The Rapidian

West Michigan's first birthing center to open in East Hills

Grand Rapid's first birthing center seeks to educate and promote natural childbirth by providing a home atmosphere and professional services.
Sara Badger and son in the foyer

Sara Badger and son in the foyer /Eric Tank


Cedar Tree Birth and Wellness

915 Cherry Street


Contact Cedar Tree by email

First level office/living room space

First level office/living room space /Eric Tank

/Eric Tank

Midwife Sara Badger and business partner Juliea Paige, certified birth doula, have teamed up to establish the first birthing center in Grand Rapids. Cedar Tree Birth and Wellness is located at 915 Cherry Street in East Hills next to Grove Restaurant.

The two story house accommodates parking in the rear, a kitchen, office space and a living room on the main floor for events and workshops. The space can readily convert to a birth suite if the occasion of a second mother needing the space were to arise. The second level is currently being remodeled as the main birthing suite. It is able to accommodate one family and will include a living room, play area for children, bedroom, kitchenette, birthing pool, bathroom and staff room.

"The upstairs is a whole birth suite and basically people who don't want to have a home birth who are in the outskirts, who are not close enough to emergency care, if they want or they need it can come here and birth without having to birth in the hospital," says Badger. "Midwives who have clients who are in the same predicament can use it as well."

Badger wants to educate people on birth, parenting and natural living by offering a variety of classes. Other services include massage therapy, pre-natal care and reiki.

Badger belongs to the West Michigan Better Birth Network, a group of professionals that advocate an alternative to conventional in-hospital childbirth. Through this network she is able to provide a plenitude of services. Badger saw the need for a physical space to accommodate the group.

"There is a group of us who have come together under that umbrella. My goal is to give them a place to be. When I came to Michigan there was nothing. I had two small children and there wasn't a community. There were lots of green people who were looking. Coming from California I was looking for something more than the conventional Christian grouping. I started trying to find people who were of like mind and start that community," says Badger.

Badger has been practicing midwifery for 15 years. She moved from California to Grand Rapids in 2007 and began her new practice, Simply Born in 2010. She was inspired by her mother's midwifery school, Maternidad La Luz in Texas, but is not modeled after it.

"We still want to give individual care. We still want to keep things as simple and as close to home as possible. And we want to give everybody the feeling of a home birth, but maybe not at home. It's the home away from home birth. We're not trying to create a mini hospital. We're trying to create a safer proximity home birth," says Badger.

Paige is the owner of Crowning Lotus Doula Services. Both women bring something different to Cedar Birth and Wellness. Both Simply Born and Crowning Lotus remain independent of one another.

"We work together to make sure classes are happening. If there is a void in our community we work to find somebody to fill that," says Badger. "When we ultimately get the upstairs open I will be running the upstairs and birthing suite and [Paige] will continue to manage all of the calendar events and stuff that's happening down here. I'll do the birth and she'll do the wellness."

The suite is set to open in April. Badger already has births scheduled for July and September and is accepting reservations for April, May and June.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.