Northland center provides more options for birth

By KBJR News 1

October 21, 2013 Updated Oct 21, 2013 at 7:47 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A new birth center in Duluth is the first of its kind in the Northland.

The Morning Star Birth Center is the only place in the area that offers midwife assisted births.

"My choice is just to be there, full on, and experience what birth is actually like," said Katie Swanson who is having her second child at the center.

Morning Star opened in September as the first in the region to provide midwives for expectant mothers, offering suites intended to feel less like a hospital, more like a home.

It all stems from a woman who gave birth to her passion.

"Being in a home-like environment helps women to embrace and understand that birth is more than just a physical experience," said owner Paula Bernini Feigal.

Bernini Feigal opened the center intending to give women another option of birth care, an option she didn't have.

"I had my daughter in a hospital," she said, "I had a six minute face-to-face once a month. I hardly had time to ask any questions much less get meaningful answers. I kept going back to my birth experience and wondering what was missing."

What was missing Bernini Feigal found in the now three centers she operates. In addition to the center in Duluth, she has a location in the Twin Cities, the first of its kind in Minnesota, and a center in Menomonie, the second of its kind in Wisconsin.

"Everyone needs to know that they have choices," she said of providing another option for birth.

Bernini Feigal says midwife assisted birth isn't for everyone. It is an option best for women whose pregnancies have been deemed low risk.

The birth center is expecting its first birth in the next few weeks.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.