Those who stay in the are must have seen the impressive three-storey building going up next to the Panorama hospital. This is the new Panorama Health Care Centre and the anchor tenant of this building, taking up one-third of it across the first floor and set to operate 24/7, is Origin Family-Centered Maternity Hospital, which will open its doors in December 2015. Origin is described as the first boutique-style birth hotel in South Africa.
Origin is fully equipped should a caesarean section be necessary for medical reasons, but they say that 83% of women are low-risk. “Natural birth is safe. Our Minister of Health says that 85% of caesarean sections are for profit, and he wants to put an end to that. In effect this model is an attempt to do that. It is all fine and well to say you want to reduce the c-section rate, but if the hospitals and the insurance companies and the training of the midwives are not changing, how can they reduce the c-section rate? Suzette plans to bring that high caesarean number down!
The women behind Origin
The Origin model of family-centred and midwife-led maternity care is the brainchild of social entrepreneur Suzette Bester-Cloete. At her side as Chief Operations Officer is well-known midwife and trainer Sydney Grove, who has assisted at over 23 000 births and was instrumental in pioneering water birth as a medical, written procedure in South Africa. Suzette’s own experiences in giving birth to her two children (Sebastian, 9 and Milla, 5) both born in water supported by a midwife (Ms Henny de Beer, now Origin’s Clinical Midwife Specialist), doula and obstetrician, urged her to become a doula and to support women in birth with the aim of making this model of maternity care available to more women in South Africa. She has learnt from the likes of Dr Michel Odent and Celeste Philips (the mother of family-centred maternity care), and believes that the birth process belongs to the family.
Origin is the first boutique birth hospital specialising in a maternity care model found nowhere else in South Africa, where midwives and obstetricians work hand in hand. Origin boasts 6 luxurious birthing suites, each with a water birth pool, en-suite bathrooms and queen-size beds for father/family to stay over, plus three standard, well-equipped birth rooms, and three separate postnatal double rooms, all with en suite bathrooms. All rooms have real crystal chandelier light fittings to make the pampering and sacredness of birth a special event, conducive to quiet and respected birth options. There is also one major operating theatre equipped for emergencies, a coffee shop, large training room/board room, and full- time/sessional rooms for doctors and therapists.
The Origin team consists of a well-trained team of mid-wives, doulas and obstetricians. They also have a variety of classes you can attend like antenatal, expecting dads and hypnobirthing. Apart from natural birth, Origin is also equipped should a Caesarean section be necessary for medical reasons.
Origin also offers a wide range of services regarding pregnancy wellness that includes reflexology, sex education, couples therapy, yoga and pilates. The services stretch way after birth with more services like:
- Care after the birth for mom at your home or at Origin
- Kangaroo mother care for babies
- Breast-feeding advice and support
- Counselling for postnatal depression
Family centered: Every policy in this hospital is written with the family as the central point.