Natural Birthing Center Opens at Beaumont Hospital

ROYAL OAK, Mich. — The Karmanos Center for Natural Birth opened on Nov. 3 at Beaumont Hospital.

The hospital calls it a safe and natural birthing alternative for expectant moms in metro Detroit. It combines the comforts of a high-end home with the safety net of a high-tech hospital. The birthing center was built as part of the Danialle & Peter Karmanos Jr. Birth Center at Beaumont through a $6 million gift from Danialle and Peter Karmanos Jr. Karmanos has four sons who were born naturally, including two who were born at Beaumont, Royal Oak.

Natural childbirth does not include anesthesia or routine medical interventions. It means giving birth spontaneously, without induction and at a woman’s own pace. The center is available for women who meet medical criteria for a natural birth based on consultation with a physician or midwife. At around 28 weeks of pregnancy, patients will work with nurse liaisons that will help create a natural birth plan that includes a workshop, online education portal and mobile application, as well as one-on-one support from nurses and physicians.

The center includes six private birthing suites equipped with large hydrotherapy tubs, massaging shower heads and other special amenities for natural labor and delivery. Nurses incorporate holistic techniques such as aromatherapy, therapeutic touch, reflexology and music therapy into natural childbirth. Additionally, the center offers an indoor walking path and two outdoor rooftop gardens — one designed for viewing, the other designed as a walking garden for fresh air and movement during labor.

For mothers, fathers and families, the center offers a concierge service, cozy furnishings, sleeper sofas, complimentary Wi-Fi, personal refrigerators, flat-screen televisions, iPod docking stations and a private waiting room, all at no extra charge.

“There’s nothing more important than having a healthy child,” said Danialle Karmanos, in a statement. “Our vision in partnering with Beaumont was to create a first-class facility with the best doctors and nurses, and the tools, resources and environment to support a natural birth experience for families that choose that path.”

More than 60 percent of mothers who delivered a single baby vaginally in 2008 received an epidural or spinal block, and cesarean deliveries rose in 2009 to almost 40 percent of births, according to babycenter.com.

Dr. Ray Bahado-Singh, chairman, OB-GYN, Beaumont Health System, said in a statement that the new Karmanos Center for Natural Birth “recognizes the voices of many women seeking a natural, holistic approach to labor that could lead to lower rates of medical interventions and Cesarean-section deliveries and faster recovery rates in select women.”

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