Her Way

Realizing a woman’s individual childbirth choices

Every mom-to-be has unique childbirth preferences. For women who envision having a natural childbirth, The Natural Birth Center, which is opening this fall at Inova Loudoun Hospital, offers a nurturing, homelike environment with a staff to support them every step of the way.

“Natural childbirth is about women making their own decisions and having more control over how they labor and how they birth,” says Jodie Horton, MD, Medical Director of OB Hospitalists at The Natural Birth Center at Inova Loudoun Hospital. “I think there’s a growing interest in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties and being able to provide the natural childbirth option is fantastic.”

Labor of Love

At The Natural Birth Center, natural childbirth will provide women with the option to deliver their babies with minimal medical intervention while having the support of a highly trained staff. Women will be encouraged to walk and move in any position that’s comfortable for them while they’re  in labor, says Dr. Horton. The staff will  support and suggest alternative options for pain relief such as massage, hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, warm baths or the use of a birthing ball or a rocking chair.

“One way we support women in labor  who want a natural childbirth is to facilitate  them being mobile, encouraging  them not to be in bed all the time, and giving them the opportunity to walk or move around,” says Wendy Dotson, CNM, a certified nurse midwife at Loudoun Community Midwives, who attends births at The Birthing Inn (and will attend them soon at The Natural Birth Center). “We do a lot of position change and massage—  and we help women get in the best positions to cope with labor.”

The Natural Birth Center will also optimize  each woman’s birth experience by welcoming the presence of a dedicated support person during her labor.

“A lot of research shows the presence of another supportive person diminishes risks and improves outcomes,” says Dotson. “Having a midwife or a doula present makes women feel more secure and less stressed in labor, producing better outcomes.”

Women who choose to have a natural childbirth at The Natural Birth Center will receive comprehensive prenatal care including ultrasound and lab work, and they will have access to advanced obstetrical services at any time during childbirth if needed.

Delivering Naturally

This fall, Inova Loudoun  Hospital is opening The Natural Birth Center, located on campus in the main hospital. The center, which is expected to be accredited by the American Association of Birth Centers, will offer a warm, relaxing atmosphere for women and their families.

“It will be very family-centered,” says Wendy Dotson, CNM, a certified nurse midwife. “We’ll have a kitchen area for the family to prepare food, and we’ll have a family area where kids can play near or visit with their mom during labor or after the birth.”

Women will have the  option of having their physician, midwife or doula stay with them throughout the entire birthing process. If a woman or her baby requires emergency care, her  caregiver can accompany  her to the hospital and continue to provide care throughout childbirth.

“It’s really going to feel like you’re in a home but  the advantage is that you’re at the hospital if medical intervention is needed,”  says Jodie Horton, MD.

Create a Plan

To visit with our birth navigator  and create your unique birthing  plan, call 703.858.8936.