Birth Center Care
At Mountain Midwifery Center, we believe that pregnancy and birth is a state of health for most people. We trust that your body can grow, birth and breastfeed your baby. Our staff provides individualized care and an education plan that includes nutrition, exercise and stress-reduction recommendations. In addition, you have access to an extensive lending library of birth books and videos.
A Birth Center is designed to be a “Maxi-Home” not a “Mini-Hospital.” We strive to allow families to labor and birth in a true home-like environment while providing one-on-one care that helps ensure superior mom and baby outcomes. A true Birth Center is not just pretty birth rooms, it is an education-intensive program of care. From your first visit through the birth of your baby and beyond, MMC’s care is designed to facilitate healthy choices for families.
- Your initial visit is about an hour long and each subsequent visit runs 30 minutes.
- We allocate plenty of time to address your questions and concerns.
- We recognize the spiritual and cultural significance of birth and your transition to parenthood. During your prenatal care, we will encourage you to explore this aspect of your birth and parenting experience.
- All routine lab work is provided.
- Referrals to birth-center-friendly obstetric and pediatric care providers are provided as necessary.
At Your Birth
- Freedom of movement – You are free to walk, sit on a yoga ball or birthing stool, kneel on the bed, hang on your partner or birth rope, or other positions that feel most comfortable to you at the time
- Water birth – We have state of the art water birth pools, designed by Waterbirth Solutions. The tubs are available for every client at NO extra charge
- Nitrous Oxide – We are excited to be able to offer this option to our clients and are proud to be the first facility in the state to offer Nitrous for labor. There will be small fee for the use of Nitrous covering the cost of the supplies including a single use mask, Nitrous and Oxygen gases, and setup of the equipment. For our clients who have questions about Nitrous, please discuss them with one of our midwives, nurses or educators.
- Newborn care – Initial newborn exams and metabolic screening tests
- Free WiFi – You can send updates to friends and family
- 2-day visit, 1-week and 6-week visits
- Newborn care
- Lactation consulting, breastfeeding support
Breast Pump & Scale Rentals, Services & Supplies
- Rent Medela Hospital Grade Breast Pumps and Baby Scales
- Weekly and Monthly rentals available
- Sell replacement parts for Medela pumps
- Test your personal pump for efficacy (Medela, Ameda, and Hygeia)
- Authorized Medela rental station
- Contact our office for details and to reserve yours
Paying for Your Care
We have affordable payment plans. With a pre-payment agreement, we recommend self-pay clients budget about $5000 to $6000 for maternity, delivery and newborn care, labs and ultrasound. For obstetric and facility services we do ask for payment upfront (by 32 weeks gestation).
We have contracts (professional services, facility fee, or both) with many of the large health insurance networks; however, with all the new plans that have been created, we cannot make blanket statements about network status. The best way to find out if we are in-network with your plan is to call the number on your card and ask them. You should use our tax ID to help identify us when calling. To obtain the tax ID, please email Crystal with your request and any other questions. Keep in mind that even with no out of network coverage or a high deductible, your out of pocket costs will likely still be lower than those at another facility (see below).
MMC is a contracted Colorado Medicaid provider and facility
We are able to serve families with Medicaid and CHP+ coverage. In most cases this can even mean coverage for required classes! Feel free to contact us for details.
Reasons to consider MMC even if you have no out of network benefits or a high deductible plan
- Facility fee includes waterbirth. – Birthing tubs are available to every client with every midwife. We do in-water monitoring. Most hospital practices have no or only limited availability for waterbirth and aren’t comfortable with in-water monitoring procedures.
- One-on-one, direct support of clients in active labor. – At MMC, a CNM and RN support every birth. In hospital care, labor & delivery nurses are often assigned a group of rooms and one-on-one direct support is often not possible for mothers attempting natural birth. We encourage all families birthing in a hospital to hire a doula.
- Higher chance of a natural birth. – For clients making it to term with us, we have a 90% natural birth rate (approximate). Of our transfers to a hospital-based provider, only half result in C-Section; our overall C-Section Surgery rate varies around 6%
- Lower expected cost. – In addition to saving our mamas and babies from C-Section related complications and long recovery times, our high natural birth rate and lower facility cost dramatically lower the cost of the total bill. The C-Section surgery rate at local hospitals ranges from 30 to 40%.
Attend an Orientation
Come see what Mountain Midwifery Center is all about! Attend an orientation. All first-time prospective pregnancy clients are asked to attend an orientation prior to making the first appointment. At the FREE orientation, you will tour the center and learn about our approach to natural birth, water birth, and midwifery. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and discover if Mountain Midwifery Center is right for you. We do orientations for maternity clients so that your first visit can be about you, not about how MMC works.
Please register to let us know you are coming.
To view what we do, visit our gallery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Birth centers are for healthy pregnant people and healthy babies. A healthy family makes the kind of wellness choices that facilitate successful birth outside the hospital. Mountain Midwifery Center’s prenatal care can help the birthing family achieve optimum wellness and avoid unnecessary risk. Extensive prenatal screening is in place to ensure that any potential problem is caught early.
As a “maxi-home,” high risk pregnancies must be referred to delivery facilities with more extensive resources. Based on what we learn of a client’s health and circumstance, we can refer them to a provider that will best match their condition and wishes. This list is not exhaustive and talking to a midwife about your specific situation may be necessary.
Please note! This list is ONLY for birth. They do not apply to other services we offer.
These are conditions that cannot have a birth center birth:
• Heart disease
• History of embolus or clotting disorders with pregnancy
• Symptomatic congenital heart defects
• Renal disease
• Current drug or alcohol addiction (no cigarette smoking after 12 weeks)
• Diabetes Mellitus or Gestational Diabetes
• Hypertension (BP greater than 140/90)
• Bleeding disorder
• Sickle cell anemia
• Active genital herpes lesion at term
• Cancer within 2 years (we will need a remission letter from oncologist)
• Marfan’s Sydrome (including family history of first degree relative)
• Certain Thrombophilias
• Hematocrit less than 30%
• Previous Rh sensitization
• Declining or refusing Gestational Diabetes Screen or Rhogam (if Rh-)
• Pap smear CIN III confirmed with colposcopy
• Active tuberculosis
• Paraplegia or quadriplegia
• VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean)
• Grandmultip (6 and more babies)
• Gestation of more than 20 weeks with no prenatal care
• Primip (first time mom) pre-pregnancy BMI 35 and higher
• Multip (mom with at least one child) pre-pregnancy BMI 40 and higher
• Pre-pregnancy BMI of less than 17.5 (primip or multip)
• Active anorexia or bulimia within the last year
• Gastric by-pass or lap bands
• Development of any other severe obstetrical, medical, surgical or mental problem
*We do NOT consider age, IVF/ART, or previous pregnancy/birth history to be risk factors.*
If you’re currently with another provider for your prenatal care but are considering a transfer to MMC, please decide before 32 weeks. You need time to meet all of our midwives and gain their trust in our model of care. We need time to bond with you as well. Also, our facility does have a limited capacity and our schedule can fill up quickly. When scheduling your first appointment with us, please keep in mind that our earliest availability is usually 2 to 3 weeks from the day you are calling. There is a $25 no-show fee for missed appointments.
If you would like to use the Mountain Midwifery Center but are unsure whether it is the right place for you, feel free to contact us and consider coming to a prospective client orientation.
At Mountain Midwifery Center, we treat pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period as a normal, healthy part of family life—not an illness! We pride ourselves on giving families information to make informed healthcare decisions. Our prenatal visits are a minimum of 30 minutes, so that your midwives have the chance to get to know you and answer all of your questions. At Mountain Midwifery Center, you are treated as an individual, not a number.
Our midwives, nurses, and student nurse-midwives are all highly skilled at supporting families in childbirth and beyond. During labor, you will have constant care from your birth team instead of having someone arriving at the last minute to deliver your baby. This team starts with an MMC midwife and RN that you will know personally after meeting them over the course of your prenatal care. There are no “floor nurses” you’ve never met at MMC.
Mountain Midwifery Center has four birth rooms, each with a queen sized bed and a tub specifically designed for water-birth (not a hotel type tub). You are required to drink in labor and eating is encouraged. Positions for labor and birth are not restricted. Your baby will be placed in your arms immediately after birth and we practice delayed physiologic cord clamping as well.
Each family receives careful guidance in the first few hours after birth so that when they are discharged between four and six hours after birth (an evidence-based practice), they feel confident in their ability to breastfeed and care for both the baby and the birthing parent. Our rigorous prenatal education ensures that families are well educated about the early postpartum period and know how to assess the well being of everyone after birth center discharge. The nurse-midwives and nursing staff closely follow the family at office visits for the first few weeks of the new baby’s life.
Yes, MMC does accept transfers of care. We have a few rules though:
There needs to be slots available in your birth month. We do reach our maximum capacity for most months at least 2 months prior to delivery. We prefer transfers that occur within or prior to your 28th week of gestation. We have taken later transfers, but these require review by our Clinic Director and there are requirements for the patient as well. We can NOT accept transfers after 32 weeks.
Prospective families need to fulfill these requirements:
• Attend an Orientation.
• First-time parents are required to take a natural childbirth education class, breastfeeding class, and newborn care class.
• First time for out-of-hospital birth requires at least the “Birth at MMC” class (see our Classes page). Please speak to our staff to best determine what we’ll require for your situation.
• Upfront payment, by 32 weeks gestation, of your estimated client responsibility for professional and facility fees / claims.
Why do we have these requirements? In short – for safety and increased success. We need to ensure you are a good candidate for out-of-hospital birth and that you and your family/partner/support are well prepared. We also want you to spend time with our whole team so you have confidence in the midwife at your birth.
Certified Nurse-Midwives are experts in the care of uncomplicated pregnancy and birth. We are highly-skilled at caring for families in the birth center environment, where healthy clients experiencing normal pregnancies can safely deliver with far less technology and intervention than is needed in the hospital for those with risk factors complicating their pregnancies. Our Certified Nurse-Midwives provide continuous support during labor and birth. Studies have shown that continuous labor support decreases the need for epidural anesthesia, medical interventions and cesarean sections. Certified Nurse-Midwives typically spend three times longer with their clients than do physicians. This allows ample time for developing the relationship most people desire with their health care-provider. The partnership that unfolds with our midwives will help you to stay healthy throughout pregnancy.
Every birth center client is required to pre-register at Swedish Medical Center. This ensures a smooth transition from birth center to hospital in the event of a transfer. National statistics have been maintained on birth center outcomes for over 20 years, and it has been demonstrated that virtually all clients who transfer to the hospital do so on a non-emergency basis (typically for labor stimulating hormones or epidural analgesia). However, if an emergency transfer to the hospital during labor is necessary, this trip takes only 3 minutes by ambulance, putting us well within a 30 minute “decision to incision” standard for Cesarean section that most hospitals strive to achieve. This emergency responsiveness is better than that provided by many rural hospitals.
Our style of care facilitates a smooth transition to the hospital and we stay involved through your baby’s birth. In the event of a transfer, our involvement with your care does not stop – it becomes collaborative in nature. For multiple reasons, our midwives do not work at MMC and have hospital privileges. Without privileges the midwives have no decision-making authority in the hospital setting, but they are involved with the care plan formed by the hospital team and remain available to the delivering family for questions (especially during the transition to the hospital). If the midwife cannot be physically present, after the hospital transition and care plan are long over, we remain available via the on-call midwife and of course as a complete practice during office hours.
We feel confident our transfer model works well. Our statistics support us. Hospitals in the area, and especially Swedish, don’t treat our transferred patients as emergencies. As less than half of our intrapartum (during labor) transfers result in a Cesarean surgical delivery, we can see that our involvement in the care plan for the client (sharing records and consulting with the physicians, midwives and nurses) leads to wider range of response than just an “emergency C-Section.” Also, the majority of our transferred families choose to have their postpartum care done at MMC, which speaks to the trust placed in MMC by the hospital physicians and the real continuity of care patients see MMC achieving with the hospital care teams.
2-3 clinical staff members are present at every birth at the Mountain Midwifery Center, including one or more CNMs. Additional staff are called in for multiple moms in labor.
We have great answers on our blog.
A CNM is on call at all times.
9-12 hours total, with 4-6 of those hours in the postpartum period.
Yes, Certified Nurse-Midwifes are licensed to provide newborn care. We work closely with area pediatricians and family physicians to provide continuity of care. Mountain Midwifery Center offers all standard testing and treatments commonly offered to newborns in the first two weeks of your infant’s life.