Choosing a Birth Center
Your baby’s place of birth? Swedish.
The Seattle metropolitan area is a wonderful place to live. And when it comes to having a baby here, we’ve got four wonderful birth centers to choose from. So how do you decide?
The old real estate rule of location, location, location also holds true for birth centers. Since you never know how fast your labor will be, you’ll want your destination to be close by. Swedish has four birth centers — Ballard, First Hill, Issaquah and Edmonds — making it convenient for people who live or work in the Seattle, Eastside and North end areas.
Beyond location, you’ll want to consider other important factors. Would you like a birth center with a smaller, more boutique-like feel, a bustling city hospital with every possible resource, or maybe something in between?
Learn more about each Swedish birth center:
How are the Four Swedish Birth Centers Different?
In the video below Medical Director of the Family Childbirth Center at Swedish Ballard, Dr. Dorcas McLennan, and Seattle OB/GYN, Dr. Judy Kimelman, discuss the differences between Swedish’s four Seattle-area birth centers including amenities available at each birth center and the coordinated care available within the Swedish system for babies that require a higher level of care.
Full video text/transcript for "How are the four Swedish Birth Centers Different?" video
Swedish is a big place and it's got lots of different options and I think patients can find the right fit for them within the Swedish system. So there are quite a few different Swedish hospitals so most patients will be able to find something close to them. There's First Hill, Issaquah, Ballard and Edmonds.
We have the tertiary care center at First Hill, which has all the bells and whistles. What's nice is we also have the back up of many support services, from perinatologists that are the high-risk specialists to the neonatal intensive care unit. But of course First Hill doesn't just do high-risk OB either. Fist Hill does all the spectrum of OB. It does a lot of normal, low-risk moms as well. It's a gorgeous environment for patients to deliver. Many of the rooms have beautiful views of downtown Seattle. There's a jacuzzi in every room. The rooms are large and have room for family members.
And then we have Ballard, which is really a community hospital in an urban setting. It serves the greater Ballad area including Fremont, Wallingford, Greenlake, Northgate, and Queen Anne and Magnolia. Patients there can be delivered by obstetricians, family practice or nurse midwives. What patients like about Ballard is that it is a very quiet and friendly environment, easy parking right within their own neighborhood.
At Issaquah, that's a suburban hospital, and has the advantage of locale. The Issaquah campus is very convenient for patients that live on the Eastside including Bellevue and Issaquah but since it's right off I-90 it's convenient for patients that live north/south 405, all the way down into south King County since it's the freeway all the way to the door. It's a beautiful new hospital with state-of-the-art everything. Each room has a jacuzzi tub right in the labor room, which is different than the other campuses.
And then Edmonds, which is another suburban hospital, is kind of a mix of the others. It's recently been remodeled. All the rooms have a whirlpool bath. And again easy parking, relaxed atmosphere. Edmonds also has a level 2 NICU. That means they can take care of babies down to 32 weeks.
All of us use the First Hill neonatal intensive care doctors to take care of our babies that need a higher level of care. In fact we have a way of getting the transport team to come down from First Hill and bring the babies to First Hill if they need a higher level of care.
And there are certain basic things that are available across the board. So there are some things that women feel that they need to ask such as: Can I get an epidural?, Is there anesthesia available? and there is at every facility around the clock. It's just standard.