For more than 35 years, Gifford’s Birthing Center has been the standard of care for women in Vermont, and today continues to be a leader in family-centered care, obstetrics and midwifery.
In 1977, Gifford Medical Center took a leadership role among Vermont hospitals and opened the first birthing center of its kind in the state and even in New England. A pioneering alternative to traditional delivery rooms, the Birthing Center became widely known – and widely sought out – as a warm, personal environment where women’s preferences and families’ needs came first and where childbirth could unfold naturally.
Bonnie Hervieux-Woodbury, Birthing Center director of nursing and a member of the staff for more than 20 years, is frequently asked why so many women (some driving hours) choose Gifford to have their baby. “First and foremost, we believe that pregnancy, labor and birth are natural events in a woman’s life,” Bonnie answers. “With that basic premise in mind, we work together – obstetricians, pediatricians, nurse-midwives, general practitioners and staff nurses – to ensure that women and their partners are informed, educated, supported and included in all decisions regarding their care. It is rare to find such a diverse group of individuals who come together as a true team: professional, compassionate, skilled and committed to positive birthing experiences.”
Today, the Gifford Birthing Center remains small in size, relaxed in atmosphere, and highly experienced in supporting and assisting women and families. Expectant parents can choose from our 24-hour team of certified nurse-midwives, who are advanced practice nurses specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, or our board-certified obstetricians/gynecologists. And while Gifford believes that childbirth is a natural process, a number of pain management options, including water therapy, pain medicine and intrathecals (spinal anesthesia) are available for those women who need or want them.
Options for your labor and birth
- Water birth
- Birthing stool
- Birthing ball
- VBACs (vaginal birth after cesareans)
- Prenatal birthing classes
- Kitchen for snacks
- 24-hour rooming in
- Sleeping accommodations and meals for one support person
- Infant car seat
- Lactation services
- New parents support group
- Non-certification infant CPR classes
Midwifery operates on the principle of informed choice, helping clients understand the many options available to them and supporting women and families as they decide on their birth plan. Midwifery care recognizes each woman as a whole person and views her within the context of her family, community, culture and personality. The midwifery model of care is based on a trusting, respectful relationship between the midwife and client.
Board certified ob/gyn physicians provide comprehensive obstetrical care for women with routine and more complex pregnancies. Physicians and midwives work collaboratively to provide seamless care to families.
Continuity of care
For some, the Gifford Birthing Center and our obstetrics and midwifery practice will be the location they travel during pregnancy and for the birth of their little miracle. For others, Gifford remains their hospital of choice following birth. Gifford has an outstanding pediatric team and family care providers throughout the region; in fact, there are few like them, anywhere. They are skilled, experienced and compassionate. Together, these providers join our prenatal team to make up what we consider your family center here at Gifford.