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Is a midwife right for you? Las Vegas center offers natural birth alternative

April Clyde
Serenity Birth Center

April Clyde, founder, Serenity Birth Center

Home births rose by almost 20% during the pandemic. Still, it’s pretty uncommon here. In the U.S., 8% of births utilize a certified nurse midwife.

But the interest in home births, according to the CDC, is growing.

In Las Vegas, there’s a single free-standing birth center. It was a longtime dream for April Clyde, who worked for years to get Serenity Birth Center off the ground. But she believed strongly that there were women in Nevada not getting what they wanted in a traditional hospital setting.

"I found it fascinating because it wasn't the norm for women to come in wanting no pain medication, the least amount of intervention ... I found those women interesting. And I found myself wanting to take care of those women," said Clyde.

According to its most recent statistics, the World Health Organization said there are 17 maternal deaths for every 100,000 births in the U.S. That’s more than double most other high-income countries like the U.K. and Canada, countries where midwives assist in about two-thirds of births.

Also, the rate of caesarean sections in the U.S. is 32%, significantly higher than what the WHO considers ideal at 10%.

Clyde said the best part of her job is feeling that the women in her care are getting the help they need while also being included in the decision-making process.

"When you see a family after they've had a birth that they feel they were a part of, that they feel they were empowered by, that's really what [keeps] me going."

April Clyde, founder and owner, Serenity Birth Center

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Lorraine Blanco Moss is the host of KNPR's award-winning Asian American Pacific Islander podcast, Exit Spring Mountain. She's also a producer for State of Nevada, specializing in food and hospitality, women's issues, and sports. She started at Nevada Public Radio in October 2021.