New birth center set to open in July

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - For many new moms, babies are born in the hospital or at home. Now, the Western Slope will soon have a third option when it comes to bringing new bundles of joy into the world.

Midwives say this new birth center is the best of both worlds. Mothers are close enough to the hospital should they need medical assistance, but they can still give birth in a comfortable, more homey environment.

Though this option won't be for all moms, it's just another method which could be the best for some.

Like any mother of three, life runs in the fast lane for Larisa Gould.

"It is a very, very, busy, busy time," she said. "[But] it's a blessing and a joy, every day."

Unlike other mothers, however, her boys entered the world in a less traditional way, with Larisa choosing a midwife all three times.

"It was a wonderful experience all three times,? Gould said. "The medicine is there if you need it, but if you don't, I would rather let my body do what it was built to do."

Soon, other expectant mothers will have a chance to choose midwives in a birth center in the Valley.

"They can be up, they can be walking, and whatever makes them feel good," certified nurse midwife Patt Kandiko said.

For a year now, Kandiko has been working to open the Bloomin' Babies Birth Center on 7th Street, just down the road from the hospital.

One hope is to give mothers a more natural birth, free from high tech hospital equipment but more inclusive and supportive than their homes.

"We don't expect things to go wrong, we are there if they go wrong," she said. "What we do is low tech, high touch."

Bloomin' Babies will give mothers different birthing options, including water births and opportunities to catch their own baby. Expectant mothers can also be up and about during labor, and parents can choose delayed cord clamping.

The center is also equipped with emergency equipment for unforeseen emergencies.

"For moms who are having healthy normal pregnancies and aren't having any complications, they don't actually don't have a need to be in a hospital environment," Two Rivers Birth Services doula Laurel Ripple Carpenter said.

Ripple Carpenter also says there can be other physical benefits to choosing a birth center.

"Birth centers have been shown in a recent study to have a six percent c-section rate, so that's dramatically lower than hospital environments," she said.

Mothers and experts alike note a birth center won't be for everyone, and instead should choose the option that best fits the mother and family to make it a memorable experience.

"It's another option on their list, and for a lot of moms, it will be the right place to have their babies," Ripple Carpenter noted.

Unlike other states that have multiple birth centers, there is currently only one other birth center in the state of Colorado near Denver.

The new center is set to open in early July. Already the center is beginning to consult with expectant mothers to see if a birth center is the best choice for them.

For more information, you can call Kandiko at 970-549-1711 or email

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