Seeking Midwife and Birth Center

Updated on January 15, 2010
E.N. asks from Saint Louis, MO
12 answers

I'm new to St Louis and newly pregnant. I'm trying to find a midwife and would like to deliver in a birth center, which I'm not sure exists around here. Can someone recommend a midwife and hospital that is relatively 'hands off'?

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So What Happened?

Thanks Stephanie. Do you know anything about St Luke's? Their facilities look the most like a birth center and the materials on their website seem pretty family focused. Someone else recommended Missouri Baptist also. Did you labor and deliver in one room and then get moved to another?

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J.A.

answers from St. Louis on

I was delivered by Dr. Duhart, at home as were all my 4 brothers and sisters, and he delivered my daughter at home. He is also my family doctor, and has been my only doctor my whole life. If you are considering a home birth, which it didn't sound like, but if you are, he is excellent. He's like family to me, if you want to consider this option I can give you his office and exchange number. But he takes the entire month of July off, so if you are due then, he won't be available.

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K.L.

answers from St. Louis on

You may want to look up Dr. Fred Duhart and discuss this. He has supported women's birthing choice freedoms for decades. He is an ellegent man and an excellent doctor (DO). I've known other doctors and health care professionals who employed him to deliver their babies.

Although hospitals will be hospitals, I was well taken care of at St. Joseph's Hospital in Kirkwood. But, this was largely due to the doctor, Kum Kum Schroff. She is from India, has been head of the OB staff at St. Joseph's, and made sure I had as much freedom as possible. When I had to have a C-section, although I had planned a home birth, she even allowed both my husband and midwife to be in the delivery room with me. She arranged for my husband to stay with me in a private room so that our son would not need to be kept in the nursery. She is very supportive of individual rights, is an amazingly skilled OB, and is as compassionate as she is respectful and honest. The midwife I used lived in Illinois and moved from this area years ago.

It would be difficult to find information about midwives around here because legalizing it has been a real struggle for the Missouri legislature. There is an organization backing this struggle, The Missouri Citizens' Coalition for Freedom in Health Care (MCC-FHC). You can find more info via their website: http://hometown.aol.com/mccfhc/

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S.T.

answers from St. Louis on

That is pretty hard to find in St. Louis. Four years ago I know there was nothing here because my sister was looking for the same thing. She ended up going to a birth center in Columbia, MO. It is 1.5 hours away, but she said totally worth it. I gave birth at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. I did my research and they are the most "hands off" hospital. They have staff that really try to help you with natural childbirth, and they never pushed any medication etc. at me. Good luck in your pregnancy and delivery!

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S.W.

answers from St. Louis on

I think there used to be one, but it closed. Midwifery is actually illegal in Missouri. There are doulas, and many will do at home births. I'd try the greater st louis doula website www.doulasofgreaterstlouis.com

I had a wonderful doula which I found there. I interviewed a few, and settled on the one that felt right for me. I found that having the doula during the birth caused the staff at the hospital to leave us alone. She advised me on things that I could do and say to facilitate that. I've heard a lot of people really liked Missouri Baptist. I went to Barnes because my doctor there would do a water birth. That was a difficult thing to find anywhere else. My doctor was Jacqueline Turner. She was wonderful. Very laid back, and supportive of my natural childbirth choices.

Feel free to ask further questions, of me or of any doulas you meet!

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S.R.

answers from St. Louis on

E.,

I would recommend Stephanie Larson. She is not a mid-wife. She is a doula. If you are not familiar with that term, a doula is someone who is a non-medical companion during the birth process. She has classes and one-on-one coaching in optimal fetal positioning, childbirth preparation classes, and prenatal / postpartum dancing. She could aquaint you with the best hospitals and the midwives in the area.

Her phone number is ###-###-#### and her email is [email protected]____.com with ease.com

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V.P.

answers from St. Louis on

E.,
Unfortunately, Midwives are illegal in Missouri. And the only birthing center is in Columbia, MO, which is about 2 hours from here. I'm a doula here in St. Louis, and from talking with other doulas, Missouri Baptist, seems to be the friendliest place to deliver for moms who want to labor as naturally as possible. Supposidly they have a tub, that can be set up to labor in, but that's a rumor, so I'm not too sure about that.

Dr. Duhart (sp?), is your best bet for a unmedicated, birth. Look him up. Good luck.
V.

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M.H.

answers from St. Louis on

Thanks to legislative changes in late 2008 and 2009, professional midwives are now legal in Missouri. Nurse midwives have always been legal, they just don't practice around St. Louis. Unfortunately, as of January 2010, the birthing center in Columbia is now closed.

There is a new birth center opening in the St. Charles area in the Summer of 2010 that will provide birth and women's health services to the St. Charles and St. Louis areas. Their web site is at www.mybirthandwellness.com

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D.C.

answers from St. Louis on

Welcome to St. Louis. I believe midwifery is not 'officially' allowed in St. Louis but I believe it is in Illinois. I know that Barnes Hospital offers Birthing Doula service during delivery. If you are interested in a home birth where you can really control what's being done to you and the baby - I would highly recommend Dr.Fred Duhart. He is a D.O. and he has delivered many babies that I know personally. He is the only one I would recommend for this. You can find him in the phone book. He has a midwife that assists him. About me: I am a mother of 3 and a chiropractor (with a high interet in treating preg. women and children). My cousin who is also a chiro. has had all 3 of her kids at home w/ Dr. Duhart and several colleagues of mine used him as well. Whatever you do make sure you create a pregnancy plan with your wants, needs and wishes for your birthing experience and share that with your doctor. Any questions you can reach me at ###-###-####. - Dr. C

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A.B.

answers from St. Louis on

E., I think St John's Mercy has midwifes, but I do not know under what capacity they work. You might try calling and infestingating. the number is s###-###-####. Ask kfor labor and delivery and then ask if they have a midwife you can talk to. good luck.
A. B

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E.W.

answers from St. Louis on

As you've heard, the uneducated in Missouri have made midwifery illegal and continue to uphold this law.

I took childbirthig classes with a doula and stayed at home until my water broke. Then I went to Saint Joseph's in Kirkwood. They were okay, but they kept making me stay in bed and had an IV in my arm before I could bat an eye. I also had to push while on my back. The attending OB did not attempt an episiotomy and they did not push any meds. I feel like I had as natural a birth as possible in a hospital.

Hope this helps.

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M.A.

answers from St. Louis on

St. John's Mercy Medical Center in Creve Couer located on N.New Ballas Rd. has midwifes that practice there. I have delivered 4 children there already and will be delivering my 5th there, but I use an OB. The staff there is great and will listen to what mom wants and not argue with you about it. I also read an article somewhere about an OB that will attend home births in St. Louis, but i will have to see if I can find it and will post the link for you.
Good luck!

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