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Vermont has no freestanding birth centers. Brave Little State looks into why

two parents smile at one another, holding a newborn baby
Carolyn Barnwell
/
Courtesy
Carolyn Barnwell of Woodstock wasn't comfortable planning a home birth for her first child. So she and her husband opted for a freestanding birth center. She gave birth to her daughter Juniper at Gentle Landing in Hanover, N.H. in April of 2021.

Live call-in discussion: When a baby is born in Vermont, it may be in a hospital or it may be at home. But unlike other states, Vermont parents don’t have a third option — giving birth at a free-standing birth center. Why not?

This hour, we'll listen to a recent Brave Little State episode asking why Vermont is one of just eight states without a freestanding birth center.

Later, we’ll speak with Heather Johnston, a Certified Nurse Midwife at Gifford Health Care’s birthing center in Randolph. She has background in birth centers, both freestanding and ones based within hospitals like Gifford. She'll share about her career in Utah and how Vermont’s pioneering work around midwifery in the 60s and 70s was a model for her and other midwives in Utah.

Editor's note: Gifford Health Care is a Vermont Public underwriter.

Broadcast live on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at noon.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.

Mikaela Lefrak joined Vermont Public in 2021 as co-host and senior producer of Vermont Edition. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The World and Here & Now. A seasoned local reporter, Mikaela has won two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Public Media Journalists Association award for her work.
Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he was a producer for television news and NPR member station WGCU for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined Vermont Public in October 2017 as producer of Vermont Edition.