What is a Family-Centric Birth?

The birth of the newest member of your family is one of the most important and memorable moments in your life. Making that experience a positive one is our top priority at Western Missouri Medical Center’s (WMMC) Obstetrics Unit. That is why we’ve invested in ensuring that you have a family-centric birth experience.

What Does a “Family-Centric” Birth Entail?

From the moment that you find out that you are pregnant, we consider the journey a family experience, no matter what your family looks like. Bringing a child into the world is an experience like no other. Our focus is ensuring that your experience is full of positivity, love and excellent care.

To us, this means making the entire journey is centered on family. Our Western Missouri Women’s Health Center team strives to be an extended part of your family during this experience and will put you and your baby first at all times.


Personalized Prenatal Care

Beginning with your first prenatal appointment, your care at WMMC is personalized according to your needs. WMMC offers both board-certified OB/Gyn physicians, as well as a team of certified nurse midwives, to help make your experience all that you want it to be. Our team will make sure you are well informed throughout your pregnancy and the labor and delivery process so that you are able to make the best decisions for you and your baby.


The Family-Centric Birthing Experience

At WMMC, we’ve invested in your birthing experience. With state-of-the-art private birthing suites and dedicated cesarean section (c-section) suite, our entire unit has been designed with the comfort of mom, baby and family in mind.

In these suites, we offer whirlpool tubs and allow your designated family and friends to be part of the experience in order to provide support as much as possible during the hospital stay.

Immediately following the birth of your newest family member, WMMC encourages skin-to-skin contact between the parents and newborn as well as breastfeeding within the first hour after birth.


Family-Centric C-Sections

Family-centric birth doesn’t stop at our c-section suite door. In 2016, WMMC was one of the first in the region to offer clear c-section drapes, allowing mothers who deliver via c-section to witness the birth of their child.

Many parents describe watching the birth of their child as life-altering, and we don’t want women who give birth via c-section to miss out on that important moment due to the traditional blue surgical drapes obscuring the mother’s view. Enabling mothers to witness those first moments after the birth of their child is an integral part of our family-centric birth experience model.

*NOTE: Mothers do not need to worry about seeing the surgical aspect of the birth. The traditional blue drapes cover the rest of her body and abdomen during the surgery. The drapes are lowered just before the birth of their child, revealing a sterile, clear drape.

Just like a vaginal delivery, WMMC implements skin-to-skin immediately following the birth of your child, right in the c-section suite.


The Importance of Immediate Skin-to-Skin Contact

During your pregnancy, your baby is as close to you as possible—they rely on you for warmth, nourishment, and oxygen. After labor, your baby no longer has immediate access to that security. Skin-to-skin provides them with the comfort of being close to you again and can provide multiple benefits, both physical and psychological, to your baby.


Building Breastfeeding into the Experience

The entire post-partum experience is based on adjustment and learning. We follow a rooming-in model, which means that your baby will be in the room with you 24/7 during your stay. No more whisking baby away to be alone in a nursery room. But don’t worry, if you need a break, our staff is on call and ready to take your baby for a bit to allow you to get some sleep.

Part of that learning process includes breastfeeding education. WMMC has International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) on staff to help you and your baby learn everything that you need to know about, both during your stay and after you leave WMMC.

Ensuring that you understand the fundamentals of lactation and that both you and your baby are comfortable with the breastfeeding process is our IBCLCs priority. We also offer ongoing, monthly support groups to assist you with the process, both before and after birth.


Birthing at WMMC

Each year, nearly 800 families choose to deliver their babies at WMMC, not just for the spacious rooms or amenities, but because of our outstanding team and dedication to your family.

If you think that a family-centric birth at WMMC may be the birthing journey for you and your growing family, call Western Missouri Women’s Health Center at (660) 429-2228 today to schedule an appointment to meet with a provider and discuss your ideal journey and set up a tour of our Obstetrics Unit for you and your family.