Have you watched House of Cards? Scandal? These popular and edgy programs show fictionalized drama in our nation’s capital. Unbeknownst to many is the real-life drama of bringing new life into this world, playing out at Community of Hope Family Health and Birth Center, an active Washington, D.C. midwifery practice. The FHBC provides birth services based on the midwifery model of care and integrated family health services to women and their families. Kevin Spacey and Kerry Washington may not be roaming the halls, but the midwives, doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, and other staff that help this community’s families are the real stars. We are excited to share more about this busy practice as part of our Labor Day Bonus!
The Family Health and Birth Center provides midwifery-model prenatal care, but with a twist. From their website: “For the first half of your pregnancy, you will have monthly individual visits with a midwife…For the last half of your pregnancy, you will be encouraged to receive your care in groups. You will join a group of women whose babies are due in the same month as you.” Group visits are held every two weeks and include prenatal education, prenatal yoga, meditation, and childbirth education. What an exciting way to provide care and also build community among the mothers and their families!
In addition, the center offers integrated health programs for the whole family, providing well and sick visits as part of their pediatric care, whole family care, gynecological services, family planning services, HIV/AIDS testing, chronic disease management, and breastfeeding support and education.
Center staff includes 4 Certified Nurse-Midwives, a nursing director and 3 nurse practitioners, and 2 MDs. The CNMs, who have privileges at a nearby hospital, assisted in 265 births at the center in 2012. Unfortunately, a scarcity of midwives has led the center to move births to the hospital until appropriate staffing levels can be achieved. Mothers nevertheless receive the benefits of intensive prenatal care, much like the model used in Jennie Joseph’s Easy Access Clinic (see our earlier post). You can read more about the FBHC at: http://www.communityofhopedc.org/healthcare/other-healthcare-services-your-family.
Midwife of the Week posts originate on FoMM’s Facebook page and are archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment! This post was written by Anna Boone.