Contributed by Jodilyn Owen
Fulfilling a lifetime dream, the Essential Birth & Family Center is up and running just south of PCC in Lakewood-Seward Park. As owner of the business, it is my honor to be able to bring together holistic and like-minded providers in a collaborative effort to serve our local Southend families as a community-oriented gathering place and resource center.
Acupuncture, massage, nutrition support, lactation support, and support groups for the LGBTQ community, families of color, breastfeeding mothers, and all new moms are all housed in the little yellow building. In addition, I bring to the table twelve years of serving this community through birth and parenting support, and now as a licensed midwife. We have created a space that is warm and inviting, and there’s always room to stop in for a comfortable place to nurse or change your baby.
The idea for a community-oriented touch point for families is the fulfillment of a long time dream of mine after providing labor support for hundreds of South Seattle families over the years and developing a passion for the community.
In a new collaborative effort, we provide complete prenatal care right in our neighborhood for families who wish to birth at Swedish Medical Center. Moms will meet a physician 1-3 times during pregnancy and be received by that same physician for their birth at Swedish. Doula care and access to integrated support from other providers are all rolled into this model which views mothers from a holistic perspective—and does so right in their own neighborhood. This is a new model for South Seattle—it allows for the continuity of care and high quality prenatal care with a midwife that has shown to lower rates for cesarean births, preterm birth, and low birth weight babies. South Seattle is on the innovation end of this model—this pilot program is aimed at making access to care easier on moms and babies and includes 2 weeks of in-home postpartum visits, and in-home prenatal care for those who have difficulties with transportation. Homebirths and one-time visits for moms with questions between OB appointments are also offered through this community midwifery practice.
We offer a variety of groups for new moms and babies including Listening Mothers for babies 0-5 months, Baby Peppers for babies 5-12 months, and the always popular Saturday morning breastfeeding drop-in group with local lactation guru and IBCLC candidate Camie Jae Goldhammer. Some great classes are on the docket and include Baby Signs, Infant Massage, Acupressure for Pain Relief in Labor, and Girl Sense—a mindfulness based group for girls ages eight to ten years old. Parents can register for all classes online which seems to be a big hit with moms in the neighborhood nursing at 3am.
Stop by the website at EssentialBirthandFamily.com to see the full list of classes and services or to book an appointment online today (or tonight, as the case may be)! We look forward to meeting you soon!