By Jeanette Frost

In November, Danialle and Peter Karmanos Jr., donated a new birthing center to Royal Oak Beaumont that is designed to “combine the comforts of home with the safety net of a high-tech hospital”. The $6 million gift by the couple to the facility is said to be in celebration of their four sons – Socrates, Leonides, Spiros and Aristides.

The center includes six private birthing suites equipped with large hydrotherapy tubs, massaging shower heads and other amenities for natural labor and delivery. Specially trained nurses have been employed to help mothers navigate natural childbirth with holistic techniques such as aromatherapy, therapeutic touch, reflexology and music therapy. There is also an indoor walking path and two outdoor rooftop gardens – one designed for viewing, the other designed as a walking garden for fresh air and movement during labor.

”There’s nothing more important than having a healthy child,” says Danialle Karmanos, whose four sons were born naturally, including two who were born at Beaumont, Royal Oak. “Our vision in partnering with Beaumont was to create a first-class facility with the best doctors and nurses, and the tools, resources and environment to support a natural birth experience, for families that choose that path.”

Natural childbirth is a “mind-body” approach to labor and childbirth with no anesthesia or routine medical interventions. It means giving birth spontaneously, without induction, and at a woman’s own pace.

The center is available for any woman who meets medical criteria for a natural birth, based on a consultation with her physician or midwife. At around 28 weeks of pregnancy, Beaumont’s nurse liaisons will work with the woman to create a customized natural birth plan that includes a natural birth workshop, online education portal, mobile application, and one-on-one support from nurses and physicians.

Ray Bahado-Singh, M.D., chairman, OB-GYN, Beaumont Health System, says the new Karmanos Center for Natural Birth “recognizes the voices of many women seeking a natural, holistic approach to labor that could lead to lower rates of medical interventions and Cesarean-section deliveries and faster recovery rates in select women.”

If a natural birth does not work as planned, and medical interventions are required for a safe delivery, Beaumont offers what they call a “safety net of a traditional birthing center”, with sophisticated medical capabilities just steps away, including a state-certified neonatal intensive care unit.

For mothers, fathers and families, the center offers a concierge service, sleeper sofas, complimentary Wi-Fi, personal refrigerators, flat-screen televisions, iPod docking stations and a private waiting room – all apparently at no extra charge.

“My husband Pete is a master gardener,” says Danialle Karmanos. “The center’s outdoor rooftop gardens have been very important to him and he’s been very involved in helping to create this wonderful experience that really appeals to all of the senses.”

Margaret Cooney Casey, president, Beaumont Foundation, says “As parents, Danialle and Pete knew what they wanted to do for women who wish to welcome their babies into the world naturally and safely. Their gift reflects their incredible kindness and thoughtfulness in wanting to share something very special and unique with our community.”

The Karmanos Center for Natural Birth patient care team includes obstetricians, midwives, lactation consultants and nurses. Nurses who will work in the center are trained in holistic nursing practices by the BirchTree Center Integrative Healing Arts Academy, to manage comfort during natural labor using position-changing tools, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, therapeutic touch, reflexology, guided imagery and music therapy. | 248-898-5574