Our goal is to help you have the birth that you want. We work with you to design a birth plan and support you as you make your labor and birth plan a reality. Our certified midwives are by your side throughout your labor, offering encouragement and coaching, in a way that feels right for you.
Our goal is to have mothers give birth in an environment that is familiar and comfortable. That is why our prenatal care visits are held in the same spaces throughout the pregnancy. Mothers can wear what they want; move as they want; eat what they want and be surrounded with whomever they choose.
We want mothers to feel comfortable and relaxed in their surroundings during labor and we designed our birthing suites with this in mind. They offer plenty of room to move around during labor and provide a range of amenities including: cozy beds large enough to share with your family. Each suite includes walk-in showers with room for you and your support person, deep soaking tubs that can be used during labor and birth, birth balls, plush towels, and robes.
Comfort Measures During Labor
There are a wide range of comfort measures and relaxation techniques that we use to help you manage active labor. During your prenatal care we will explore the full range of comfort measures available. Including:
- Soaking tubs & showers that can be used for aquatherapy
- Birthing balls
- Pressure point therapy
- TENS unit
- Nitrous oxide
Schedule a tour at the birth center to learn more about comfort measures during birth.
Our birthing suites all include large tubs that are available to you during labor. Currently, 75% of the births conducted in our center are water births. There are many benefits to laboring in water and our certified midwives are happy to support women who want to give birth in the tub to do so safely.
Early Newborn Care
Following birth, our midwives and nurses will stay nearby to ensure you and your baby are happy and healthy before stepping away to give your family time to get to know your newest addition. After giving you time to bond with your baby, they will do a head-to-toe physical assessment, ensure your baby is nursing well, and review what you need to watch for in the first few days of your little ones' life. We will help you with breastfeeding and answer any questions you have as you prepare to take your baby home.
Everyone rests and recovers best in their own space, so we make sure families get home soon after birth. We stay in close contact to ensure that everyone is happy and healthy. 24-48 hours after your baby is born, we visit your home to do a full physical exam of you and your baby and answer any questions about breastfeeding, newborn care, or any part of the new parent experience, without disrupting the rest, recovery, and bonding your family needs.
Comfort Measures During Birth
As with most birth centers, the Birth Center of Northwest Arkansas midwives want you to walk around and stay active during labor. There is a walking trail and fishing dock directly behind the birth center! Unlike in a hospital setting, you won’t have a routine IV, and you will be free to move around as you need.
Pain Management Options at BCNWA
- Birthing balls
- Breathing techniques
- TENS unit*
- Sterile water papules*
- Nitrous Oxide*
*Additional costs may apply.
Questions about Nitrous Oxide
Why have I never heard of nitrous oxide being used in labor before?
Probably because you in the United States, where about 1% of women have the option of N2O in labor. In contrast, nitrous oxide ("gas and air") is used by 60% of laboring women in the United Kingdom, 50% of laboring women in Australia and almost 50% of women who deliver in Finland and Canada. SOURCE
What kind of equipment is involved in administering N2O to patients?
The Birth Center of Northwest Arkansas keeps a Nitronox unit on-site. Nitronox is a patient self-administered system that delivers a safe and effective mixture of 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen through a hand-held mask.Pain relief starts within minutes after inhalation. Once inhalations are discontinued, the effect of the nitrous oxide is quickly reversed by breathing room air.
Is this safe for the baby?
A systematic review was conducted by the University of California at San Francisco in 2002 to determine the efficacy and safety of nitrous oxide for labor analgesia. Researchers concluded that "[n]itrous oxide is not a potent labor analgesic, but it is safe for parturient women, their newborns, and health care workers in attendance during its administration and that [i]t appears to provide adequately effective analgesia for many women." SOURCE The 50/50 mixture of N2O with oxygen is eliminated through the lungs, not the liver, making it a safe option for mother and baby if self-administered properly. It is not possible to overdose on nitrous oxide, nor will it make the laboring woman or the baby groggy.
How effective is Nitronox in labor?
It's an analgesic in labor, not an anesthetic. Some women say that the pain is still present but they just don't care while inhaling the nitrous oxide-oxygen mixture. The effect of Nitronox will vary from patient to patient. Women report having less anxiety about contractions, postpartum suturing and other medical procedures.