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Dar A Luz Birth & Health Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Reproductive Health Care, Reproductive Rights

Mission: To provide compassionate and holistic prenatal care, women's health services and a safe alternative to hospital birth for women and their families.

Programs: Prenatal care:certified nurse midwives provide a unique form of woman-centered prenatal care that focuses on building a trusting relationship with women so that they will know the midwife who will attend the birth of their child. There is a high priority on preparing women for birth and parenthood. Women are given a comprehenstive education booklet and are required to attend up to nine classes on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, newborns and car seats as part of their care. Midwifery and lactation support are available to our clients 24/7. These are also structured to help families support each other and build a sense of community that lasts beyond the span of pregnancy and birth. In 2017, the organization increased its midwives for a benchmark of an average of 15 births to 6 midwives per month. 137 women birthed their babies at the center and another 59 women had to be transferred to the hospital because of change in risk status. Another 90 women were seen specifically for well-woman exams. Breastfeeding initiation for all mothers, regardless of where their babies were born, was 100% at the time of birth with continuation rate of 94% at 6 weeks postpartum. Continuation at 6 months remains high at 70%. About 30-40% of our clients at any given time receive medicaid benefits either as a primary or secondary insurance payer. Only about 1% of clients were completely out-of-pocket either because they cannot buy insurance or chose not to. We do not turn anyone away for the inability to pay but also accept payment plans for many months after care has been completed. We still write and receive grants to help subsidize decreased collections from families who cannot afford our care.

newborn care: midwives practice to the full extent of their licenses by providing newborn care for the first month of life. Caring for the mother-baby dyad together during this time results in higher exclusive breastfeeding rates and better adjustment to parenthood. All of the babies born at the birth center have received their newborn care at the center. Most of the babies born at the hospital come back to receive their newborn care here, as well, instead of seeing a pediatrician during the first month. Our goal is to provide newborn care to all healthy newborns whose mothers have completed their prenatal care at the birth center.

gynecology care:care throughout the woman's life cycle is the cornerstone of midwifery care. Routine well-woman care, contraception, preconception counseling and gynecologic services are essential parts of health promotion for women, and all of these services are offered at dar a luz. Many of the women who give birth at the center continue gynecologic care here and many who have their annual exams go on to register for prenatal care.

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