Natural Childbirth—In A Hospital?

This time last year, Missoula had exactly two medical facilities offering childbirth services: the Missoula Birth Center, and Community Medical Center. Then, in November, the doctor who had founded the Birth Center died, no one else could be found to take his place, and the facility was sold to Community.

Community promptly turned the Birth Center into a primary-care clinic, eliminating any non-hospital birthing options for Missoula parents other than home births.

This was disappointing for a variety of reasons, not least because-just about a week before news of the Birth Center’s closing became final-Amy and I had learned she was pregnant. As I write in my latest Missoula Notebook column:

We investigated the possibility of a home birth but gave up on the idea when we learned that our insurance not only wouldn’t cover it but might not even cover hospital care if any emergencies arose during one, because-bizarrely-our insurance company classifies home birth as an “experimental medical procedure.”

We would deliver at Community Medical Center, we decided. It wasn’t our first choice; we felt forced into it; we hoped it wouldn’t go too badly.

Then it didn’t go badly at all.

The rest is here.

By the way, it’s too late for us-this time around-but it looks like Missoula is about to get another Birth Center.

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