And “The Wifeys,” as they like to refer to themselves, are ready to unveil a baby of their own. The Monterey Birth Wellness Center in Ryan Ranch in Monterey which will have its grand opening on Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m.
The 2,500-square-foot facility, located at 4 Harris Court, Suite A, is the first freestanding birth center in Monterey County “providing evidence-based midwifery care in a spa-like environment” and is the brainchild of the three professionals who are also the owners and operators.
The birth and wellness center in Monterey has two birthing rooms, examination rooms, a lab, kitchen, laundry room and a classroom. The center offers midwifery care, childbirth and parent education, functional medicine, acupuncture, massage therapy, prenatal yoga, cranial sacral, and birth hypnosis.
Each birthing room is set up to be as calming and comfortable as possible and is equipped with a very large birth tub, private bathroom, and a large bed where the new family can cuddle, breastfeed and bond. The rooms are individually temperature controlled for the comfort of the mother of baby.
During labor, expectant mothers may find a comfortable position in the tub filled with 99-degree water to aid in comfort and pain management, or they can also choose to be in the large shower under a stream of warm water for the same purpose. They may choose to deliver their babies in the tub, shower, bed, or while suspended from the ceiling in a birth swing.
The birth center’s midwives are medically trained. If an emergency arises they are able to administer treatments and medications. And the facility has a relationship with Natividad Medical Center and Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
“The price of the package is $6,500 and includes prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postpartum visits with lactation support,” said Cusenza. “Most people will get some insurance reimbursement, but it varies.”
And the Monterey Birth Wellness Center is a member of the American Association of Birth Centers which writes the standards for the industry, promotes state regulations, advocates for insurance reimbursement, and conducts research, among other roles.
Cusenza, 45, is licensed by the Medical Board of California and certified by the North American Registry of Midwives. She graduated from the National Midwifery Institute in 2013 and received her clinical training during a seven-year apprenticeship with her midwife and mentor.
Schwarz, 45, is a certified birth doula – a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth – from the Seattle Midwifery School (now Bastyr College). She worked as a birth doula for many years and graduated from the National Midwifery Institute, becoming a certified professional and California licensed midwife in 2013.
Little, 34, is a University of Maryland graduate — Summa Cum Laude — who has assisted in managing a birth center in Los Angeles and has also taught Childbirth Education classes. She received her California Midwifery license and Certified Midwifery license in 2012.
For more information, visit www.thewifeys.com/birthcenter/