There’s a new, safe, natural birthing alternative for expectant moms in Metro Detroit. On Nov. 3, the Karmanos Center for Natural Birth, a one-of-a-kind birthing center that combines the comforts of a high-end home with the safety net of a high-tech hospital, opened at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.
Part of the Danialle & Peter Karmanos Jr. Birth Center at Beaumont, the luxurious, holistic birthing center was created through a $6 million gift from Danialle and Peter Karmanos Jr., in celebration of their four sons – Socrates, Leonides, Spiros and Aristides.
The center includes six private birthing suites equipped with large hydrotherapy tubs, massaging shower heads and other special amenities for natural labor and delivery. Specially trained nurses help mothers navigate natural childbirth with holistic techniques such as aromatherapy, therapeutic touch, reflexology and music therapy. There’s an indoor walking path and two beautiful outdoor rooftop gardens – one designed for viewing, the other designed as a walking garden for fresh air and movement during labor.
”There’s nothing more important than having a healthy child,” says Danialle Karmanos, whose four sons were born naturally, including two who were born at Beaumont, Royal Oak. “Our vision in partnering with Beaumont was to create a first-class facility with the best doctors and nurses, and the tools, resources and environment to support a natural birth experience, for families that choose that path.”
Natural childbirth is a mind-body approach to labor and childbirth with no anesthesia or routine medical interventions. It means giving birth spontaneously, without induction, and at a woman’s own pace.
The center is available for any woman who meets medical criteria for a natural birth, based on a consultation with her physician or midwife. At around 28 weeks of pregnancy, Beaumont’s specially trained nurse liaisons will work with the woman to create a customized natural birth plan that includes a natural birth workshop, online education portal and mobile application, and one-on-one support from nurses and physicians.
There’s a growing national interest among women and families in natural birth. More women are choosing natural birth because of the feeling of empowerment and sense of accomplishment it provides.
Ray Bahado-Singh, M.D., chairman, OB-GYN, Beaumont Health System, says the new Karmanos Center for Natural Birth “recognizes the voices of many women seeking a natural, holistic approach to labor that could lead to lower rates of medical interventions and Cesarean-section deliveries and faster recovery rates in select women.”
If a natural birth does not go as planned and medical interventions are required for a safe delivery, Beaumont offers the safety net of a traditional birthing center with sophisticated medical capabilities just steps away, including a state-certified neonatal intensive care unit.
In addition to its benefits for women, “Natural childbirth is also an important experience for the father,” says Peter Karmanos. “You are far more of a participant in the birth.”
For mothers, fathers and families, the center offers a concierge service, cozy furnishings, sleeper sofas, complimentary Wi-Fi, personal refrigerators, flat-screen televisions, iPod docking stations and a private waiting room – all at no extra charge.
“My husband Pete is a master gardener,” says Danialle Karmanos. “The center’s outdoor rooftop gardens have been very important to him and he’s been very involved in helping to create this wonderful experience that really appeals to all of the senses.”
Margaret Cooney Casey, president, Beaumont Foundation, says “As parents, Danialle and Pete knew what they wanted to do for women who wish to welcome their babies into the world naturally and safely. Their gift reflects their incredible kindness and thoughtfulness in wanting to share something very special and unique with our community.”
The Karmanos Center for Natural Birth patient care team includes obstetricians, midwives, lactation consultants and nurses. Nurses who will work in the center are trained in holistic nursing practice by the BirchTree Center Integrative Healing Arts Academy to manage comfort during natural labor using position-changing tools, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, therapeutic touch, reflexology, guided imagery and music therapy.
For more information on the Karmanos Center for Natural Birth, expectant moms can visit Beaumont.edu/natural-birth-center or call 248-898-5574 to schedule a personal consultation or tour.
Beaumont also has a revamped website and web application, myBeaumontBaby, which has tools and information about various stages of pregnancy, preparing for labor and delivery, and tracking pregnancy from conception through delivery. Visit beaumont.edu/mybeaumontbaby. A mobile version of the app will be available soon.
About Danialle and Peter Karmanos
Danialle and Peter Karmanos, Jr. are lifelong residents of metro Detroit who are well known for their dedication and passion for giving back to the community, and especially to those impacted by cancer. After the loss of his wife Barbara Ann to breast cancer in 1989, Peter Karmanos, Jr., contributed $15 million to the cancer institute that now bears her name. Since then, he and his wife Danialle have continually supported the Institute, both personally and through corporate philanthropy, contributing more than $60 million to the Institute.
Pete Karmanos recently retired as executive chairman of Compuware, the computer services company he co-founded in 1973 and built into a technology giant. He continues to support many civic causes, and is co-owner of three hockey teams, including the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes.
In 2005, Danialle Karmanos founded Danialle Karmanos’ Work It Out, a non-profit organization that fights childhood obesity by providing children with tools needed to make healthy choices. Her public involvement has also included serving on the Wayne State University Board of Governors and the board of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. She is a founding member and board member of MOCAD, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Danialle’s media career has included award-winning writing and producing, and a book on her husband called Pete Karmanos A Life in Progress.
About Beaumont Obstetrics
Beaumont is one of Michigan’s leading providers of prenatal care and birthing services, including state-of-the-art birthing centers and inpatient care in all private rooms at its Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak and Troy hospitals; dozens of community education classes on birthing and baby care; and an award-winning Parenting Program. The Beaumont hospitals in Royal Oak and Troy offer neonatal intensive care for treating high-risk, premature newborns. The new Karmanos Center for Natural Birth at Beaumont, Royal Oak combines the comforts of home with the safety net of a high-tech hospital. The Cotton Family Birth Center at Beaumont, Grosse Pointe is a Baby-Friendly® birth center designated by Baby-Friendly USA. Beaumont, Royal Oak is recognized by U.S. News & World Report on the 2014-15 list of “America’s Best Hospitals” for gynecology. Find out more at www.beaumont.edu/obstetrics.