Allen Birthing Center, Dallas Midwife Birthing Options, American Association Birth Centers

allen-birthing-center-150x150-1-2 The Allen Birthing Center, located in historic downtown Allen Texas, is the birthing center my daughter chose to deliver her baby in May 2009. Allen Birthing Center is a free-standing birth center, staffed by 3 experienced and highly-educated certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), offering prenatal care, labor support, delivery and exam of the newborn, postpartum care, well-woman exams, family planning, and primary care.

As soon as my daughter learned about her pregnancy, she had what seemed like a million questions and fears for a first-time mother, which is understandable. We discussed birthing options, the average cost of delivering a baby in a hospital vs. a birthing center or homebirth, pros and cons of each option etc, so she could make an informed choice for herself and her baby.

I was very careful to just explain the facts of each option because I didn’t want her to feel any pressure or influence from me about how or where to have her baby. Just because I chose the home birth option to deliver her and her older brother, and hospital births for my first four children, doesn’t mean she should make the same choice I did.

My daughter asked me, “If you could do it all over again, which option would you choose now?” I had to be honest and tell her that if I had known years ago about certified midwives, birthing centers and homebirth options, I would have chosen to give birth to each of my children at home. The differences between laboring and delivering a baby in a hospital vs. delivering at home or at a birthing center for low-risk pregnancies are huge.

I suggested she check out Ricki Lake’s Business of Being Born documentary, and explained that she needed to create a birth plan where she would list her personal preferences for labor and delivery, including how and where she would decide to give birth. I also explained that she needed to decided whether or not she wanted pain medication or an epidural for pain relief during labor, because that would have everything to do with where she would labor and deliver her baby.

After doing a considerable amount of research into Dallas/Collin County birthing centers and midwifery, she and the baby’s father decided to tour the Allen Birthing Center and interview the certified midwives, Rebecca “Becky” Burpo, Lana Amelia “Amy” Giles and Elizabeth “Betty” Hoffman, to get answers to their questions from the experts.

The Allen Birthing Center’s philosophy about childbirth is equal to that of my daughter and the baby‘s father – that birth is a normal process that needs very little intervention, but support and encouragement throughout their pregnancy, labor and delivery would be provided, ensuring their personal natural childbirth choices were respected.

My daughter did not want an epidural or any pain medications at all during labor, and she was thrilled with the prospect of being able to move around freely at the birthing center during labor vs. staying flat on her back in a hospital labor room, as well as the waterbirth option if she so chose. Knowing that the Allen Birthing Center works in close cooperation with nearby hospitals reassured her even more, just in case something unplanned or unforeseen were to occur and she needed to be rushed to the hospital for an emergency c-section.

In order to find Texas birth centers and midwives in our area, we checked out the Association of Texas Midwives (ATM) and the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) website for listings by state and county. Allen Birthing Center is the only natural birth center in all of Collin County, but I found a total of 12 birthing centers in Texas:

Allen Birthing Center 406 West Main Street Allen, TX 75013 Tel. 214-495-9911


Contact: Rebecca Burpo, Director

Birth and Women’s Center 3100 Swiss Ave Dallas, TX 75204 Tel. 214-821-8190


Contact: Cherie Boettcher, Director

Gentle Beginnings Birth Center 1817 Harwood Court Hurst, TX 76054 Tel. 817-479-0124


Contact: Ann Crowell

Inanna Birth & Women’s Care 1823 N Locust Street Denton, TX 76201 Tel. 940-483-1569


Contact: Jean Sala, Owner

Special Beginnings 513 W Church Street Grand Prairie, TX 75050 Tel. 972-642-3446


Contact: Betty Winford

North Houston Birth Center 7007 N. Freeway #435 Houston, TX 77076 Tel. 713-699-4211


Contact: Kathleen Vande Giessen, CNM

Reunion Women’s Health & Birth Center 201 Kingwood Medical Drive # B 300 Kingwood, TX 77339 Tel. 281-359-2229


Contact: Janet Little, Midwife/Owner

Bay Area Birth Center 3210 Strawberry Road Pasadena, TX 77504 Tel. 713-472-5525


Contact: Jackie Griggs, Director

Rite of Passage Women’s Health & Birth Center 2206 E Broadway, Ste E Pearland, TX 77581 Tel. 281-485-2886


Contact: Bernadette Olivier, Director/Owner

Lovers Lane Birth Center at Cottonwood 304 S Cottonwood Suite A Richardson, TX 75080 Tel. 214-366-3579


Contact: Dinah Waranch, Owner

San Antonio Birth Center 7272 Wurzbach #101 San Antonio, TX 78240 Tel. 210-593-0462


Contact: Nicole Voge, Office Manager

Nativiti Women’s Health & Birth Center 26614 Oakridge Dr The Woodlands, TX 77380 Tel. 281-296-2333


Contact: Melanie Dossey, Director/Owner

My daughter’s labor and delivery at the Allen Birthing Center went very well. Her labor lasted 10 1/2 hours, which is pretty darn good for a first-timer, and she went from 6cm to 10cm (complete) in just 40 minutes! She had quite a bit of back labor, which can be extra painful if you’re stuck laying flat on your back in a hospital labor room for the doctors and nurses convenience, but she didn’t so much as whimper, cry or scream during any of her labor pains. She’s a tough cookie! She was able to walk around at will, have her back massaged by the baby’s father, stand/sit in the shower with strong water flow massaging her sore back and eventually moved to deliver her baby girl by waterbirth in the tub.

Each of the two birthing suites at the Allen Birthing Center are very comfortable and decorated beautifully, and the website provides photos of the birth center inside and out for expectant mothers to check out before scheduling a free consultation visit and tour. The total cost of pre-natal care, labor, delivery and aftercare for both mother and baby was only $4750.00 – PLUS they file medical insurance for patients – and they even allow payment plans. What’s not to like about a birthing center staffed by phenomenal experienced midwives, and a cost that even young expectant parents can manage to afford on their own? My daughter said that if she chooses to have any more children, that she’ll definitely use a birthing center and midwives again, and may even decide on a homebirth.

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