Policymakers cannot create effective policy if they are not hearing from a wide range of practitioners and consumers alike. To that end, Lifecycle WomanCare (LWC), a nonprofit health organization in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania is sponsoring a State of Women’s Health Symposium on April 25th. Women’s health advocate, editor, and consultant Lesley S. Curtis interviewed Kathy Boockvar, recent former Executive Director of LWC and Senior Advisor to the Pennsylvania Governor on Election Modernization, about this unique event that brings practitioners and policymakers together.
“Everything at Lifecycle WomanCare goes back to its philosophy and commitment to the midwifery model of care, which is based on the knowledge that strengthening the relationships between individuals and their providers is an essential piece of delivering exceptional health outcomes. Experience has shown us that women benefit most in every stage of their lives—from adolescence to menopause and beyond—when they are supported and invited to play an active role in making decisions about their care.”
Taking good care of one’s health is a lifelong endeavor, and finding medical caregivers who understand and grow with you isn’t always easy. As women age and change, their health care needs evolve as well. It takes time, self-advocacy, and knowledge to get the best care possible for your needs. We spoke with experts from Lifecycle WomanCare on relationship-based healthcare, Carol Sudtelgte, LWC Midwife, and Megan King, LWC’s Nurse Manager, to find out what you need to know about your health care through the ages.
Women are always growing and changing throughout our lives, and though we sometimes think we can anticipate a linear path, in fact, we are far more complex than that. One cycle of life which often is not adequately discussed or understood is perimenopause, and the hormonal changes women go through during these years. We teamed up with Alexandra Wack, one of the lovely Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners at Lifecycle WomanCare, to get you the answers you’ll want to have when the time comes.
March 17, 2016
One Halloween, they dressed as Taylor Swift and Kanye West. Another year, they went as Katy Perry and Elmo. And for their friend’s annual costume bash in 2012, she was Miss Piggy and he was Kermit.
That night, in front of 30 people and their miniature poodle, Lexi, with Adele’s cover of “Make You Feel My Love” playing and a friend videotaping every moment, Marcus proposed and Allison said yes. “I shook like a leaf the rest of the night,” she recalls.
Whether you’re having your first or fourth child, every birthing experience is different, remarkable, and special. When researching delivery options, consider the advantages of a birthing center and midwifery care on the Main Line
At its core, birth center and midwifery care is a deeply personal and unique experience. Julie Cristol, clinical director of Lifecycle WomanCare in Bryn Mawr, and practicing midwife, stresses this distinction. “Midwifery care provides the unique support that each family needs to maximize the joy and surmount the difficulties,” she says.
April 06, 2016
THE PARENTS: Julianne Ulrich Aumen, 27, and Eric Aumen, 31, of Phoenixville
THE KIDS: Gianna Marie, 6; Petal Magdalene, born October 31, 2015
ONE OF JULIANNE’S AFFIRMATIONS FOR LABOR: You’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, even if things go awry.
The slack-line, a webbed strap slung between two trees in a park near Pottstown, wobbled when Julianne tried to walk across. “I need to hold your hand,” she told Eric.
He’d been hoping for that. The two had met a few months earlier, in fall 2013; Julianne, a professional makeup artist, was hired to work on a short film Eric was making. When he proposed the slack-lining date, Julianne was intrigued: At least it wasn’t the typical dinner and a movie.
Breastfeeding can be one of the most rewarding, natural, and beautiful parts of motherhood. While breastfeeding can involve controversial topics, such as breastfeeding in public, for most women, the benefits far outweigh the concerns. We teamed up with Patty Siegrist, Lactation Specialist at Lifecycle WomanCare (LWC), to get the expert knowledge you need to gain a better understanding and make breastfeeding work for you.
October 28, 2015
In lieu of flowers, the bridesmaids bore rocks.
Each woman carried a nugget of Block Island, then they walked to an open field and set the rocks down in a circle. It was June 2013, and the longest day of the year. Jenny and Burton stepped into the center of the ring, where they spoke vows extemporaneously – whatever brimmed in their hearts at that moment.
This wedding, in a place Burton had visited as a child and where he’d nearly proposed to Jenny after seven months of courtship, was a chance to let family and friends see who they were as a couple – not only during the ceremony, but at brunch the next day, at the beach, and at a bonfire where a friend strummed guitar.
October 21, 2015
All her life, Tiffany had trained herself to perform: back handsprings when she was a young gymnast, dance routines in musical theater, knee-hangs on aerial trapeze as an adult.
And when it was time to get pregnant, she and Bets planned for more than a year. They signed a contract with the friend who agreed to donate sperm. They waited while a local cryobank screened and froze that sperm for a mandatory six-month quarantine. Tiffany began charting her basal temperatures.
So why, month after month, was her body failing at the thing she wanted most?
September 3, 2015
Bryn Mawr Hospital and Lifecycle WomanCare have renewed their partnership after a four-year separation.
Lifecycle WomanCare, formerly known as The Birth Center, was founded in 1978 as the first licensed independent birth center in Pennsylvania. The Bryn Mawr, Pa., nonprofit is also one of the oldest continually operating birth centers in the country.
Under the collaboration, Lifecycle WomanCare will transfer patients to Bryn Mawr Hospital should a mother or newborn be in need of a wider scope of medical options during antepartum, intra-partum, or postpartum care.
June 17, 2015
The Birth Center in Bryn Mawr had a great coming-out party for their new brand: “LifeCycle WomanCare.” The Union League was the venue that executive director Kathryn Boockvar, J.D., had chosen for their major conference, “The State of Women’s Health.” The breakfast event attracted hundreds of providers of women’s care, and an impressive list of sponsors, including accounting firms like Shechtman Marks Devor PC, the Maternity Care Coalition, and a long list of professional, business and medical groups, with Bryn Mawr Hospital as the lead sponsor.
June 16, 2015
A group of clinical experts and policy leaders gathered at a forum in Center City to address critical health issues facing women.
More than 200 attendees turned out for the State of Women’s Health forum this month at the Union League.
The forum hosted by The Birth Center featured a keynote address by Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel L. Levine who honed in on two critical health issues — the rise of maternal mortality in Philadelphia and the opioid addiction crisis in Pennsylvania.
“The single biggest health crisis right now in Pennsylvania — as it is in the United States — is opioid addiction and the risk of overdose,” Levine stated.
She cited the recently released Pennsylvania coroner’s report which indicated opioid overdoses claims the lives of seven Pennsylvania residents a day. Levine said much of this can be attributed to the over prescribing of opioids by physicians who are trying to help people cope with pain. This often leads to opioid addiction, which can morph into heroin use.
June 12, 2015
Maternal mortality rates in Philadelphia are more than 50 percent above the national average, according to a report issued by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
The analysis conducted by the Philadelphia Maternal Mortality Review [MMR] team, a panel formed in 2010 by the city medical examiner’s officer, found in a three-year period between 2010 and 2012 — when about 69,000 live births occurred in the city — 55 women died within one year of the end of their pregnancy.
“Women in Philadelphia are arriving at pregnancy sicker and with more chronic health conditions like obesity, diabetes and hypertension,” said JoAnne Fischer, executive director of the Maternity Care Coalition, a Philadelphia nonprofit focused on improving maternal and child health.
June 12, 2015
Affordability of care and access to mental health services were at the top of the list of issues discussed at the first annual State of Women’s Health forum this week at the Union League in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine also addressed concerns about poor health outcomes for women in the city, including the high number of women who die from complications in childbirth.
In her keynote address Levine cited a report from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health Medical Examiners Office. Between 2010 and 2012, it found maternal mortality in Philadelphia was 50 percent higher than the national average.
She also noted that many of these new mothers died of cardiovascular complications.
“Women when they’re pregnant, if they have significant hypertension, it puts them at risk for maternal complications as well as complications with the baby,” said Levine. “The same with uncontrolled diabetes. Obesity can cause complications in terms of delivery.”
Dell Poncet, Managing Editor – Philadelphia Business Journal
May 29, 2015
First off, why the new name from The Birth Center to Lifecycle WomanCare? In short, we wanted to make it easier for women of all ages and backgrounds to access the wonderful health benefits of our model of care, from adolescence through menopause, and we believe a more inclusive name — Lifecycle WomanCare — will help advance this goal. We believe Lifecycle WomanCare communicates far more clearly what we have always provided throughout our 36-year history — that we welcome all those seeking the highest quality of health care, regardless of income, regardless of age or background or stage of life, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.
December 5, 2014
Watch Bonnie’s interview with Kathy Boockvar, Executive Director of The Birth Center, in anticipation of the birth of the 10,000 baby born at the center since its founding 36 years ago.
Covered in sweat with her legs in the air, Regina Enockson grunts, yells, then pushes, pushes and pushes some more. “There was a burst of pain, followed by what felt like a pile of rope falling out of me,” says Enockson. “My husband looked down and said, ‘It’s Grant. It’s a boy.’”
Just another post-midnight delivery at the Birth Center in Bryn Mawr.
With its private apartments, en-suite Jacuzzis and lush garden, it’s the Ritz-Carlton of its ilk. And there are midwives, of course, who assist in all-natural labor and delivery. That’s right: no epidural or pharmaceutical pain relief of any kind.
There are five licensed birth centers in the state, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Each has home-like facilities where family-centered care is provided by midwives.
Most hospitals in the Main Line area have birthing suites, but these differ from centers in the level of medical equipment used, including anesthesia. Of course, any female patient can always decline an epidural and give birth naturally at a local hospital, as well…
Chantel Hull, 35, a lawyer from Ambler, stopped in for an appointment at the Birth Center in Bryn Mawr in early October, three weeks shy of her due date. This was her third child.
“So how’s the baby doing?” asked Ruth Wilf, her midwife.
“Very good,” Hull said. “He’s very active.”
“Good,” Wilf said. “The baby should always continue to be himself.”
Hull smiled agreeably.
“No, seriously,” Wilf insisted. “It’s important the baby keeps his usual patterns.
“What’s your body telling you?” Wilf continued.
“He’s dropped. I can barely walk. Swelling has increased in my hands and feet. . . . I don’t know if I can last much longer. I’m not getting much sleep.”
Each week on Recap, we check in with someone in our region and hear what their work week was like. That assumes they’re near the end of the work week, but, for many, 9 to 5 is not the norm.
“We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” explains nurse midwife Sarah Robinson. She’s the clinical manager at The Birth Center in Bryn Mawr.
“In general, we have 45 to 50 women due in any given month, which averages out to about two births per day, but it never comes that way. Usually it happens that you’ll have two days with no births, and then a day with six.”
A Doylestown attorney serving as chief counsel for the Pennsylvania auditor general soon will leave her post to become executive director of The Birth Center in Bryn Mawr.
Kathryn Boockvar, a former candidate for political office, is set to start her job with the oldest continually operational birth center in the nation on Feb. 10…