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Published on November 17, 2015

MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital Offers Mid-Missouri’s First Low-Intervention Birth Program

Program provides mothers with midwives, specialized delivery rooms.

Women with low-risk pregnancies in central Missouri now have a new expanded low-intervention birthing option at University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

The low-intervention birth program at MU includes home-like birthing suites for expectant mothers who want to deliver through a natural, unmedicated process with minimal medical intervention and technology.

Courtney Barnes

Courtney Barnes, MD

“Our low-intervention program features new birthing rooms in a home-like setting, with ample nurturing for expectant moms and limited technological monitoring,” said Courtney Barnes, MD, medical director of MU’s low-intervention birth program. “Expectant mothers who don’t want epidurals, induced labor or instrument-assisted deliveries now have this birthing option. However, we offer mother and child a safety net of medical experts who are easily and quickly accessible in the event of any unexpected complications during delivery.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of mothers choosing to have out-of-hospital births in the United States has been increasing since 2004 — a trend that continues to increase every year. The largest majority of these births were at home, and the babies were delivered with the help of midwives.

Patients in the low-intervention program at MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital receive much of their care from certified nurse midwives who are on staff at the hospital. They also provide prenatal care for women who choose a low-intervention birth plan.

Expectant mothers who choose to have low-intervention births at MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital have regular prenatal check-ups, and their newborns also receive the same testing, monitoring and postnatal care as other babies born at the hospital.

Patients also are invited to bring their own doulas or birth coaches who can work with a certified nurse midwife and other medical staff at the hospital. Additionally, all labor and deliver nurses have gone through doula training. Doulas are women experienced in childbirth who provide advice, information, emotional support and physical comfort to a mother before, during and just after childbirth.

The low-intervention birthing program is open to all women who meet the low-risk pregnancy qualifications.

For more information on qualifications, please call MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s low-intervention birth program at 573-817-3535.

  • Low Intervention at Women's and Children's Hospital
  • Low Intervention at Women's and Children's Hospital
  • Low Intervention at Women's and Children's Hospital
  • Low Intervention at Women's and Children's Hospital
  • Low Intervention at Women's and Children's Hospital
  • Low Intervention at Women's and Children's Hospital

Photos: Click [here] for high-resolution photos of the low-intervention birthing suites.

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