Bellingham, Washington has an amazing birth community and as a local birth photographer, I truly believe we are blessed with all of the options we have. Six of my own children have been born here in Bellingham and I continue to be an active part of the birth community.
Hospital Birth in Bellingham: St. Joseph Childbirth Center
When most people envision giving birth they immediately think of the hospital. Fair enough. Hospital birth has been the norm in the United States since 1940. Although out-of-hospital birth is becoming more common, 98% of births still take place in hospitals.
Peace Health OB/GYNs
Peace Health has several OB/GYNs on staff. During the course of your pregnancy, you will meet with each OB/GYN so you are familiar with them all. Whichever doctor is on staff when you go into labor will be the doctor to deliver your baby.
Peace Health Certified-Nurse Midwives
Along with obstetricians, St. Joseph’s Hospital also has several Certified Nurse-Midwives on staff that offer prenatal care and deliver babies. This can be a great option for families who want a midwife but are not comfortable with an out-of-hospital birth.
Bellingham OB/GYN is another option for finding an OB/GYN in Bellingham. They are located near the hospital. You will see several doctors over the course of your pregnancy and the doctor on-call will deliver your baby.
Family Care Network
Family Care Network has several doctors on staff who deliver babies at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Some women choose this option because they enjoy the continuity of a doctor who can do follow-up care as a primary care provider after birth as well.
Birth Centers in Bellingham
Bellingham has two birth centers to choose from. My first two babies were born in a birth center up in Alaska and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for birth centers. They are the perfect in-between for moms who don’t want to give birth at home but would rather avoid the hospital as well. In Bellingham, both birth centers are located close to the hospital, making for quick transfers in case the unexpected arises.
Bellingham Birth Center
“Founded in 2004, and with over 1450 births under our roof, Bellingham Birth Center is the most established freestanding birth center in Whatcom County. ” from the Bellingham Birth Center website.
The Bellingham Birth Center has three birthing suites and six midwives. It is located on Cornwall Ave located just a mile away from St. Joseph’s hospital.
Bellingham Birth Center has large birthing tubs that have room for the laboring woman and her partner as well.
Birthroot Midwives and Birth Center
Birthroot Midwives is a team of three midwives. Our mission is to provide exceptional midwifery care for those delivering at home or in our birth center. We are very proud of our team approach to providing care and feel that our clients get the best of what we together bring to the table. Our birth center is a beautiful fully updated space with deep soaker tubs and walk-in showers and we are excited to now be offering nitrous oxide as another pain relief option in labor here at Birthroot. – Sarah Day
Birthroot Midwives Birth Center is a victorian-style house that was renovated and opened as a birth center in 2014. This birth center has two spacious birth suites with large, deep birthing tubs. Birthroot Midwives are the only providers who currently offer nitrous oxide for pain relief during labor.
Homebirth in Bellingham
Bellingham has a large list of midwives who offer homebirth in Whatcom County.
From Winni’s website:
“I have been working in Skagit and Whatcom counties since 1980. In June of 2004, I graduated from the Hahnemann College of Homeopathy. I am also a nurse practitioner and do Well Woman Gynecology care. I have been a board member of the Midwives Association of Washington State’s Quality Assurance Community since 2009.“
Gentle Hands Midwifery resident midwives at Bellingham Birth Center
From Gentle Hands website:
“Eloisa and Gloria meet their clients at the birth center for most prenatal and postpartum appointments. This allows clients planning to give birth at the birth center to become quite comfortable with the environment in which they plan to meet their baby. The 2 midwives work as a team, sharing call and assisting each other as needed ~ having 2 sets of hands allows each of the midwives to be available and rested for their clients. They also enjoy attending home births.”
Kim Baur and Tamar Leib from Naturopathic Midwives of Bellingham
I hope this has been helpful to you. Choosing the best care provider during your pregnancy is an important and very personal decision.
Fell free to contact me if you have any questions.
Be sure and download my FREE Birth Resources Guide!