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

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.