designed home like atmosphere, with a real bed, shower, full immersion tubs for labor and birth, equipped with all the medical needs for mom and baby. This isn’t birthing in the hospital where it tries to not resemble a hospital. This is a home away from home.

 

When can you receive care at FBC?

The Frederick Birthing Center is now open and is currently taking patients. You can begin care before you even get pregnant or transfer care almost any time during your pregnancy.  After all this is a “service industry” and your health care providers work for you!

Boho room with creams, pops of color and texture.  

Boho room with creams, pops of color and texture.  

 

 

 

What does care include?

A midwife and nurse are on call if you have emergent or non-emergent needs during your pregnancy. Care includes 10-12 prenatal visits depending on when you begin services, and group classes are available. You will also have access to the lending library if your enjoy to prepare for your birth through reading.

 

You are fully supported during your birth, and families can leave for home as early as four hours after birth (upper limit is twelve).

 

Postpartum checks are completed with a 24-hour phone call, 1-2 day home visit, and a 1-2 week and 6 weeks office visits.

 

Well-woman care is also available at the center including pap smears, full range of family planning options, health screenings (cholesterol, blood sugar, thyroid, and anemia labs to say the least), and mental health counseling and screenings.

This 33" Japanese soaking tub is huge. I'm 5'5", and could easily submerge into this beauty. 

This 33" Japanese soaking tub is huge. I'm 5'5", and could easily submerge into this beauty. 

 

 

Cost of birthing at a Birth Center

Cost is $7,000 and includes the professional care and the facility fee. Check with your insurance provider for full understanding of benefits and what can be covered or reimbursed for your out-of-hospital birth.

 

Having your baby at a birthing center is a lower cost option, with lower interventions, high level of satisfaction and high safety standards proven with large national studies (check out the National Birth Center Study II to see the birth center difference!). The cesarean rate in Maryland is currently ~36% (higher than the national average (33%), where the rate for birth centers is only 6%. For healthy low-risk pregnancies, out-of-hospital births provide options that protect maternal and infant health, while lowering health care costs, and providing a memorable experience for your family for a lilfetime.

 

For a look at hospital care cost, check out this article here:  http://www.scpr.org/blogs/health/2015/07/22/18049/pricecheck-how-much-does-it-cost-to-have-a-baby-at/

 

Future plans

Plans include two more Maryland freestanding birthing centers, located in Baltimore and Silver Spring.

 

For more information

You can reach Mychal Pilia at the Frederick Birth Center (frederickbirthcenter.com).

 

More about birthing centers:

https://www.mamanatural.com/birth-center/

http://www.birthcenters.org/?page=bce_what_is_a_bc

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Summer Pregnancy Survival: Beating the Heat While Feeling Your Best

*This post contains affiliate links. I receive a commission for any purchases from these links, at no additional cost to you. I only work with affiliates and recommend products I truly love, I am not paid for these reviews. 

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I had two summer pregnancies. With my first pregnancy it was the hottest summer on record here in Maryland. I was still working as a zookeeper in a hot humid building, and had to build up a repertoire of tools to feel okay. I was hot, sweaty and tired, but I avoided some big issues like dehydration and swelling. 

Let's get started enjoying the summer season, and keeping you pregnant mamas happy! Here's what helped:

1.  Get into the water! Whether it is your neighbors pool, the pool at the gym, the local city pool, local lake, or a blow up baby pool, get yourself in the water! Getting submerged not only cools you off, but blissfully relieves your joints from the weight of your growing belly. Swimming is excellent low impact cardio, and can be helpful with fetal positioning. 

2. Drink all the fluids. Make them fun!  Grab your favorite straw cup, and get sipping! Start with water everyday, and throw in some lemon, cucumber, mint, or berries to jazz it up. The lemon in water can be especially helpful with swelling, and provides a natural source of electrolytes. When the heat is on, making some fun blended mocktails is a delicious way to get through it. Check out some healthy smoothies and blended mocktails on the Living Heart Doula Summer Survival Pinterest board here

Earth Mama Organics also has some fun mocktail recipes, using teas. Pour over ice or blend for a cooling treat. 

Ginger Mint Mock-Tea-Ni with Morning Wellness Tea

 

3. Veg out and get your fruit on! When in doubt, eat your fluids. Watermelon, oranges, strawberries, and salads are excellent at keeping you cool and hydrated. A great option for when it is too warm to even turn on the stove, is to pull out the veggies in your crisper and grab some hummus and bean dip. This is also the time to utilize your instant pot and slow cooker. Set up dinner, spend the day at the pool, and come home to a ready meal without worrying about the heat or babysitting a grill.

4. Take advantage of the AC. Summertime here in Maryland is always a quandary; it's steamy hot outside, but you may need a sweater to get through grocery shopping due to the AC being kept at polar temperatures. However when you're pregnant during a swampy afternoon, you'll want all the AC you can get. Walk the mall, take older kids to story time and play at the library, catch a movie, even take a walk around your local Costco and soak up the air conditioning (grab some samples while you're there too). 

Unique, eco-friendly products chosen just for you and your little one!Earth Mama Angel Baby | Safe and Natural Products for Mama and Baby

5. Clothing options. The best fabrics for your growing belly are going to be lightweight and moisture wicking. Grab multiple dresses, maxi skirts, shirts and shorts in cotton, linen, and bamboo. Avoid heavy synthetic fabrics to avoid sweating and chaffing. Speaking of chaffing, to help prevent uncomfortable rubbing, try out these options: rub coconut oil on your thighs to prevent friction, baby powder or talcum powder to soak up sweat, wear cotton bicycle shorts under skirts, or apply antiperspirant to the area. You can find clean ingredient deodorant from Earth mama organics here . I've mentioned thighs several times, but these tricks should be helpful for multiple body areas.  

Think breezy light weight material for summer months. 

Think breezy light weight material for summer months. 

6. Ice, Ice Baby! During my hot sweaty pregnant zoo days, the most helpful item I had for staying comfortable was an ice pack. Put ice packs on the back of your neck, chest, and pulse points. For days out at the park with kids, pack an insulated tote bag with wash cloths and ice cubes. Apply them through the day, and dunk in the ice water to refresh. 

Fill an insulated tote bag with ice and wet cloths. Use the icy cold rags to cool off during summer outings. 

Fill an insulated tote bag with ice and wet cloths. Use the icy cold rags to cool off during summer outings. 

What helped you during the summer heat? Share your favorite tricks with us in the comments! 

 

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Using Water During Labor and Birth

          Humans have an integral relationship with the element of water.  It runs through our veins, we are born of it, and it is necessary for our survival. We are drawn to it for escape, adventure, release, and cleansing. As a woman is preparing to give birth, water is a means of release from the weight of her growing belly, and the means to ease her aching muscles. Water is a great coping tool in labor, whether through a shower or tub. (For the sake of this paper we will only be mentioning the use of a tub.) The use of water in labor can aide in pain management by increasing relaxation, decreasing strain on muscles, and creating freedom of movement.

 

         The mother’s ability to relax her muscles during labor can affect the length of labor and the intensity of contractions. The more a mother fights and tenses her muscles the worse contractions may feel. Especially in active labor, the mother may need as many coping strategies as possible. The birthing tub offers a great respite, and a simple way to relax. The birthing tub is often called, "The midwife’s epidural”, for its effectiveness (Drichta, Owen p. 257). The warmth of the water helps to ease the pain felt from contractions, relaxing muscles of the pelvic floor and back, and creates a mental space that creates privacy (Drichta p. 258). It is recommended to maintain water temperature at 96-98 degrees. Using higher temperatures could cause increased blood pressure, dehydration and lethargy (Drichta p. 258). The bath is also deeply engrained as a place of mental release in daily routines. Our bathtubs are typically places of retreat to relax, and the mental association during labor holds true.

 

          Labor is a physically demanding process. From hours of walking, lunging, squatting, intense contractions, and the possibility of little sleep can make for a grueling marathon on the mother’s muscles. The warmth of the tub eases both the pain of the contractions and the work of her remaining muscles (Drichta p. 257). Being in a large tub that covers her belly, the mother is buoyant and freed from the gravity of dry land. Her pelvic muscles are relaxed and her cervix will continue to dilate, often with more ease as she relaxes. A mother that is able to relax and mentally release her tension, will have an easier time laboring than a mother that is fighting each contraction.

 

        Being weightless allows the mom to assume positions that could be too taxing on land, such as deep squats using the side of the pool, that will help baby to descend and turn. She's able to easily move from one position to the next in response to her labor, while remaining warm and relaxed. The ease of movement allows the mother to find her own rhythm and coping responses that she would not have had if she was limited to a bed. Her ability to move through labor gives the mother more control and autonomy during the birth. She's able to push in the position that suits her, catch her own baby, and bring baby to chest without outside help or others manipulating her body. She has full confidence and control.

 

          Relaxation, decreased strain on muscles and freedom of movement are gained for the birthing mother with the use of water during labor. The three work together as a pain management strategy, addressing both mental and physical tension that could hinder a birth. The birthing tub is used at its greatest advantage during late stage active labor throughtransition. It is recommended that for every hour spent in the tub, the mother spends at least thirty minutes out of the tub. This is to ensure that contractions do not slow down, as can sometimes happen. Often contractions may just feel less intense, but are still actively working. According to Water BirthInternational, “Getting back in the water after thirty minutes will reactivate the chemical and hormonal process, including a sudden and often marked increase in oxytocin.” (Harper p. 2) As with other labors, hydration is of the utmost importance. Keep a drink with a straw nearby so the mother can drink at will. The birth can be completed in the water as well, depending on location (some hospitals only allow laboring in the tub) and as long as the labor is not having any complications (ex:meconium, shoulder dystocia).

           

 

                                                     Works Cited

Drichta, Jane E., CPM and Owen, Jodilyn, CPM. The Essential Homebirth Guide for Families Planning or Considering Birthing at Home. 2003. Simon and Schuster.

 

Harper, Barbara. "Guidelines for Safe Waterbirth.”Waterbirth International. p. 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQVM36r1rvw#action=share

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6KHW7TNiCk#action=share

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