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Unique Alexandria Women’s Health Practice Celebrates 25 Years of Community Service

BirthCare & Women’s Health Awarded Prestigious Midwifery Award for Providing DC-area Women the Choice of Safe, Out-of-Hospital Care

For Immediate Release:
November 1, 2012

Contact: Barbra Elenbaas
Office: 240-485-1822
E-mail: [email protected]

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Since 1987, DC-area women have had the unique opportunity to play an active role in their health care decisions. By providing women access to a local midwifery practice that offers the choice of either home or birth center birth, women have the chance to decide on the setting that is best for them. More than 4,500 babies have been safely born since the practice’s opening.

On Saturday, November 3, the midwives of BirthCare & Women’s Health of Alexandria, VA, will celebrate their 25th anniversary along with many of the families they’ve helped grow over the years. The practice is one of only a few midwifery services in the DC area that offers pregnant women options for their care setting, including the choice of home birth care or birth center care. The practice also offers general women’s health services at their Alexandria birth center, including well-woman gynecologic and family planning services.

“Women have choices for who they see and where they go for birth and women’s health services, and we’re proud to preserve out-of-hospital birth as a safe and viable option for the DC community,” said Marsha Jackson, CNM, cofounder of BirthCare & Women’s Health. “We look forward to a time when every woman is aware of her full range of options in health care.”

BirthCare & Women’s Health began when local certified nurse-midwives formed a partnership specializing in home births and personalized care for DC-area women. The practice has an impressive safety record, including a cesarean birth rate as low as 4 to 8 percent depending on the year, compared to the current national rate of 32.8 percent.

“Our clients come to us in search of fewer unnecessary medical childbirth procedures, such as cesarean birth, and maximum support for normal, healthy birth with the best outcomes for themselves and their babies,” said Alice Bailes, CNM, the practice’s other cofounder. “As demand for out-of-hospital birth rises, babies whose births we attended when our practice first opened are now coming to us to deliver babies of their own. We have a wait list every month because so many DC-area women want this option.”

BirthCare & Women’s Health midwives employ careful screening, education, and encourage clients to play an active role in decision making to ensure good outcomes for women and babies. As demand has increased, the practice has grown—in 1992 Bailes and Jackson expanded their service by opening their freestanding birth center, and the practice’s midwives now attend approximately 25 births per month.

A celebration of BirthCare’s 25 years of community service will be held from 1:00 to 5:00 pm on Saturday, November 3, and will feature live music, folk dancing, tours of the birth center, and children’s activities. Additionally, BirthCare will be awarded the Golden With women, for a lifetime® Commendation, which recognizes midwifery practices that have provided innovative and compassionate midwifery care to families, expanded access to women's health care, and put the heart of midwifery into practice for 20 years or more. The Golden With women, for a lifetime® Commendation award is presented by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)—the professional organization representing certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States.

“BirthCare & Women’s Health exemplifies the heart of midwifery,” said ACNM President Holly Powell Kennedy, CNM, PhD, FACNM, FAAN. “These midwives set out in 1987 with a very simple goal: to bring new life into the world while giving families a safe alternative to hospital births. However, their commitment to women and their families, coupled with their passion for educating the public about the midwifery model of care, has made BirthCare flourish into the exemplary practice it is today.”

The 25th Anniversary Celebration will be held in the James Madison Building at the US Patent and Trade Office Atrium located at 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. To RSVP, visit birthcare25th.eventbrite.com. Free parking will be available in the East Garage and the King Street Metro is less than one-half mile away.

About BirthCare & Women’s Health
BirthCare & Women's Health Ltd. is a service of certified nurse-midwives located in Alexandria, Virginia. We serve families giving birth outside the hospital: in their home or at our birth center. We attend home births in Maryland, DC, and Virginia within a 45-mile radius of Washington, DC. We also attend births at our nationally accredited birth center in Old Town Alexandria for women and families who prefer a birth center experience. Clients have come to us from as far away as Winchester, Warrenton, Ellicott City, Gaithersburg, and Southern Maryland. In addition to our birth services, we also work with women seeking personalized gynecologic care, and family planning. Visit http://www.birthcare.org/ for more information.

About the American College of Nurse-Midwives
The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States. ACNM promotes excellence in midwifery education, clinical practice, and research. With roots dating to 1929, our members are primary care providers for women throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. ACNM provides research, administers and promotes continuing education programs, establishes clinical practice standards, and creates liaisons with state and federal agencies and members of Congress to increase the visibility and recognition of midwifery care. Visit http://www.midwife.org/ for more information.

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