Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Suite Life Expanded Midwife Center Has Its First Baby Using New Birth Suites

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Suite Life Expanded Midwife Center Has Its First Baby Using New Birth Suites

Article excerpt

The first baby born in the newly expanded Midwife Center made her appearance at 5:05 a.m. Wednesday morning. Aliza's mom and dad, Alana Ashley and Adam Hoover of Brackenridge, brought their 2-year- old son and other family members to the new Mountain Room Birth Suite, where there was lots of room around the tub - a new addition to relieve a mother's labor discomfort.

"When Alana was laboring, she was surrounded by her family," said certified nurse midwife Amanda Shafton, who helped with the birth. "It was her mom on one side, her fiance on the other, and us being able to come in and out."

The Midwife Center for Birth & Women's Health on Penn Avenue in the Strip District has opened its 6,700-square-foot expansion to its existing facility. Included are two new birth suites, equipped with birth tubs, nitrous oxide equipment and cloth birth swings - all comfort measures that are not common in Western Pennsylvania.

The goal is to reduce the need for medical interventions in births, said Ann McCarthy, clinical director at the center. With the expansion added services are now planned, including behavioral health, information and referral counseling, new classes and support groups. Grand opening events are planned for April.

Aliza was baby No. 242 for Ms. Shafton, 27, of Lawrenceville.

Ms. Ashley, 22, gave birth to her son, Adam, under epidural anesthesia in a hospital and the birth center experience was very different, she said.

"I felt very in charge of my labor when I went in. ... I had my mom, aunt, fiance, and sister-in-law there and my son. We were all joking between contractions, everybody would be so helpful between contractions and offer me a drink of water, something to snack on."

She was in active labor when she got into the tub - which lights up with changing colors, "like a birth disco," Ms. Shafton said. …

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