How Far is too Far?

How far is too far?

We get asked this question a lot! The truth is that there isn’t an easy or direct answer to this question.

The majority of our clients live within 1.5 hours of the birth center although we have had clients from all over the state. Since we are the only birth center in central Indiana, it is not uncommon for families to travel to access the care that they desire. Common cities where we nearly always have families travelling from include Terre Haute, Lafayette, Kokomo, Muncie, Greenfield, Columbus, Bloomington, and all areas between.

What happens when I go into labor?

When you go into labor, you will be talking with your midwife! In most cases, there are several conversations (especially with a first baby!) before it is time to go to the birth center for admission. When labor has reached the point where it is time to be evaluated at the birth center, in most cases, we make a plan to meet in about an hour from the time of the phone call. So even when clients live an hour away, it doesn’t typically change our common approach. Of course when we need to move more quickly, we do!

Clients who live a distance from the birth center sometimes make a plan to stay at a hotel near the birth center during their early labor time. Admission to the birth center typically occurs with active labor at approximately 5-6 centimeters of cervical dilation. Sometimes when a client arrives for a labor check, we find that they are still in early labor and not quite ready for admission to the birth center. Depending on the time of day, these clients may choose to visit a restaurant, walk around a store, go to a park, or get a hotel until active labor.

What if I have a history of fast labors?

One of the greatest things about our model of care is all of the time that we get to spend so that we can know you! We will have plenty of time during your prenatal visits to talk with you and make a plan that feels best for you. For some clients who have had previous fast labors, that can look like doing gentle out of hospital induction methods with the counsel of your midwife so that both you and your birth team can be ready for your labor and birth. For other clients, that may look like coming to the birth center in early labor knowing that the time from the start of active labor to the baby’s birth will happen quickly. It doesn’t have to look a certain way – it has to look the way that works best for you and your family.

Will you still do a postpartum home visit if I live far away?

Our current policy is to do a postpartum home visit for clients who live within 80 miles of the birth center. This visit typically takes place 24-48 hours following the birth of your baby. At this visit, both the client and baby are assessed. We assist with breastfeeding, answer any questions, and complete the state newborn screening requirements (metabolic blood spot screening, cardiac heart defect screening through pulse oximetry, and hearing screen).

Birth Center care by Certified Nurse Midwives is high value, high quality care that is not replicated within hospital settings. The day of your baby’s birth only happens once, and it will be a day that you remember and talk about forever. Our experienced midwives and nurses are here to ensure your safety as well as to support your birth vision.