Family Birth Place Offers Unique Service
For women seeking natural childbirth, unit provides low-intervention experience with labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care in one location.
Cleveland Clinic’s Fairview Family Birth Place is a high-touch, low-intervention level I birth center within a level III perinatal center – the only such center in Northeast Ohio and one of only two in Ohio.
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Located at Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital, the unit is for women seeking a natural childbirth experience, allowing them to remain in the same suite for labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care. About 24 low-intervention births take place there each month, a number that is growing steadily.
The unit, opened in April 2017, follows new guidance for low-risk pregnancies from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and endorsed by the American College of Nurse Midwives. The guidelines urge practitioners to consider labor and delivery approaches that use limited medical intervention.
“Patients are admitted to the unit at or beyond 5cm dilation, and the average length of time from admission to birth is about five hours,” says Sue Hudson, MSN, CNM, Director, Midwifery Services, Cleveland Clinic Western Region. “Women utilize tubs, exercise balls, aromatherapy and continuous support in labor. Midwifery care in collaboration with physicians provides women with the best opportunity to achieve their labor goals. Doulas are welcome if a patient has engaged one.”
About 19 percent of patients have been transferred to the labor and delivery unit for augmentations of labor. About 6 percent of these women receive epidurals.
“Unmedicated birth is very successful, even when patients receive oxytocin,” Ms. Hudson notes. “The total cesarean section rate in this very carefully culled, low-risk population is about 2.5 percent. We hope to cut our unscheduled c-section rate by half within the next two years.”
“We’re providing care that reduces risk and cost while increasing satisfaction for patients, families and caregivers,” she concludes.
Cleveland Clinic Fairview Family Birth Place was featured on Cleveland news program.