Explore Your Birth Options
The Greenbank Women’s Clinic and Birth Center welcomed it’s first baby December 24, 1992. Over 2,000 families have come through it’s door since that time, many for the second, third or more times! We welcome you to explore your choices at the Greenbank Birth Center. Call today to set up a free meet and greet, ask questions, tour the birth center and meet the midwives!
Our free-standing birth center is located in rural Greenbank, Washington nestled in the trees. It provides a private, quiet, calming environment with essential safety and emergency equipment. The birth center offers one birthing suite with a large bathroom, beautiful birth tub and walk in shower. Adjacent to the birth suite is the guest room with kitchenette, private bathroom and shower, Murphy bed and hide-away bed.
As a client, you can expect one on one care from your midwife, freedom to make your own decisions, move around and eat and drink as you wish with no unnecessary medical interventions.
Home birth offers a safe and satisfying alternative for low risk birthing families. Numerous studies have shown that out of hospital births, with well trained and well equipped attendants are as safe as hospital births. Home birth is also known to provide substantial savings in maternity care costs. These studies are the most recent to show the safety of midwifery care in out of hospital settings.
- New Studies Confirm Safety of Home Birth With Midwives in the U.S.
- McMaster University study on home birth
- Midwives’ Association of Washington State – DOH Cost Benefit Analysis Report
Waterbirth has been an integral part of our practice from the very beginning. We are pleased to give moms the option to labor or birth in water as it has a calming effect on both mom and baby.
For research-based information on waterbirth please visit: Waterbirth.org. Our birth center is equipped with a beautiful birth tub, perfect for the water birth of your dreams. If you would like a water birth at home, we have two AquaDoula portable birth tubs available for rent.
Contact us to secure your birth tub!
Pregnancy, Labor & Postpartum Services
As a new client, your first visit will be a meet and greet where you will get to know the midwives, ask any questions and tour the birth center. It is important to us that you feel comfortable with us and like what you see! For returning clients, just call to make an appointment!
We provide routine prenatal check-ups once a month for the first seven months, twice a month during the eighth month and weekly thereafter until delivery. All prenatal visits last about an hour and delve into everything from upcoming tests to lots of nutritional counseling. We will meet more often if complications occur. There will be one prenatal visit in your home or at the birth center at 37 weeks when we discuss your labor and birth. Doulas are welcome to attend this meeting, along with family members who may be present at the birth.
On the big day, your midwife stays with you throughout your labor and postpartum. The birth center is a “short stay” facility and families usually stay 2-3 hours after the birth. At a home birth, the midwife usually stays about 2-3 hours after baby is born. She will come to your home for postpartum visits on or around days one, three and seven. Newborn screening will be done at 48 hours and again on day 7, usually at your home.
We will file your baby’s birth certificate and social security number.
Your midwife will also see you in our clinic for a six week postpartum visit. This visit will include family planning services if needed.
We are available 24 hours.
We will provide emergency equipment and supplies necessary for a safe home or birth center birth. This includes prescription drugs to control hemorrhage, oxygen for baby and mother, suture supplies in case of tears, and electronic Doppler for monitoring the fetal heart rate during labor when necessary.
For the newborn, Vitamin K is offered for the prevention of hemorrhagic disease and antibiotic cream for the prevention of ocular gonorrhea and/or ocular chlamydia. Every provider at the Greenbank Women’s Clinic and Birth Center, Ltd. is certified in Neonatal Resuscitation, has current Adult CPR certification, and undergoes a background check with the Washington State Patrol and a negative TB screen.
During your pregnancy, we can help you find the right provider for your new baby. Licensed Midwives can act as the baby’s care provider for the first two weeks of life. We will consult and transfer if there are any complications. We recommend that you take the baby to a practitioner who sees lots of babies. This could be a naturopathic physician or an allopathic medical practitioner. Once you have established yourself and your baby in a medical practice, you are then assured of medical care should an emergency situation arise. The midwives will do multiple weight checks in the first week of life to ensure feeding is going well. We do the Newborn Metabolic Screening test at 24 hours of age and again between 7-14 days after birth. We can advise on breastfeeding and recommend a lactation consultant if needed. We check in closely to make sure new mothers and fathers are coping well with the major life changes that happen with a new baby, whether it is baby number one or baby number five, it is always a change!
What If Things Don't Go Perfectly
If complications arise during your pregnancy, we will consult with our back-up physician. Many times we can continue care as long as healthy parameters are met. Other times, the decision will be made that a woman has become high risk and is no longer suited for out of hospital birth. If possible, the midwives will accompany you to the hospital, however, our role there is only as labor support. There may be times when this is not possible and we advise the hiring of a doula if possible.
During labor and birth, our midwives monitor mother and baby very closely. They are equipped with emergency medications, fetal monitoring, oxygen and resuscitation equipment. Although emergencies are rare, if, during labor, it becomes necessary for you to be referred for care in the hospital, the midwives are trained and equipped to begin treatment and to transport you and/or your baby. We will accompany you to the hospital and, if at all possible, stay throughout your labor and birth. In most cases, we continue to do your postpartum care. In an emergency situation, 911 will be called and you will be transported to the closest hospital by ambulance. If the situation is non-emergent and the midwives feel there is time, we will transport to the woman’s hospital of choice. The midwife will stay with you in the hospital as long as possible, but your care will be managed and administered by a physician and hospital staff at the point of transfer.
While most midwives have low cesarean section rates, cesarean sections and/or other medical interventions are possibilities for any woman having a baby. These are rarely emergencies and generally occur only after labor has been going on long enough to determine that birth is unlikely to occur normally. The time needed to know whether a normal birth is possible is the same whether a woman is having her baby in the hospital, at home or in the birth center.
If you choose to transfer care at any point prior to the onset of active labor, the Greenbank Birth Center staff will facilitate the transfer of care to another provider. In general, this transfer of care terminates the client/ midwife contract.
Meet Our Backup Doctor
Dr. Kathy Garde of Fidalgo Medical Associates is an OB/GYN who works out of Island Hospital in Anacortes. Dr. Garde has an established relationship with the Greenbank Birth Center and is available for consultation when a situation outside of normal arises and for transfer of care if medically necessary.
Learn more about Dr. Garde on Island Hospital’s website.