Birth center aims to provide more prenatal care and delivery choices in Wyandotte County

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Wyandotte County has a new place to deliver babies that's different from the two hospitals there. A birth center with midwives has opened. It's aimed at filling a need for more prenatal care and more delivery choices.

A sling to rest the upper body if a woman wants to stand during labor, a tub for water labor and a homey bed are the options in each plush room at New Birth Company.

"I did not want a hospital birth. I wanted something different. I did not want the epidural, all that," said Andrea Koehn.

Koehn traveled 80 miles to delivery her daughter, Taiya, a few weeks ago. It was the first birth for the center at 721 N. 31st Street.

Cathy Gordon, co-founder, has a similar facility in Overland Park and previously had a birth center in the same building in Kansas City, Kansas,with the Mercy and Truth Medical Clinic. She decided to return and remodel after seeing Wyandotte County rank among the worst counties in the state for birth outcomes.

"We wanted to reopen the same location because it's the target population of people at risk," said Gordon.

She said they are underinsured or uninsured women who need more access to prenatal care and lower-cost deliveries.

"We even for the insured client like Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health Care, we still are by far the lowest cost place to have a baby," said Gordon.

She said the center has plans in place for transferring women to hospitals if complications arise.

"I was kinda worried about that, also the natural aspect of it, too," said Heather Price.

But she decided to deliver her first child, Miles, in the birth center.

"It was a lot of work," she said, referring to the natural labor.

She left the center four hours after delivery with a healthy son.

The birth center is licensed by the state. Gordon said it's seeking accreditation by the commission that accredits birth centers. An open house will be held Thursday, March 24, from noon to 2 p.m.

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