TEMPLE, Texas — Mothers-to-be now have a new option when it comes to giving birth in Bell County. The Starting Place is a birth and wellness center in Temple, founded by midwives Beth Johnson and Tara Livesay.
They hope it becomes a place where mothers can find support and community.
"Our goal is to be available to anyone who needs support and help, whether or not you choose to do your prenatal care and birth here, we still hope that we can be supportive in the postpartum time with whatever comes up,” Livesay said.
The pair met in Haiti and worked together for seven years, delivering hundreds of babies. Now they're offering a holistic approach to childbirth and postpartum care in Central Texas.
At the Starting Place, women get prenatal care very similar to what they'd find at an OB/GYN. Johnson and Livesay do all the routine screenings, tests and ultrasounds but the difference is they spend much more time with clients at each visit and can personalize their care.
According to Johnson, clients “are not just a number on a page" but get personalized care where clients know the care provider and the provider knows the clients.
"I think the intimacy, and the amount of trust that can be built between having a caregiver you know you're going to have with you through the entire pregnancy, and then they'll also be around to deliver you and your postpartum visits, is something that's super unique, there's no way that a large medical model can do that," Livesay added.
Another thing that makes The Starting Place unique is their focus on postpartum care. Mothers are seen 24 hours after giving birth, then at one week, two weeks, six and 12 weeks postpartum. They said an OB/GYN usually only does a six week postpartum check-up on mom.
Johnson and Livesay said their next step is starting community support groups for women in any stage of their pregnancy and beyond.
"We know that this time of life is one of the most intense times for women and we want to do whatever we can to rally around them,” said Livesay.
To find out more about The Starting Place or to check on their current support groups, call them at 254-563-6255.