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Noteworthy: A Conversation with Willow Midwife Center for Birth & Wellness

willow midwife center for birth and wellness bedroom, white and elegant bedroom with a bathtub and shower in the room

Willow Midwife Center for Birth & Wellness is a freestanding birth center in Mesa, AZ. Co-owner Diane Ortega talked with CABC Commissioner Karin Braun about the community they serve and exciting plans for next year. Read the full interview here.



Full Transcript:

Karin: Why did you decide to open a birth center, Diane?

Diane: We wanted to open the birth center to provide an alternative for women who desired midwifery-led care in a community setting.

Karin: What is your client population like?

Diane: It is a diverse population. We have teens, students, and professionals. Our clients come from many cultures. There is diversity of wealth, religion, and sexual orientation.

Karin: Why is it important for your birth center to be CABC-accredited?

Diane: Accreditation shows everyone, including the client, the community, collaborative partners, our community partners, students, and payers, the high quality and standard of care that we are committed to meeting.

Karin: Have you changed how you do something as a result of becoming CABC-accredited?

Diane: We have improved tools for charting.

Karin: What are you most proud of?

Diane: I am proud of the diversity of clientele that we have been able to serve, and our amazing outcomes. I am also proud of incorporating Behavioral Health into our practice.

Karin: What is your biggest challenge?

Diane: Staffing, as well as hospital relationships and contracting.

Karin: What do you think are the benefits of a new or student midwife having experience in a birth center?

Diane: Students at hospitals don’t know what physiologic birth is. This is something they can learn through a birth center.

Karin: Do your midwives attend births in any other place besides the birth center? And is there a favorite place to practice?

Diane: Although we also attend births at a community hospital, all our midwives prefer the birth center.

Karin: How has your birth center practice changed how something is done at the hospital?

Diane: We have been able to teach the nurses more about physiologic birth, and patience.

Karin: Any exciting plans for the birth center?

Diane: We are planning to open a second location next year to be able to serve more women!

Karin: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about opening a birth center?

Diane: Don’t do it! You’ll never sleep again :) But, if you do proceed: establish yourself in the community; develop relationships with community partners; and start small and grow slow.

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