New Natural Beginnings Birth Center to open at Atrium Medical Center

MIDDLETOWN, OHIO, September 1, 2016: Greater Cincinnati’s first natural birth center will open this year at Atrium Medical Center, providing expecting mothers services to cope with labor without traditional interventions.

Natural Beginnings Birth Center is the first comprehensive natural birth center in the greater Cincinnati area to be located within an acute care hospital, where nursing and medical staff can respond with emergency and surgical care if necessary.

The center is unique because of its holistic program of care. The new center will offer a combination of labor-coping services to ease delivery, along with childbirth education classes before birth, options for ongoing education following delivery, certified nurse midwives on staff trained to care for you during pregnancy and childbirth, board-certified obstetricians, and labor and birth taking place in a private, home-like setting.

“We’re really trying to make this as similar to delivering at home as possible, not only when it comes to delivering the baby naturally, but also when it comes to the atmosphere and family involvement,” said Betty Love, associate chief nursing officer of Atrium Medical Center. “This service wasn’t previously available in this community and offers patients and families more choices for the natural childbirth experience.”

Natural Beginnings will be the second natural birth center operated by Premier Health, which opened Family Beginnings at Miami Valley Hospital in downtown Dayton in 1995. Opening the program in Middletown puts the services closer to Cincinnati patients.

Trained staff will assist expecting mothers to use labor coping methods such as movement, positioning and hydrotherapy (water) during labor and birth. Additional services to be offered at Natural Beginnings include: birthing balls, massage therapy and aromatherapy; doppler monitoring of baby’s heart beat; an environment fostering self-responsibility and family empowerment; family-centered care with non-separation of mother and newborn; and access to emergency medical care and a Level II Special Care Nursery, should complications arise.

“Natural Beginnings is a great program for the low risk pregnant woman who desires birth choices. It gives women the chance to have their own experience without traditional interventions, but the safety net of emergency equipment and personnel only yards away,” said Dr. Rhonda Washington, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Atrium Medical Center. 

Women interested in Natural Beginnings can now enroll in the program as of September 1 with deliveries starting December 1. To enroll, contact your physician or midwife, or call (513) 705-4291.

Meanwhile, the opening of the center will also see existing patient rooms at Atrium Medical Center renovated to accommodate the expansion of services. Construction is set to start in October and be completed in spring 2017. The waiting area of Atrium’s Family Birth Center, which now includes Natural Beginnings, will also be renovated as part of the project.

In 2015, approximately 850 babies were born at Atrium Medical Center.

For more information, please visit or call (513) 705-4291. 

Atrium Medical Center is a full-service hospital and Level III Trauma Center located conveniently along the Interstate 75 corridor at exit 32, One Medical Center Drive in Middletown, between Cincinnati and Dayton. The hospital is the city of Middletown’s second largest employer of more than 1,500 people in full-time, part-time and on-call positions. Atrium is operated by the Dayton-based nonprofit Premier Health system.

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