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Expectant Mothers Have More Choices with CHI Health St. Elizabeth Maternity Center and Birth Place at Lincoln

When CHI Health Birth Center at Lincoln opened in July of 2017, it became the first and only free-standing birthing center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

That doesn’t mean this unique facility specifically for midwife care stands alone.

The Birth Center maintains a close connection with CHI Health St. Elizabeth.

In fact, 50 percent of pregnant women who receive prenatal care from certified nurse midwives at the Birth Center will give birth here. The other half will deliver a few blocks away at the Maternity Center at CHI Health St. Elizabeth.

“This can be due to personal preferences or medical issues that develop during the pregnancy,” said Karen McGivney-Liechti, CNM. As a certified nurse midwife, she delivered hundreds of babies at the Maternity Center before leading the planning for the Birth Center.

What the Birth Centers Offer Families

The Maternity Center at St. Elizabeth features spacious delivery suites, large tubs for water births, state-of-the-art monitoring/scanning equipment, a Level III NICU and access to 24/7 OB/GYN hospitalist care.

The Birth Center at Lincoln has birthing suites, queen or full-size beds, free-standing tubs, an in-suite bathroom and shower and specializes in midwife care with more natural options for delivery, including hydrotherapy, water births, aromatherapy, nitrous relaxation, massage therapy.

Some aspects of care are similar at both sites, such as access to midwife care. But the differences are distinct.

Women who labor at the Maternity Center may need or prefer more advanced medical interventions and access to epidurals for pain control.

The Birth Place, on the other hand, is for expectant mothers who prefer less medical intervention and a more home-like environment.

“Birthing at the Birth Center is an option for women who meet specific criteria, and we have protocols and processes to ensure this is a safe way to deliver,” McGivney-Liechti said.

Midwives Can Deliver at the Hospital Too

If a mom-to-be prefers or needs the resources of the Maternity Center – for example due to multiple births or pregnancy complications -- her certified nurse midwife can deliver there as well.

“We have hospital privileges, and we stay on the woman’s team through the whole process,” said McGivney-Liechti. “To be a good midwife, you need a great obstetrician. We co-manage. We work together.”

Midwives and physicians maintain a collaborative relationship, because midwifery is part of a continuum of care. In fact, many St. Elizabeth obstetricians, neonatologists and pediatricians were involved in the planning process for the Birth Center.

“It’s been a beautiful marriage of the hospital saying ‘This is good for women and babies,’ and a group of physicians saying ‘Yes, this is an option we should have,’’ said McGivney-Liechti.

CHI Health Women's Health Team
CHI Health Women's Health Team

These blogs written by the CHI Health Women's Health Team.

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