It is impossible to walk into Baby+Company and not leave inspired. To look at this new boutique birth center in an unassuming strip mall in Wheat Ridge, you’d assume it was just another baby clothing store so I was not prepared for the transformative, even reverent experience the moment I walked in the door. With warm, welcoming colors and a calm atmosphere, Baby+Company could not be more different than a sterile hospital environment. This birth center is about empowerment, education and relationships with the goal of creating a customized care plan based on Mom’s needs.
What is Baby+Company?
Baby+Company is a growing network of birth centers designed for healthy women with low-risk pregnancies who are looking for an alternative to hospital-based birth. They bring together the best elements of highly personalized care, along with partnering with a leading local health system and physician practice. Their highly skilled staff, led by Certified Nurse-Midwives develop customized plans that address your health needs and are available 24/7. To complement their clinical care, they offer wellness services and classes including healthy pregnancy workshops, childbirth education, breastfeeding and newborn classes, and a new mom’s group. They even schedule an in-home wellness check from a member of the clinical team two days after baby is born.
There is no reception desk, but it has touches of home everywhere, like a banner of all the babies’ names born at the birth center. A group of new moms was gathered on the comfortable couches in the great room. Nicknamed “The Lunch Bunch” by staff, these women have an informal gathering as often as they can. “We love it here,” one raved. “This is our community.”
When I asked the group of seven who gave birth at the center, two women responded affirmatively, two women had “risked out” with high-risk pregnancies and the others took pre- and post-natal classes. Denver mom Sarah Conner had nothing but good things to say about her experience. “I had an easy delivery with my son so I wanted a more natural birth with my daughter. We arrived at Baby+ Company at 2:30 a.m., she was born at 7 a.m. and I was happy to be home by 11 a.m. for me to recover.”
What happens during labor?
The whole premise of Baby+Company is to work with you to design a birth plan and support you as you make your plan a reality. Their midwives and nurses are by your side throughout your entire labor. You may wear what you want, move around as much as you want and eat what you want. There are various comfort measures in the beautiful boutique birthing suites including plush queen-sized beds, a walk-in shower with massage sprayer, a deep soaking tub for water births, a yoga ladder for supported lunges or rebozo, birthing stool for supported squatting, a birth ball for hip opening and Nitrous Oxide. Baby+Company also has a gourmet kitchen so you can make your own food as well as a living room for families.
Is it safe to give birth outside of the hospital?
For healthy, low-risk women, giving birth in a birth center is as safe as giving birth in the hospital and actually has health benefits. A recent national study of birth center outcomes found that maternal and neonatal complications rates were extremely low and comparable to what is typical among low-risk women in a hospital setting. According to The National Birth Center Study compiled at Harvard, “most transfers from birth centers to hospitals were not emergencies, with only 1.9% of women or their newborns experiencing a complication during labor or after birth that required urgent transfer to a hospital.”
Community Outreach Manager Lizzie Mara says that at each location, Baby+Company first develops partnerships with the nearby hospital and physicians. Lutheran Medical Center is 1 minute away should an emergency arise and moms are pre-enrolled prior to labor to ensure a seamless transition. “But what if Mom can’t cut it?” I queried. I’d like to think I could have had an empowering natural birth but if we’re being honest, I really liked my epidural, too. “We try to help moms carry out their birth plan but some reach the point of exhaustion so yes, a hospital transfer in those cases is definitely possible.”
What other services do you offer?
Baby+Company has a range of classes designed to help parents from pregnancy to early parenthood. Some of their most popular classes include breastfeeding basics, preparing for birth center birth, newborn care, pregnancy and new mom’s groups, and prenatal yoga. They also offer full gynecologic annual exams, including pap smears, pre-conceptual care and contraceptive management.
Does my insurance cover care with a midwife in a birthing center?
Baby+Company accepts all major insurance plans.
Hospital vs. Home Births vs. Birthing Centers
There’s lot of debate about home versus hospital births. Advocates of home births want the comfort and security of home while most hospital advocates want professional medical staff on-hand in case of problems. So, what if there was a childbirth option that married the two?
Baby+Company is definitely a wonderful option for Denver moms.
In partnership with Mile High Mamas.