Because I am all about supporting your growing family and encouraging you to spend meaningful time together, I feature local businesses and attractions to let you know what is available to help you raise your family.
Salmonberry Birth Center
I believe there is a trend, and I fully support it, to get back to basics. Advances in science, technology, and medicine, while lifesaving in some cases, can get in the way of what our bodies can naturally do on their own. Childbirth would be one of these. Salmonberry Birth Center offers expecting families in Kitsap County alternative birthing options that focus on helping mothers do what their bodies were made to do.
In the Beginning
Perinatal Professionals of Kitsap County is a group of local midwives, doulas, lactation consultants, and other professionals involved in prenatal care, delivery, and newborns. Five years ago, five of those women decided that Kitsap mothers needed more options. At the time, babies were to deliver at a hospital or at home. To some, home births are an extreme option, or their home may not be suitable for any number of reasons. After three years of fundraising, finding a perfect location, and building to Department of Health regulations, Salmonberry opened their doors in January 2016. Gumnut Midwifery was already serving the area for home births. They became a part of Salmonberry, now offering families the option of a home birth or the birthing center.
After being open for more than two years, they are starting to see families for the second time which is exciting for them. They average eight deliveries a month. Three-fourths of those deliveries take place at Salmonberry; showing there is a demand for this option. It is a good middle ground for those wanting more personalized care than hospitals can offer, but not ready for a home birth.
Salmonberry continues to expand its network of birth professionals. They are able to meet almost every need a family may have. They regularly meet with EMS, doctors, and nurses at local hospitals to build a positive working relationship and educate on what Salmonberry does and offers.
Who is Salmonberry for?
Salmonberry is for families that want to take an active part in their pregnancy and delivery. They want to be educated in all options available, do their own research, and make decisions on what is best for them. They are
What to Expect
New families have a thirty-minute consult before being seen for appointments. During this time, they are able to ask questions, receive a tour, and are pre-screened to make sure it is a healthy, normal pregnancy. They receive information about fees and insurance. Almost all insurance is accepted. Families learn about what happens in the rare event they need to be transferred to another provider. Lastly, they learn about the online charting system. Salmonberry keeps all notes, lab results, and scans transparent with the family. Through the system, families are also able to send messages to the midwives.
At 10-12 weeks, the mother will have her initial appointment. They are able to offer some services before this time such as lab work and a dating ultrasound, but it is common procedure with any OB to not have the initial appointment until this time. This appointment typically lasts an hour and a half as the midwives begin to build a relationship with the family.
Mothers are then seen every 4-6 weeks for routine checkups. These appointments typically last 45 minutes. They will sit with you, ask “How are you?” and genuinely want to know the answer! They will answer all your questions thoroughly. Every ultrasound, test, genetic screening that is offered at a hospital is offered by Salmonberry. The difference being, at Salmonberry, you give your informed consent to everything.
After 36 weeks, appointments are more often. Salmonberry will not induce labor or deliver babies past 42 weeks. They will suggest natural ways to induce labor though.
Once in labor, mothers will not be admitted to Salmonberry Birth Center until they are in active labor or in need of extra support. Because the early stages of labor can take quite some time, it is highly encouraged for families to have a doula. Doulas encourage and reassure mothers through the entire labor, delivery, and postpartum care. Research shows that having a doula results in a reduction in the need for pain medication, shortened labor, less chance of c-section, and overall increased satisfaction with the delivery.
Once in active labor, a student, birth assistant, and one of the midwives will assist in the delivery. This is where the months of building a relationship with the family become crucial as the spiritual, psychological, and emotional components of birth come together with the physiological. When mothers feel comfortable, competent, safe, heard, and seen, their bodies work better! Compare this to traditional hospitals with unfamiliar faces, surroundings, and constant poking and prodding, and it is easy to see why fear and pain can hinder contractions and interfere with the body’s natural processes of giving birth. Salmonberry will use balls, hand pressure, tubs, and acupuncture to ease pain. They have even had a chiropractor come in.
After baby is born, the midwife will do a newborn screening but does not give vaccines. If there are any concerns, the family will be referred to a new provider. If mom and baby are healthy, they will be on their way home to begin recovering and bonding within hours after delivery. Salmonberry will help care for newborns up to ten days. They do two home visits: one 24-36 hours after birth and a second at 3-4 days. Families should have a pediatrician in place before the delivery, and Salmonberry is proactive in helping families find one.
Tiny Practice with Old-Fashioned Care
Salmonberry Birth Center takes great pride in being a “tiny practice with old-fashioned care” while still being able to offer the same prenatal services as larger practices. They are detail oriented and work very hard to give every family the best care and experience possible. This is true even for families that do not stay in their care. Sometimes they are able to help and serve them in other ways.
When I asked what the most rewarding part of their job was, they had a hard time narrowing it down. Being able to empower moms by letting them know are supported, seen, heard, and cared for seemed to top the list, followed by the satisfaction of being able to go the extra mile for their families.
To learn more about Salmonberry Birth Center, check out their website. Follow them on Facebook to learn more about all things pregnancy and newborn. If you are a perinatal professional or serve expecting families, join the Perinatal Professionals of Kitsap County.
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