The best way to create a new birth center is to draw upon the expertise of other birth centers, especially the ones serving uniquely diverse New Mexico. On November 7, Michael Bone, Executive Director of Physician Practices for Taos Health Systems, and I had the pleasure of taking a road trip to visit accredited birth centers in Northern New Mexico. We hoped to bring ideas and knowledge back to Taos.
We visited The Birth Center at Southwest Care in Santa Fe and Dar a Luz in Albuquerque. Breath of My Heart Birthplace in Española was also on our list, but had to be re-scheduled because Jessica Frechette-Gutfreund, their midwife, was out of town.
The Birth Center of Southwest Care
Santa Fe, NM
The Birth Center of Southwest Care had a cheerful waiting room stocked with books to borrow and artwork. Cheerful tree art on the wall drew the eye to a fun toddler play area. It was relaxing and inviting with flute music in the background. A young family was leaving with their new baby bundled in the car seat.
Maite Redondo, CNM, met with us and gave us an in depth tour of the two birth rooms. Each room had a comfortable free standing birth tub, a birth stool and a birth swing. We learned new ways to keep baby blankets warm and how to store essential medical equipment while maintaining a cozy home-like atmosphere. Maite shared her experiences with the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC) accreditation process, reporting the site visitors were extremely thorough, professional and kind. She shared her challenges starting a new birth center and gave inspiration to overcome these challenges.
Dar a Luz Birth Center
From the Dar a Luz parking lot Michael and I passed over the little footbridge and stepped into a gloriously sunny birth center. Dar a Luz is an accredited birth center, founded in 2011 with two birth rooms. Each room has a beautiful tub, birth stool, and birth swing. Dar a Luz offers classes to all clients and a comprehensive initial packet. Abigal Lanin Eaves, CNM, Director of Dar a Luz, talked to us for several hours about CABC accreditation, Birth Center politics, billing strategies, clinical policies and procedures, and their similar birth philosophy.
The Birth Center at Women’s Health Institute hopes to be open in February 2014. They are thankful for the collaboration of all the midwives, doctors and administrators working towards this goal.
Kiersten Figurski, LM, CPM
Birth Center at Women’s Health Institute