DISCOVER THE BIRTH CENTER:
A homelike, out-of- hospital facility where a person’s choices in reproductive, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care are supported and respected.
A midwife and care team guided by principles of prevention, sensitivity, safety, appropriate medical intervention, and cost effectiveness.
Family-centered care for healthy people before, during, and after normal pregnancy, labor, and birth, including gyn, contraception and fertility services.
The birth center model honors pregnancy and childbirth as healthy, normal life events for the majority of parents and babies.
Expectant families are supported with continuous care throughout their pregnancy, during labor, and throughout the postpartum period. Care providers utilize interventions only when medically necessary.
YOU are the primary decision-maker about your birth and body. During prenatal appointments, you’ll have ample time to form a relationship with our midwife team and develop a birth plan. This involves preparing both mentally and physically for your birth with the support of your birth team.
While in labor, you have the autonomy to move freely, spend time in the tub, eat, invite loved ones into the birthing room (or ask them to leave), and you will be honored in your choices. You will be supported with a team of midwives, birth assistants, and doulas to empower and attend to your needs, while keeping watch for you and your baby's safety.
What does a birth center look and feel like?
Seven Sisters Midwifery and Community Birth Center is a free-standing birth center that offers prenatal care, birth support, and well-body care at every stage of life through the midwifery model of care.
Our birth center has two birthing suites for families to labor, birth, and recover in. You'll find all the comforts of home and more!
We also have a clinic section with a clinical room for appointments and consultations, a cozy consult room, and a lactation room. Our classroom hosts educational offerings and a weekly postpartum group lead by our lactation consultant, Lex.
You belong here...
Frequently asked questions
The MA Department of Public Health requires that we have a written transfer agreement and a consulting physician. Our transfer hospital is Cooley Dickinson Hospital and our consulting physician is Gretchen Loebel MD. We will continue to work closely with the CDH midwives and MDs to make our joint care as seamless as possible.
Birth centers have been shown to be as safe or safer for low-risk, healthy birthing people, offering the comfort and reduced stress of a home-like environment with the benefits of a well-equipped health facility. The National Birth Center Study II, published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, has shown that birth centers have excellent outcomes for mothers and babies, with a significantly lower rate of cesarean sections.
Among the 15,574 women intending to birth in birth centers:
- 94% of women admitted in labor achieved a vaginal birth indicating a 6% c-section rate vs. the national average of 31% for low-risk women;
- Less than 1% of women were transferred for emergent reasons during labor;
- Less than 0.5% transferred for emergent reasons for mother or baby after birth; and
- There were 0 maternal deaths
- The rate of stillbirth was 0.47% (defined as term neonatal deaths prior to labor/birth)
- The neonatal death rate was 0.40% (defined as term neonatal deaths after birth until 28 days post delivery – there is currently no matched hospital data although the overall term neonatal mortality rate in the US is approximately 4%)
Among women who gave birth in hospitals:
- 85-90% are considered low-risk and eligible for care at a birth center;
- 87% who labor in hospitals undergo continuous electronic fetal monitoring;
- 80% receive intravenous fluids;
- 47% have labor artificially accelerated with medications;
- 43% of first-time moms have labor artificially induced;
- 60% of women giving birth in hospitals are not allowed to eat or drink;
- 76% are restricted to bed; and
- 92% give birth lying on their backs.
There is strong evidence that routine use of these practices, when carried out without medical indications, has few benefits and often introduces potential risks for healthy mothers and babies.
When needed, we transfer to the Cooley Dickinson (CDH) OB-GYN and Midwifery Group. When appropriate, we transfer our clients directly into the midwifery service. At this time, whenever able, we may attend transfer births at the hospital in a labor support capacity but DO NOT have hospital privileges. However, we do have community privileges at CDH and whenever possible, we will come to the hospital to check in on you after your birth. We are happy to resume postpartum care and offer lactation support as you need and desire.
The major difference between freestanding birth centers and hospital birth centers is that hospitals create system-wide institutional policies to care for a wide range of people who are generally sick. Many of these policies have the ability to negatively impact the birthing process for a normal and healthy pregnant person. At a free-standing, midwife-led birthing center, our protocols and procedures are based on evidence-based research, the midwifery model of care and recommendations from the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM), the American Association of Birth Center (AABC), and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
A freestanding birth center is also able to FULLY embrace the midwifery model of care which approaches pregnancy and birth as a normal family-oriented physiological event until proven otherwise. This includes having midwives practice to the full scope of their license with the support of carefully selected physician consultants. Freestanding birth centers offer both personal and comprehensive care to those seeking reproductive health, prenatal, birth, and postpartum care.
If you are a pregnant person who is in general good health and is interested in a collaborative relationship with your healthcare providers, then the answer is very likely yes! If you are unsure of whether you are a good fit for the birth center, reach out to us. We would love to give you a tour of the center and talk more about your questions and concerns.