starting my own natural birthing center?

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    I am currently looking into what field of nursing I want to pursue and for the longest time, I felt it should be my own business. I have always known that I wanted to work with mothers and Infants ( I have considered NICU, Mother-baby, Lactation consultant, and L&D nursing). I also know that I want to call the shots and be in charge. I figured, what would be a better way to combine them than a natural birthing center? I plan on becoming a certified midwife with mother-baby, NRP, and CCRN certifications as well as getting an AA in business to start out with if I decide this is right for me. The thing I am scared about is the popularity of natural birth decreasing or people thinking that it is "only for hippies" and not getting any business. I am also scared of not being technical enough or savy enough to keep a business going once it starts or finding someone to talk to if I need advice in business matters. I also have considered starting my own nursing school as a second option because I love the idea of teaching though the only thing is I would miss is having direct contact with patients . I know it's REALLY early to be thinking about this (heck, I am only a CNA currently) but I want to decide my path and develop a game plan early so I will be able to work things out and save more to invest into my idea for the future. Anybody have any advice for me and how I should go about researching my idea? Anybody on Allnurses own a natural birthing center or school that could tell me about it? Thanks
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  4. 0
    Thats a lot of work
    I dont know that your certification as a NA would make you an expert either, have you considereded going for your Midwife ?
  5. 0
    Quote from patrick1rn
    Thats a lot of work
    I dont know that your certification as a NA would make you an expert either, have you considereded going for your Midwife ?
    I never said I was an expert, I am simply planning my education early and getting ideas rather than pursuing something that I might not be happy in. Of coarse it is a lot of work starting a business, that is why I am asking if anybody on this site has done it and could give me some advice. As I have said before, I am planning my education early and creating an investment.
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    Defiantly do it. I live in a conservative "uptown" area and I know the women of this community are begging for a natural birth center. There is one a town away that is in an old Victorian home with lace curtains. It is homey but feels like stepping back in time. A clean, eco friendly updated natural birth center would make A TON of money and really benefit the area. Defiantly pursue your dream. Its a good one.
    ktenor, wannabmidwife, and CNA1991 like this.
  7. 3
    I have a suggestion that could be perfect for you at this stage of planning your education. Go check out the website for the official national association of freestanding birth centers -- the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) at www.birthcenters.org and become a student member. Review the website, like them on Facebook, get involved in discussions on their members-only yahoo group. Birth centers answer most of your interests -- not only do they provide a needed consumer service, but they are growing. Over the past few years, we have experienced a 35% increase in numbers of birth centers -- meaning both new centers opening and existing centers remaining in business. Recent CDC reports indicate that out-of-hospital birth is on the rise also, with a 20% increase in home births alone from 2004-2008, the most recent date for which data are available.
    Birth centers can be owned by nurses, by midwives, or by nurse-midwives, so they provide a business opportunity for entrepreneurial spirits like yours. Additionally, most birth centers serve as clinical education sites for student midwives and student nurse-midwives. Some birth centers also have arrangements with local nursing schools for nursing students to have a clinical rotation.
    Birth centers have been able to record excellent outcomes of care. Their data show a significant reduction in outcome disparities associated with low income and minority racial or ethnic status. Birth centers have very low rates of low birth weight and prematurity among the babies their clients, including low income minority women, and have excellent data concerning good prenatal care and breastfeeding.
    AABC welcomes individual members and is always pleased to learn about nursing students who are interested in offering this option to future clients. I don't know where you live, but you can check out the "find a birth center" search engine on the website to locate one near you. Most birth centers are glad to welcome volunteers, so that, in addition to becoming a student member of AABC, you could also get a head start on your career plans by spending some time at a local freestanding birth center.
    If you would like to follow up with me on this, please let me know by replying to this post.
    Best of luck to you,
    Susan
    ktenor, wannabmidwife, and chwcbesteph like this.
  8. 2
    Hi Susan,<br><br>My name is Nicole and I'm so glad you posted this information. I'll be graduating in mid April 2012 with an ADN. Have a previous BS in psychology and am already applying for an MBA. I've been trying to find my niche. I know I would like to run my own business and more than likely it will be in healthcare. I realized that I love L&amp;D, PP, lactation, and have been volunteering with the CLCs. I love this area of nursing. I was initially looking at just becoming a certified lactation consultant and doing private consultations but then I began to feel that this service alone wasn't enough. It made me remember how I felt when I was pregnant and really wanted to give birth outside of the hospital and there were no birthing facilities in my area. The only one center was an hour away.....no bueno. Anyhow, after doing lots of research, I think this is a much needed service. I would like to open a chic, high-end birth center. All the ones I visited were a little dated. I did check out yahoo, but it looks like the groups have very little activity and a low number of members.... other than attending the AABC workshops, do you have any suggesting on how I can get started? I'm in the Miami, Fl area.
    wannabmidwife and lindarn like this.
  9. 5
    Hi Nicole,
    Thanks for replying and sending more info. Here are a few ideas for you:

    1. JOIN AABC as an individual. It will give you access to our newsletter. There is also an elist, which individual members can participate in.

    2. Get to know the midwives in the Miami area, since the essence of a birth center is the Midwives Model of Care (google the term to learn more). There are two types of midwives in Florida, certified nurse-midwives and licensed midwives. There is a Florida chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and a Florida Midwives Association of LMs. Check both sites out online and learn who the local midwives are. Because you live in Florida, I would suggest that you focus on

    3. Become a doula (if you don't know what this is, check out the website for the Doula Organization of North American (DONA). Doulas are women who help other women out during and after childbirth -- sort of what our ancestors did for their sisters, cousins, friends and neighbors in years past -- by providing support and encouragement during childbirth, helping women postpartum to manage a newborn and a household. You will meet lots of midwives this way, you will get to attend lots of out-of-hospital births, which are very different from hospital births.

    4. See if you have the new Veria Living channel on your local cable or satellite TV carrier. It has just begun a new reality-type series, Labor of Love, centered around a group of midwives and a birth center in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It will give you an excellent picture of home birth and birth center practice.

    5. There is a fairly modern birth center in the Miami area. Not a bit Victorian. I think it is called Miami Beach Maternity Center. I know one of the midwives there. They are very busy and won't look on you as competition but as a potential future colleague.

    6. I am friends with an RN who opened a birth center and hired the midwives who work there, but the RN is the one who owns it. She is a member of the AABC in Maryland. AABC has a program to pair each new Developing Birth Center with an established birth center. It has been very successful and has been around for many years. Since this Maryland center is owned by an RN, it would be a good model for you. The AABC website has a Find a Birth Center search engine, which is a directory of AABC member centers. Go ahead and call AABC's executive director, Kate Bauer. The office phone number is 215-234-8068, and ask for Kate. Tell her I suggested you contact her about becoming an individual or student member for now, but let her know your long-term plans. She's really nice. Her mother, Kitty Ernst, is one of the founders of the entire birth center movement.

    7. Go "like" AABC on its facebook page and check out facebook pages for other birth centers in Florida, and "friend' or "like" them too.

    8. There is a very luxurious spa-like birth center in the Los Angeles area. I think it's called The Birth Sanctuary and Family Wellness Center www.birthsanctuary.com
    You should do LOTS of online research about birth centers. Just keep googling or use the AABC search engine, which links to each of the centers, to check out different models.
    Best wishes to you and Happy New Year,
    Susan M. Jenkins
    Legal Counsel
    American Association of Birth Centers
    JRaphasRN, ktenor, wannabmidwife, and 2 others like this.
  10. 0
    Quote from SusanMJenkins
    Hi Nicole,Thanks for replying and sending more info. Here are a few ideas for you:1. JOIN AABC as an individual. It will give you access to our newsletter. There is also an elist, which individual members can participate in.2. Get to know the midwives in the Miami area, since the essence of a birth center is the Midwives Model of Care (google the term to learn more). There are two types of midwives in Florida, certified nurse-midwives and licensed midwives. There is a Florida chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and a Florida Midwives Association of LMs. Check both sites out online and learn who the local midwives are. Because you live in Florida, I would suggest that you focus on 3. Become a doula (if you don't know what this is, check out the website for the Doula Organization of North American (DONA). Doulas are women who help other women out during and after childbirth -- sort of what our ancestors did for their sisters, cousins, friends and neighbors in years past -- by providing support and encouragement during childbirth, helping women postpartum to manage a newborn and a household. You will meet lots of midwives this way, you will get to attend lots of out-of-hospital births, which are very different from hospital births.4. See if you have the new Veria Living channel on your local cable or satellite TV carrier. It has just begun a new reality-type series, Labor of Love, centered around a group of midwives and a birth center in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It will give you an excellent picture of home birth and birth center practice.5. There is a fairly modern birth center in the Miami area. Not a bit Victorian. I think it is called Miami Beach Maternity Center. I know one of the midwives there. They are very busy and won't look on you as competition but as a potential future colleague. 6. I am friends with an RN who opened a birth center and hired the midwives who work there, but the RN is the one who owns it. She is a member of the AABC in Maryland. AABC has a program to pair each new Developing Birth Center with an established birth center. It has been very successful and has been around for many years. Since this Maryland center is owned by an RN, it would be a good model for you. The AABC website has a Find a Birth Center search engine, which is a directory of AABC member centers. Go ahead and call AABC's executive director, Kate Bauer. The office phone number is 215-234-8068, and ask for Kate. Tell her I suggested you contact her about becoming an individual or student member for now, but let her know your long-term plans. She's really nice. Her mother, Kitty Ernst, is one of the founders of the entire birth center movement.7. Go "like" AABC on its facebook page and check out facebook pages for other birth centers in Florida, and "friend' or "like" them too.8. There is a very luxurious spa-like birth center in the Los Angeles area. I think it's called The Birth Sanctuary and Family Wellness Center www.birthsanctuary.com You should do LOTS of online research about birth centers. Just keep googling or use the AABC search engine, which links to each of the centers, to check out different models.Best wishes to you and Happy New Year,Susan M. JenkinsLegal CounselAmerican Association of Birth Centers
    Thank you so much for helping me in my research. I have only one more qeustion before I join: do they help you find a building to practice in? I have a lot of places in mind.
  11. 0
    Susan! WOW! Thank you so much for that information. That has been so helpful. This definitely gives me a place to start.
  12. 2
    No, finding your own special spot is up to you. AABC isn't a franchise. It's a trade association, for birth center owners and supporters of birth centers, sort of like the American Hospital Association is for hospitals. People belong to it for mutual support and help, and because we have a great lobbyist in Washington, D.C., and do great research.
    AABC has developed and maintains for its members an online uniform dataset, so that the midwives can enter data from all their births. Then, that data is usable in research. They will be publishing a new study sometime later this year (2012) that will provide a strong evidence basis for the safety and quality of birth center care. They are at www.birthcenters.org

    wannabmidwife and CNA1991 like this.


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