Columbia Birth Center to reopen in new location

RICHLAND, Wash. – It’s been 15 years since the freestanding, Columbia Birth Center closed it’s doors, in Kennewick.

“It was a lot of fun, I had a great time. I get to listen to the babies heartbeat, and talk to them about this and that, and then they’d invite me to the birth and I get to catch the baby, I mean what’s not to like? It was way fun,” Cynthia Flynn said.

It was run by Flynn, a certified Nurse Midwife, who is now restarting the center, at a new location off of Stevens Drive in Richland.

As a freestanding birth center, Flynn said the care is much more patient-centered, a focuses on preparing a woman for pregnancy, birth and postpartum. In order to give birth at a freestanding center, she said the woman must have a healthy pregnancy, free from complications.

Flynn gave KAPP KVEW an exclusive walk-through the facility, as it undergoes renovations.

“I’m so excited, I mean I really am, I can’t wait,” she said.

The Columbia Birth Center is attached to the Tri-Cities Urology building in Richland. There’s exam rooms, a family waiting area, should they prefer to be outside of one of the three, private birthing suites.

The suites, Flynn described, are supposed to feel comforting and home-like. Women will have an option of the Mountain, Bridge, or River suite; each has a queen-size bed, a tub and private bathroom.

“You know one of our goals is to really empower each woman so they really feel like they’ve done something great when they birth their baby,” Flynn explained they turn to alternate uses of pain management like massage, hydrotherapy or counterpressure.

The building is also a stone’s throw away from Kadlec, should a birthing mother encounter an emergency. Flynn showed their ambulance access door and said they have drills to remain prepared.

If you’re wondering how birth center care differs from a typical doctor or hospital, Flynn said it’s more personalized; their midwives will spend at least 30 minutes with patients and the center will offer education and labor classes.

They also hope to focus on mental health.

“I mean pregnancy itself can be a stressor, we have mental health here. We’re really focusing on building healthier relationships, like what can we do to help you have the strongest relationships by the time baby is born,” she explained.

Flynn said this will be an excellent option for women who don’t want to give birth at hospitals or at home, but want the feel of a homebirth. They also hope to normalize birth for families across the region and celebrate babies for many more years to come.

“We don’t deliver babies, mom’s deliver babies, we just help,” Flynn said.

The center is accepting patients for prenatal care as well as women who are due in February. They hope to be completely done with all renovations by March. The Columbia Birth Center can be reached at (509) 905-9000.

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