»RECORDS, DATES:»1980-1993

»QUANTITY:»2.75 linear feet




The »records (donor no. 276) were donated by »Dana Ericson in 1995 and succeeding years.


The »records are open for research.  Researchers wishing to view the Patient Evaluation forms in box 7 must first sign the “Conditions Of Access To The Patient Evaluation Records" form. [Staff: kept in donor file.]


»Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.


In Box 5.


Your name, year»Natalie S. Brody, 1996 and succeeding years. [Des Moines BirthPlace.doc]


            Begin text here:»The Des Moines BirthPlace, an out-of-hospital birth center specializing in nurse-midwifery services, was established by Womancare, Inc., in 1984 and became Iowa's first licensed birth center.  During the eight years of its existence, 274 babies were born at the center.  The center offered routine gynecological exams, pregnancy counseling, prenatal care, childbirth classes, labor and delivery facilities and postpartum care.  It provided a place where women could give birth in a homelike setting.  A certified nurse midwife (CNM) and a registered nurse attended each birth with a physician providing twenty-four-hour medical backup should a complication arise.  Concern for safety at a facility outside a hospital tempered the medical community's support of BirthPlace.  The center closed in 1992 when its backup physician no longer had sufficient time to provide his service. 


            When the Des Moines BirthPlace opened in 1984 it became part of a nationwide network of birth centers.  In 1975 the Maternity Center Association (MCA) had opened the first childbearing center in the nation in New York City.  By 1979 the need for a communication network to provide information about establishing and operating birth centers became apparent.  Two years later, in May 1981, the John A. Hartford Foundation awarded a grant to MCA to develop a cooperative network, the Cooperative Birth Center Network (CBCN), "to assist and support the development and accessibility of safe, cost-efficient birth alternatives, with particular attention to the out-of-hospital birth center."


            The second phase in developing a national support system for freestanding birth centers was inaugurated in May 1983 with the establishment of the National Association of Childbearing Centers (NACC).  Like its predecessors, NACC is devoted to providing guidelines, standards, licensure, reimbursement, public information and direct assistance to operating centers.  The group also collects data, disseminates information, provides consultations and offers workshops.



Scope and Content Note


            Begin text here:The  Des Moines BirthPlace records date from »1980 to 1993 and measure »2.75 linear feet.  The »records »are arranged in »six series:  »Administrative files, Legal documents, Financial records, National birth centers, Photographs, and Patient evaluations.


            The Administrative files series (1982-1992) includes organizational materials; Financial records comprises budgets and fundraising .information; National Birth Centers contains information about centers throughout the country and national birth center organizations.  Photographs of the babies born at the center from August 1984 to April 1990 are included in two albums. 


The Patient evaluation series includes questionnaire responses from persons using the BirthPlace facility. Researchers wishing to view the Patient Evaluation forms in box 7 must first sign the “Conditions Of Access To The Patient Evaluation Records" form. Please ask a staff member for the form.


Box no.           Description

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Box 1

Administrative files

Correspondence, NACC and miscellaneous, 1982-1992

Directory data, 1986

Evaluations and statistics, 1982-1990

Goals, 1987-1990

Fanlight Productions, 1985-1986

Newspaper clippings, 1980-1993

Policy and procedures, 1988

Recruitment, 1991

Speaking engagements, 1983-1989


Advisory Board, 1981-1984

Board of Directors

1986-1988 (3 folders)


Box 2

1990-1991 (4 folders)

                               Poster, undated [shelved in mapcase]


Legal documents

Articles of incorporation and by-laws, 1981, 1984, 1987, 1991

Claims, 1989-1991

Hospital privileges, 1984-1990

Des Moines General Hospital, 1988-1990

Iowa Lutheran Hospital, 1984-1991


Box 3

Iowa Methodist Medical Center, 1984-1990

Mercy Hospital, 1984-1985, 1990

Leases, 1983-1991

Medical back-up agreements, 1982-1987


Financial records

Budgets, 1984-1992


General, 1982-1986

Correspondence and memoranda, 1986-1990

Mailing list, 1989


Box 4

Proposal, 1983

Prospects, undated



Iowa foundations, 1982 and undated

Hawley Foundation, 1983-1984

Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, 1984-1990

Ms. Foundation for Women, 1986-1987

Northwest Area Foundation grant, 1982-1985

ONE GIFT Charity Campaign, 1988

Pew Charitable Trusts, 1986


»National birth centers

Accreditation, 1986-1989

Background information, 1982-1992


Box 5

National surveys, 1985-1990

Newspaper clippings, 1983-1993


Maternity Center Association (MCA), 1980, 1989

Cooperative Birth Center Networks (CBCN), 1981-1983

National Association of Childbearing Centers (NACC)

Background, 1985-1991






Membership directories, 1986-1987, 1991

NACC News, 1983-1991

Box 6


Baby albums



Miscellaneous, undated


Box 7

RESTRICTED:  See staff member.

Patient evaluations



1989-1990 and undated