Birth Center Stone Oak is fulfilling the growing desire for natural childbirth in San Antonio. Since opening in 2012, the Center’s licensed midwives have delivered hundreds of babies outside of a hospital.
Birth Center Stone Oak, located in North Central San Antonio, is part of a wave of birth centers − freestanding facilities dedicated to caring for low-risk women during their childbearing years – expanding nationwide. The increased awareness comes as more young women and couples consider options for how they will give birth, where and who will assist.
“It’s about giving women a choice regarding their pregnancy and childbirth options,” says Joi Brock, founder and clinical director of Birth Center Stone Oak. “And giving those choices back to the woman while using less intervention.”
Reasons for choosing a birth center include private personalized holistic care from a midwife, avoiding unnecessary interventions, options of water labor and water birth, integrated family care after birth, flexibility in a home-like environment, and extended post-birth care.
“Fathers like our center because it offers a cross between home birth and hospital birth,” Brock adds. “It’s the ideal solution for those seeking a midwife and out-of-hospital experience.”
Best of Both Worlds
The birth center hybrid model of childbirth allows for a home-style birthing experience with the medical backup for added security. Birth Center Stone Oak suites feature comfortable Queen-sized beds, private bathrooms and soaking tubs for relaxation as well as birthing if desired. There are also private refrigerators stocked with snacks and beverages.
The licensed midwives at Birth Center Stone Oak bring extensive experience in natural births, with the added benefit of being trained and equipped to provide limited medical intervention when necessary. If labor and delivery do not meet protocol, they in turn arrange hospital transport, remain with the family and act as labor support for the birth.
A Family Affair
The staff at Birth Center Stone Oak encourages laboring mothers to be engaged and participatory to their liking. This could mean eating, drinking, moving about or visiting with friends and family. Mothers can invite anyone into the birthing suite, which appeals to many couples who choose to include siblings. A nearby lounge also serves as a gathering space.
The idea, says Brock, is “to facilitate a natural, family centered experience that will create lasting memories.”
In many cases, birth center fees are lower than out-of-pocket expenses associated with insurance deductibles and co-pays, as well as those incurred through traditional hospital care. Opting for natural childbirth − water birthing, in particular, which can ease the discomfort of childbirth and eliminate the need for anesthesia − saves dollars simply by nature of managing pain in a physiologic, versus pharmacologic, manner.
A staggering 33 percent of babies in the U.S. are born by cesarean delivery, according to data published by the International Cesarean Awareness Network. Cesarean Sections are not only costly, but can create complications that present danger to both the mother and baby. Because medical findings show that vaginal deliveries are in most cases safer and less expensive, Birth Center Stone Oak specializes in Vaginal Births After Cesarean (VBAC) and can advise mothers who have delivered by cesarean previously about delivering naturally in low-risk cases.
Birth Center costs are generally lower overall due to the one-stop-shop comprehensive care approach, and because they operate within the healthcare system, most major insurance providers offer coverage.
At Birth Center Stone Oak, services extend beyond delivery to ensure its commitment to continuity of care. Mothers get to know the staff and environment early on, and receive ongoing support after the delivery of their baby.
“We find this a comforting, anxiety reducing alternative to traveling to different doctor appointments and seeing a hospital room for the first time on delivery day,” Brock adds.
Prenatal care includes regular, unhurried midwife checkups to include discussion about diet, exercise and other areas of health, as well as normal clinical care. Other areas of care offered at the Birth Center Stone Oak include: chiropractic treatment, prenatal massage and prenatal counseling. Postpartum counseling is also available, along with newborn hearing screenings, infant weight checks and lactation instruction. In addition, midwives conduct home visits and guide new parents on monitoring their baby’s health.
“We are honored to work alongside San Antonio’s women and families to bring new life into the world,” Brock says. “We strive to provide a compassionate environment where, love, commitment and amazement can be felt at each birth.”
About Birth Center Stone Oak
Founded in 2012, Birth Center Stone Oak provides natural care to expectant mothers and newborns in a nurturing environment where individual birth choices are supported and family values and appreciated and nurtured. Its mission is to assist parents in experiencing a secure and happy pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum. For more information, visit www.BirthCenterStoneOak.com.
Your Birth, Your Way