Rose Medical Center Certified Nurse Midwife Kathleen Wagner took the time to sit down and answer some common questions about midwifery care, natural labor and what it’s like to deliver in a holistic birth center in case you’re seeking natural birth options.

For women who are searching for safe, all natural birth options, they need look no further than the Rose Babies Birth Center, the first and only in-hospital accredited birth center in Colorado.

At Rose Medical Center, women have been having babies un-medicated and fully supported by certified nurse midwives for 23 years. Upon its opening in 2017, the Rose Babies Birth Center, our low-intervention birthplace, gave expectant moms two things many are seeking: a natural birth experience that also provided for quick access to a fully staffed medical team if needed. The Rose Babies Birth Center is accredited by the American Association of Birth Centers and focused on preparing and supporting women seeking natural birth options who want a natural unmedicated birth.

Certified Nurse Midwife Kathleen Wagner took the time to sit down and answer some common questions about midwifery care, natural labor and what it’s like to deliver in a holistic birth center in case you’re seeking natural birth options.

Why choose a midwife?

For expectant mothers looking for a holistic birth experience and patient-centered care, a midwife may be the best fit. Our midwives take the extra time to listen, understand your needs and educate and support you in all of your choices. They promote overall health and well being, and act as a partner to empower you to play an active role in your health. It’s also important to note that our midwives don’t subscribe to the notion that any particular birth plan —either a natural birth plan or one that includes an epidural or other interventions— is better.

“One birth plan isn’t better than another — as long as you end up with healthy mom and baby, that’s the best plan,” said Kathleen Wagner, CNM, who practices at Rose Medical Center. “I want women to have choices, to feel supported and, more than anything, I want them to have a healthy baby after their delivery and be able to enjoy that baby.”

Why would someone be interested in a natural birthing center?

For many people, it comes down to statistics.

“In a birth without (medical) interventions, you are significantly less likely to end up with complications or a cesarean section (C-section),” according to Wagner. “Once you go down the path of interventions, you are more likely to end up with either a C-section or potential other complications.”

The majority of the women Wagner meets have a singular goal: avoid a C-section. As such, they’re drawn to a low-intervention, all natural birth, which is the experience at the Rose Babies Birth Center.

At the Rose Babies Birth Center, both nurse midwives or traditional OBGYNs can deliver your baby in the low-intervention setting. Our birth center nurses and our certified nurse midwives are specially trained to support physiologic birth. They undergo training in natural birth techniques, including breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, heat, massage, acupressure, positioning and more.

“Within the Birth Center, everyone is knowledgeable about and respects physiologic birth and allowing the body to do what it will do naturally on its own. We support a women’s body as her body is in labor,” Wagner said.

What is a low-intervention, natural birth? Why choose a natural hospital birth?

A low-intervention birth is a birth experience where labor is allowed to begin and progress naturally without medical intervention using natural birth techniques. Pain relief is provided through non-medicinal methods such as massage, positioning or water (also known as hydrotherapy). Technology is used minimally; for example, the baby is listened to at periodic intervals instead of monitored continuously. Women enjoy the calm, home-like environment. It’s important to note giving birth naturally can take place in either the Labor and Delivery unit at Rose or in the Rose Babies Birth Center.

What pain relief options are available in the Rose Babies Birth Center, a natural birthing center?

In the Birth Center, nurses are specially trained to support families during labor and provide a wide variety of natural birth techniques and pain management options for women who are interested in a no epidural birth, including massage, positioning and hydrotherapy. Rose Medical Center also offers HypnoBirthing classes—the only program of its kind in Colorado—and the staff is trained to help families who want to use hypnobirthing techniques during a natural unmedicated hospital birth. The unique Rose Doula Connection Program is another helpful choice for families looking for extra support and comfort.

What is the difference between the Rose Babies Birth Center and a freestanding birth center?

The biggest difference between the Rose Babies Birth Center and a freestanding birth center is the Rose Babies Birth Center’s ability to access next level care in an emergency. When an urgent situation occurs in a freestanding birth center, the laboring mom must be transferred by ambulance to the closest hospital, even if it’s just across the street.

“In those rare circumstances where there is a true emergency or significant complication, you have a significant delay until you are in the operating room or emergency room when at a freestanding birth center,” Wagner said.

If birth circumstances change while mom is laboring at the Rose Babies Birth Center, whether it’s urgent or not urgent, mom can be transferred by gurney just down the hall to the Rose Labor & Delivery unit . And notably, Rose Babies Birth Center families continue to be treated by their trusted OB provider and nurse team that was with them in the Birth Center.

“I believe an in-hospital birth center is the best option in general as it gives you that safety net but it’s still a protected space that allows you to labor and have the birth you’re wanting provided there aren’t any changes in birth circumstances,” Wagner said.

Of note, all Rose OB providers can deliver in the Rose Babies Birth Center, midwives and OB/GYNs, while only midwives may deliver in other Denver-area birth centers.

Does natural childbirth go faster?

Not necessarily, according to Wagner. “There are times when an unmedicated birth is faster, and an epidural slows it down, and sometimes where the reverse is true,” she said. “Everyone is different.”

One of the benefits of the birth center is the respect for each woman’s individual labor. “When we’re in the birth center, we don’t have a time goal; we don’t have an expectation of how things will progress. As long as mom and baby are doing well, we let her body do what her body is supposed to do,” Wagner said.

What can moms-to-be expect when it comes time to give birth at Rose Babies Birth Center?

The Rose Babies Birth Center includes spacious, all-private rooms. Each room includes Apple TV to aid in relaxation; queen size beds for labor, birth and family bonding; oversized tubs for comfort; specially trained nurses and an extensive array of labor support tools and holistic pain management options in line with their holistic birth plan. (Check out our online tour!)

Is there an overarching philosophy at the Rose Babies Birth Center?

“Within the Birth Center, everyone is knowledgeable about and respects physiologic birth and allowing the body to do what it will do naturally on its own. We support a women’s body as her body is in labor,” Wagner said.