Seton Healthcare now offers women a more natural childbirth experience through a partnership with Austin Area Birthing Center that allows for a midwife-attended delivery, providing reduced medical intervention such as pain medication and surgery.
Seton announced its partnership with Austin ABC on Jan. 22 but has been offering the services since mid-December.
The natural childbirth services are available at Seton's Medical Center Austin hospital, located at 1201 W. 38th St. Under the new partnership, an Austin ABC advanced practice nurse midwife may admit patients to Seton's medical center for low-intervention childbirth. That means a doctor is available to assist the midwife when needed, according to Seton officials.
Seton's Network Perinatal Director Trina Jellison said the services could become available at other Seton hospitals in the future. The partnership with Austin ABC was spawned in part because of a gap analysis conducted by Seton, which revealed that many women in Austin want natural childbirth without medication or surgery, she said.
"Most of the women that we have talked to say that they would be interested in low-intervention, but they want all of the emergency level of care available for their baby," Jellison said. "The thing that would make them nervous about [giving birth] in their home or at a birthing center is if any complications arose, they would have to call an ambulance and go very quickly to the hospital versus having all of those services available at the hospital and being able to basically get that help immediately. This is really a nice balance of both worlds."
Austin ABC is the only birthing center in Central Texas accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers—a nonprofit that evaluates birthing centers based on national standards for quality and safety of care.