Certified Nurse Midwife strives to provide holistic, personal care for her clients
By Hilary Dartt
For Certified Nurse Midwife Christa Hansen, bringing babies into the world is the realization of a lifelong dream. It’s a calling. And it’s an experience she strives to make as beautiful for her clients as it is for her.
That’s why she founded La Luna Birth & Women’s Center as a sanctuary and a haven, and that’s why she takes a holistic approach to caring for her clients, before pregnancy, during birth, and, just as importantly, after giving birth.
A Lifelong Dream
Growing up in Austria, Christa always dreamed of becoming a midwife. The Midwifery program there required students to be nurses before they could enroll. But as the mother of two small children, Christa couldn’t put in the time to go to nursing school, first. She pursued a degree in the arts, and created presentations for corporations. Because Austria’s program caps enrollment age at 35, she never went back to Midwifery.
In 1998, Christa moved to Sedona and opened a business printing fine art. Then, several years later, she had a conversation with her son’s girlfriend that reignited her desire to become a midwife.
She started nursing school at Yavapai College in 2004, and worked as a Labor & Delivery, post-partum and nursery nurse while she completed her Master’s degree from Frontier Nursing University and certification by the College of Nurse Midwives Certification Board.
Finally, she opened La Luna Birth & Women’s Center in Cottonwood in September 2014, adding a second location in Prescott Valley in January of 2016.
She’s since helped to bring more than 100 babies into the world.
The La Luna Philosophy
Aiming to provide every woman with the birth experience she wants, Christa said, “We give very personal care. Whatever the client needs, we support that.”
To that end, she created La Luna as her clients’ home away from home. She strives to ensure clients are well prepared for their birth journeys, and gives them as much information as possible so they can share in the decision-making process.
Christa believes that the nature of the birth experience is holistic, and that the care should reflect that.
Our society, she said, emphasizes prenatal care and a healthy birth experience, but expects women to hit the ground running. However, many new mothers need extra support as they heal and care for their babies.
The time Christa spends with her clients during pregnancy can be life changing, she said, as she can guide mothers-to-be in instilling new health habits and taking care of themselves. Each prenatal visit is an hour long, so there’s plenty of time for Christa to answer her clients’ questions.
Giving birth in an out-of-hospital setting is more relaxing for many women than giving birth in a hospital, and it’s just as safe for women with low-risk pregnancies. Christa and one of her staff members attend each birth (and every staff member is doula-trained and certified in infant resuscitation).
If Christa and her staff members believe a mother or baby needs a higher level of care, they’ll transfer them to the hospital right away.
Finally, as a Certified Nurse Midwife, Christa’s scope of care includes postpartum follow-up with new moms, and checkups for babies up to six weeks old. She visits them at home three days after and one week after birth, and in the office three and six weeks after birth.
This continuity of care before, during, and after birth is so important, Christa said.
In addition to Christa, the La Luna Birth & Women’s Center team includes an international board certified lactation consultant, a physical therapist, and licensed massage therapists for adults and infants.
The Birthing Experience
The birthing suite at each of La Luna Birth & Women’s Center’s facilities looks like a bedroom and is designed to be comfortable and relaxing for women in labor. Each one features a tub for water births, a bed, and other tools to encourage movement during labor: a birth swing, birth stools, an exercise ball, and a rope.
Christa offers her clients Nitrous Oxide for pain management, and she said it helps tremendously.
“Most of our babies are born in water,” she said. “It comforts women, and relaxes them.” The process, Christa said, “is really so beautiful.”
Her clients rave about the experience—one said she loves that Christa can see her baby until he’s six weeks old and that Christa answers all her questions, no matter how silly they seem. Another client said Christa is one of her favorite women on the planet.
And as for Christa, the realization of this lifelong dream is “so much more” than she imagined it would be.
La Luna Birth & Women’s Center offers well woman care, VBAC (vaginal births after a C-Section) under some circumstances, breastfeeding support, complimentary birthing classes, mama groups. The Center can create belly casts for pregnant women, and can encapsulate the placenta (its properties can help a new mother heal more quickly and experience more stable moods after giving birth). The Center accepts AHCCCS, and will submit to most insurance companies.
For more information visit www.lalunabirthcenter.com or call 928.777.8474.