After trying for nearly a year to get pregnant, my husband Jason and I were elated to finally conceive in December of 2016. We were living in Ohio at the time but decided to move to my hometown of Baton Rouge to raise our child closer to family. The first four months of the pregnancy were in Ohio under the care of one of the most natural birth friendly OB’s in NW Ohio. After years of hearing many of my friends’ horribly unpleasant hospital experiences I’d decided I wanted something different and had developed the goal of an intervention free labor. Our OB was great, but at a typical visit with him we would wait for sometimes a half an hour then only see him for 10-15 minutes to listen to the heartbeat, check blood pressure, etc. The move south allowed us to transfer care to the Birth Center of Baton Rouge, where our experience was night and day compared to the crunchy OB in Ohio. The Birth Center still takes care of the medical end of things like blood pressure and heartbeats, but the level of care we received there far surpassed anything I could’ve expected from any practice. During the last half of the pregnancy I grew close to everyone at the Birth Center through the lengthy, intimate appointments, and I looked forward to every visit. The midwives were supportive, patient, nonjudgmental, and only interested in helping me learn what I needed to to have the labor I wanted. I know that I could call them with any issue and have a knowledgeable, comforting support system, and I can still count on them for such support now.


As my due date came and went, I grew increasingly impatient and emotional, despite my best attempts to just go with the flow. Days passed and I grew more and more anxious and fearful of an induction. Under the care of the Midwives I tried senna tea and three membrane sweeps before castor oil did the trick at 41 weeks and 6 days. I finally started having regular contractions around 6 or 7 on Friday, September 15th. At around 11:30 I thought we were getting close but after a quick trip in to have Sherri check me I was sent home after a shot of Benadryl in the butt to help me sleep, as I was only about 1.5 cm dilated. We returned home and tried to sleep between contractions, but at around 3:30 the discomfort intensified and I instinctively knew that we were getting close, so we headed back towards the birth center. This was the most surreal car ride of my life...I rode on my knees in the front seat, facing backwards and hugging the headrest during contractions. It was the only way I was comfortable. I remember looking at the carseat and thinking that the next time we rode in this car there would be three of us.


Sherri greeted us at the Birth Center and was an immediate comfort. She instinctively knew when a contraction was coming and would apply just the right amount of counter pressure in just the right spot on my back. She was like a wise, loving family friend guiding me through this incredible process. My mom arrived and labor picked up, but the bathtub was incredibly soothing as well as the constant encouragement and counter pressure. We kept a nice relaxed atmosphere, chatting in between contractions, which is kind of how I'd hoped it would go. My friend Karen arrived around 5:00 and my on call nurses overlapped, so I ended up with two awesome nurses and an unofficial doula (my friend Karen) in addition to my mom, Jason, and Sherri-my little support team was amazing and I felt that everyone was there only to love and care for me and baby. When a contraction would come back around I felt like I had my own little pit crew supporting me through each one. I had faith in the fact that both the baby and myself were in the safest, most loving environment possible. Though natural labor is a huge mental and physical challenge, there was an undeniable sense of peace in the room.


As labor intensified and I began to feel the urge to push Sherri talked me through everything. I remember her suggesting that I feel for the head and sure enough I could feel the firm smooth surface of a head emerging. Another surreal moment! We didn't know the sex of the baby so we were all sort of wondering who we'd be meeting momentarily. Especially as a first time mom, I think there's a certain level of fear of the unknown there. But I didn't have long to focus on the fear because the fetal ejection reflex started to really kick in, however part of my cervix was keeping baby from moving on out. I swear Sherri has almost a supernatural sense about these things because she suggested that I get out of the tub and push on my hands and knees. As soon as I did that we started really making progress! I remember pushing being a relief because it felt productive, and I knew that the pain would be over soon and we'd have the baby in our arms. I had worked with Amber Anderson, the PT at the birth center, and one of the few conscious thoughts I had in the final moments of pushing was remembering her explanation of pushing, in the you weren't really supposed to flex those muscles, rather open them up like a door. So I just tried to open the door and welcome our sweet baby. Pushing on my hands and knees grew tiresome after a while so I actually ended up on my left side due to pure exhaustion. At 7:14 a.m., after about 15 minutes of pushing, John Calder Galambos entered this world. He was long and lean, at 7 pounds 4 ounces, and 22 inches long. And he has been life's greatest blessing!


Even long before I got pregnant I knew I one day wanted a birth experience in which I felt honored, respected, safe, and loved. Fortunately, that is what I got, and I owe it to the Birth Center of Baton Rouge. The Midwives and Dr. Dickerson provide exceptional care in a comfortable environment. I pray that every woman, whether they desire a natural labor or not, experience the same level of care and compassion as I was provided. I feel like becoming a mother in any way is transformative, but to become a mother in a safe, beautiful environment and surrounded by loving, capable caretakers who believed in me and and the perfect design of my body was a life altering experience. We hope to add another child to our family someday in the near future, and we will absolutely choose the Birth Center again if we are so blessed to have the opportunity to conceive.


- .Sarah Harrision

My husband and I have four children. When we were pregnant with our first, we knew that we wanted to have a natural, unmedicated childbirth and prepared to do so. We chose a doctor, chose a hospital, read a ton of books, and took a number of classes. When in labor we quickly found out that the traditional, hospital model of care did not support the kind of birth or experience we wanted. We felt out of control and duped by the whole experience which left both of us a lot of emotional baggage and the question “What went wrong?”.


For the birth of our second child, we knew there had to be a better way. We sought out midwife, Sherri Daigle, for a homebirth and this was our first glimpse into the midwifery model of care. The difference was like night and day. She got to know us, spent lots of time finding out exactly what we wanted, helped us form a birth plan, and gave us better and more personalized care than we ever got before. The home birth experience was the natural, unmedicated birth that we wanted and left us totally in control in our own peaceful, positive environment.


Five and a half years after our second child, we were pregnant with our third. By this time, the Birth Center of Baton Rouge had opened with Sherri Daigle as one of the head midwives. Feeling extremely comfortable with the level of care, the personalization and support from the home birth, we knew that we wanted Sherri to be a part of our birth experience the third time. We were apprehensive at first about the Birth Center, but after a tour and spending time with the staff and nurses, we knew that we had found the perfect place for our third birth. The Birth Center was our go-to place for childbirth classes, natural birth support groups, La Leche League meetings and of course all of our pre-natal care and ultrasounds. We were interested in having another water birth (like we did for the home birth), and loved how every room was equipped with a tub, walk-in shower and the support for any labor option I wanted. And boy did I need it for this labor! Sherri and the nursing staff never left my side during the 15 hours of labor. I was in the tub, in the shower, standing, sitting, leaning, swaying, and eventually gave birth on the bed. They were midwife, doula, voice of reason, support team and a guiding hand through the whole process. I’ll never forget the nurses and their help after the birth. When I was so vulnerable, so tired, shaky, with my belly deflating, and my modesty long gone, they treated me with such kindness and dignity. After a short stay after the birth, we were able to go home with our precious baby and we had a home visit follow-up the day afterwards. Now you just don’t get that at a hospital! Why would you want to have it any other way? For me, this experience was a moment of empowerment and confirmation that I had a real village to help me.


For our fourth child, it was a no-brainer that we’d deliver again at the Birth Center with the midwife team and Sherri by my side. By this time, they had brought on more support staff with Physical Therapist, Dr. Amber Anderson (I had seen Dr. Anderson after my third child at her office in Zachary), and Chiropractor, Dr. Josh Blanchard, on-site. I was so happy to have both of them there and was able to have appointments with Dr. Anderson for pelvic floor and labor and delivery sessions and with Dr. Blanchard for the Webster Technique to help me with better positioning of my anterior facing baby. They also had two new midwives by this point and we got the same great level of care and support that we had before with Sherri. My fourth birth was very different than the third and was a lot quicker. I was able to birth in the tub this time and a lot quicker, but the whole team was still right there by my side. Even though this was my fourth baby and I knew what to expect, they were still there with me, helping, assuring me that everything was fine, encouraging me with a big smile and kind eyes. It’s the small things, but they mean the world.


As the old saying goes “It takes a village to raise a child”, we have found our “village” at the Birth Center.                 

- Jessica Diez

My first pregnancy was healthy, and I’d had a natural birth at a hospital. When I learned that BCBR had opened its doors during my second pregnancy, I knew that it would be the perfect fit for me. I wanted to be surrounded by people who respected me and my birth choices.

My only hesitation was that my insurance still had not added BCBR to their network. My husband and I decided that even though we had to pay a bit more out of pocket, it was still worth switching my care over to BCBR. We don’t regret this decision one bit.


After attending the orientation and learning about the safety measures BCBR has in place, I felt absolutely safe. Of course, every pregnant mother thinks “what if,” but the Birth Center has it covered.
Certain things about giving birth in a hospital didn’t sit well with me, such as being strapped to a monitor for 20 minutes upon arrival. I didn’t know one person in the room aside from my husband. I had never met the on-call midwife. After spending the previous night in labor and pushing for nearly 4 hours, I was exhausted and couldn’t rest at the hospital. We stayed for two nights and I couldn’t wait to get home to finally rest and enjoy my new baby.


My experience at BCBR couldn’t have been more different. When I arrived at BCBR during my birthing time, everything was ready for me and Sherri was waiting. She knew I was in labor and did not need to check my cervix. I felt safe and in control. My daughter was born in the tub and weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces. Everything about my daughter’s birth was peaceful, joyous, and stress-free.


The staff at BCBR treated us like family and always spoke kindly and respectfully. I looked forward to my appointments and liked that I didn’t have to wait to see the midwives.

- Kara Kearney

When my husband and I learned that we were pregnant with our first child, we were incredibly excited, and a bit overwhelmed deciding the best place to get prenatal, labor and postnatal care. Being relatively new to the Baton Rouge area, we were open to the myriad possibilities but quickly settled on the Birth Center of Baton Rouge. It was the single best decision we've made since we moved to the area. I can't sing the praises of the midwives and office staff of BCBR high enough. I have never encountered more sensitive, passionate, and personalized care than I did at BCBR. Prenatal visits were more like a conversation than a quick medical check in. By the time our little guy was ready to make his way into the world, I knew I'd have the best team in there with me. Their birthing suites provided a calm atmosphere and our birthing midwife made quick, informed decisions to help us achieve a natural childbirth. Although the labor was long, they were with me every minute, providing not just medical care, but the emotional support I needed to help our son find his way into this world. Looking back on it, I can't think of a more miraculous or empowering experience, and I have the BCBR to thank. If we decide to have more children, we'll be returning to BCBR.

- Kristi Jo Preston

My family and I decided on the birth center about half way through my third pregnancy because we were seeking a different experience than a traditional hospital birth. I loved that the staff was small and knew us by name when we came in for our visits. I also liked that the process is very simple and straightforward - you go into labor, call us and we catch the baby. I like simple. After having this last baby there, I wouldn't go anywhere else in Baton Rouge. The excellent care, short stay and inviting atmosphere, make me want to have another just to do it all over again. Thanks Birth Center for pioneering the way in Baton Rouge for natural birthing options!

- Lani Guilbeau

I want to start by saying, “we are the only species that, when delivering our babies ask for the help of others. Our bodies are made to give birth and our bodies and unborn babies know what they have to do to get into this world.” I had heard these words during my maternity class and ever since I was determined to find the most natural independent way to deliver our baby. When my husband and I found out we were pregnant I immediately searched for a birth center and lucky for us Birth Center of Baton Rouge happened to be less than 10 minutes from our house. After we took a tour and met with the staff, it was a no brainer that we would welcome our sweet little girl into our arms at BCBR. Throughout our pregnancy, we felt tremendous love and support and both Dana and Sherri made sure that my husband, baby and I would always be first priority. This was important to me since my husband felt 100% included in everything. His concerns were addressed and questions were answered. It was our first baby and of course I wanted him, as well as myself, to have the pregnancy and birth we’ve always envisioned.


Fast forward to week 38 of our pregnancy on Saturday May 30th 2015, I went into labor at 3:30am. I remembered our midwives telling us to remain calm and conserve energy as well as to stay at home as long as we can unless we are sure it’s time. So we did all the comfort measures we learned to ease the discomfort I felt with each intensifying contraction. Finally, at 6:05am my husband called Dana and I guess she heard me in the background (screaming of course) and told us to meet her at the birth center. When she checked my cervix I was 9cm dilated. This was at 6:30am. She then felt the position of the baby and of course our little girl didn’t seem too ready to leave momma’s womb as she was posterior. This meant I had to wait patiently for her to change her position to one that was more birth ready. During this process, both Dana and Sherri were there tending to both of our needs. At no time did we feel pressured or neglected and the entire atmosphere was all we intended it to be. When it was time for my body to push, I was instructed to listen to my body. I trusted what my body was telling me to do and at 7:37am we welcomed our 7.5lbs, 21 inch baby girl Amelia. It was the most beautiful experience I’ve ever encountered. I can definitely say that this experience has taught me to trust my body more than ever before and believe in all its capabilities. Not once did our midwives tell me I can’t or couldn’t do it the way I wanted it to be done. They trusted my baby and me to do what we were supposed to do and never have I felt as strong and capable as a woman. I’ll be forever grateful to my BCBR family for giving us the birth we’ve always wanted and then some.

- Olivia Cross