San Diego County Has New Birth Center Options! For nearly three decades Best Start Birth Center was the only licensed birth center in San Diego County: Birth Centers Bloom in North County http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/may/29/birth-center-bloom/
Before there was “Best Start” there was Midwife Services– a homebirth/birth center combination practice. There were 2 CNMs. Janice Aline Hutsell and Roberta Frank. Other CNMs who worked with them were Nancy McNeese who had her own birth center in Culver City; Carol Sladcek who had her second baby at home while working with the Midwife Services; Joanne Mooney who was a new graduate from the University of San Francisco; and Sandra Pate who also worked at UCSD. Best Start was created in 1989 and Janice moved to Texas that year and started working and teaching at Baylor University. Roberta had a passion for providing care outside of the hospital because she had experienced both hospital childbirth and homebirth and believed homebirth offered many advantages to promote health while the hospital presented obstacles to normal birth.
This was over 3 decades ago and these obstacles are still in place. Roberta’s homebirth midwife had apprenticed with a local physician who was famous for attending homebirths. At that time in San Diego there were 2 physicians attending homebirths– Dr. Butcher and Dr. Repair. Despite the humorous ring to linking their names, they were known in the local community to be excellent practitioners, knowledgeable clinicians, and very kind men. The medical establishment made it difficult for them and Dr. Butcher stopped attending childbirth and Dr. Repair moved away. Roberta believes that homebirth is a safe option and should be available to women. Due to restrictions against homebirth by the professional liability insurance companies the Best Start practice became exclusively a birth center in 1990.