After years of planning, we are thrilled to announce the recent progress of our new birthing center, Natural Beginning. We broke ground last month and expect to open in early September.
As the first tandem birthing center in Central Texas, Natural Beginning will have many distinct characteristics that will allow us to operate differently than other birthing centers in our area.
Natural Beginning will operate alongside OBGYN North’s 31 year old practice and will be located at 12221 Renfert Way, adjacent to St. David’s North Austin Medical Center.
The opening of the birth center will be the culmination of our physician’s and midwives’ efforts over many years and will allow us to fulfill our mission of providing the highest quality maternity care both in and out of the hospital setting in a seamless fashion.
OBGYN North was created from our passion for women’s health both in the exam room and at the legislature. Our dedication towards providing the best evidence-based options for our patients is something we constantly work on through monthly provider meetings with review of current research. We pride ourselves on the consistent, quality, collaborative care that we offer. We educate our patients about their bodies and their options for optimizing their health. Natural Beginning will simply be an extension of our practice, allowing low-risk women the opportunity to birth their babies naturally, in a safe and comfortable setting outside of the hospital, but close enough to allow for a quick transfer to the hospital or NICU, in the rare circumstance where a transfer is needed or requested.
Natural Beginning will operate in conjunction with OBGYN North. The birth center will have three rooms available for laboring women, each with a SaniJet birthing tub and full or queen-sized bed. It will be staffed by certified nurse midwives and registered nurses on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All of Natural Beginning’s midwives, as well as OBGYN North’s are certified nurse midwives (CNM), meaning they have completed a masters degree in nursing with a specialty in midwifery. This allows Natural Beginning’s midwives to be credentialed at the hospital as well, and to continue their patients’ clinical care if transfer to the hospital should become necessary.
Having experienced CNM’s on staff, as well as midwifery privileges at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, allows the process to run much more smoothly. No other birth center in Austin has these exclusive hospital privileges.
Another feature unique to Natural Beginning will be the use of nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, for laboring women who request it. Natural Beginning will be the only birth center in Texas to use nitrous oxide, a safe, inexpensive and fairly simple option that helps to alleviate pain commonly associated with labor. While this form of pain relief in labor settings will be new to Texas, nitrous oxide is regularly used by laboring women in other parts of the world, but as of 2010, it was only used in 2 hospitals in the United States. Nitrous oxide is considered a safe form of pain relief in labor because it does not have the negative effects of narcotics nor does it reduce mobility like an epidural.
Most notably, patients of OBGYN North and Natural Beginning will have the opportunity, at the beginning of their pregnancy, to decide whether they would like to birth at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center within the Women’s Center of Texas or at the birthing center. Across the country, there are similar practices who operate an OBGYN office delivering in both a hospital setting and a nearby birthing center, but they are few in number. Natural Beginning will truly be one of a kind for women in Central Texas, empowering them with education and confidence to help achieve their desired birthing plan.
We look forward to serving our current patients in our new space and welcoming future patients as we open the door to the next chapter in the history of our practice. Until then, feel free to check out our Facebook page for more visual updates, we plan to post photos of our progress along the way.