The Midwives at Mount Auburn and Bain Birthing Center

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I recently wrote about my prenatal and labor experience with the midwives at All Female Associates, but I know that my families live all over MA (and even other New England states), so I thought it might be a good idea to highlight some other OBGYN/midwife practices for my readers. Today’s featured provider is the Midwives at Mount Auburn, who work out of Bain Birthing Center at Mount Auburn Hospital.

But, you ask: Hannah, you didn’t give birth there, so how could you know anything about the experience with the Midwives at Mount Auburn? That’s a totally valid question, and I’m glad you asked! First, I asked moms who received care from the midwives and delivered at Bain Birthing Center what their experiences were like. Second, I searched for posts from moms in large Boston-based groups asking for provider recommendations and reviews.

Spoiler alert: the response was almost exclusively positive. I’ll share the details below.

Bain Birthing Center - Two images side by side: image one is a closeup of newborn baby's ear and wisps of hair, image two shows baby feet details from baby

Bain Birthing Center

While the name of the birthing center might make you think that it’s freestanding, Bain Birthing Center is actually part of Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. Some things to consider when choosing your hospital should include the amenities, variety of pain management options, and the needs of you and your baby (or multiples!).

One of the things I love about Bain Birthing Center is how many pain management options they provide. Of course they provide popular pharmacological options including epidurals and even pain-relieving narcotics, but they also offer an array of non-pharmacological options for parents who choose to have unmedicated labors or who simply aren’t candidates for epidurals, etc.

Non-pharmacological pain management options include acupressure, aromatherapy, hot and cold therapy, hydrotherapy (my favorite for my own labors!), and massage. They also offer wireless electronic fetal monitoring systems (so that you can move freely throughout labor), birthing balls, squat bars, and birthing stools. I was surprised to find out that they actually have a birthing tub, which means that patients are allowed to have water births if they are candidates for it. Not many hospitals in the area offer water births, so this alone sets Bain Birthing Center apart from other hospital L&D facilities.

I imagine that these amenities are a huge reason why nearly a third of deliveries at Mount Auburn in 2020 took place without the use of anesthesia/epidural; the national average in the USA is about 25% according to the CDC in 2019, which means that nearly 50% more patients are delivering without anesthesia at Bain Birthing Center than are patients in the USA on average. Furthermore, Mount Auburn’s VBAC success rate is around 80%, which is on the very high end for the USA. All of this is good news if you’re looking to minimize non-medically necessary interventions during your labor and delivery, but what happens if you really do need a cesarean?

As a hospital, Mount Auburn’s cesarean rate is around 22%, with a primary cesarean rate (meaning rate for a parent’s first delivery) of just over 14%, both of which are well below the Massachusetts average of over 32%. (The ideal rate for cesarian births is around 10-15% according to the World Health Organization.) Bain birthing center, unlike many other hospital L&D units, offer family-centered cesarean births. Also known as “Gentle Cesareans,” family-centered c-sections allow parents to see the baby as s/he is delivered through a clear drape (if desired) and then experience immediate skin-to-skin with their baby.

Midwives at Mount Auburn - Image shows back of baby's fuzzy head as her mother nurses her

The Midwives at Mount Auburn

As many amenities as Bain Birthing Center has, it’s all for nought you aren’t comfortable with the providers who attend your birth. The good news is that out of dozens of posts giving feedback about the Midwives at Mount Auburn, almost every single one was positive. In full disclosure, there was one single person from several years ago who had had a great prenatal experience but who had a student midwife during her delivery and did not like that experience.

Aside from that one mom, the reviews were OVERWHELMINGLY positive. Moms described their experiences with the Midwives at Mount Auburn as (and I quote), “phenomenal” and the “best experience ever.” One of the most common threads in the reviews was that birthing parents felt supported in their choices and in their labors.

Mandy, who graciously reached out to tell me more about her experience, wrote, “the midwives and nurses I worked with at Mt Auburn [were] respectful and supportive of my choices” and “my midwife […] was really open to talking through and letting me lead the way on some things even if it wasn’t what is routinely done.” She noted that the midwives were “well-versed and hugely supportive of unmedicated childbirth.”

Overall, what I’ve gathered from my research is that the Midwives at Mount Auburn are respectful and supportive of each individual patient, whether they prefer to try for an unmedicated childbirth or not. I saw a few comments about complications and emergencies that took place that the midwives handled with dexterity. If you live in or near Cambridge, MA, and are looking for a practice, I think this one is worth checking out!

Midwives at Mount Auburn - close up of newborn baby's foot in her mama's soft hand

I hope this information was helpful for you!

If you’re expecting, you might also be interested in these related posts:

Top 5 Boston doulas as recommended by area moms

Best Prenatal Massage Providers in Boston

If you happen to be looking for a maternity or newborn photographer in addition to your search for a prenatal provider, please check out some of my work here (maternity) or here (newborn). I’d love the opportunity to serve you!

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