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SusanMJenkins's Latest Activity

  1. SusanMJenkins

    starting my own natural birthing center?

    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
  2. SusanMJenkins

    starting my own natural birthing center?

    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
  3. SusanMJenkins

    starting my own natural birthing center?

    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 http://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

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