Family Birth Services & Helen Jolly Nelson
SINCE THE BEGINNING: Family Birth Services (FBS) is one of the oldest and most reliable midwifery services in Texas. Since 1981, FBS has been serving families and delivering babies while simultaneously training up some of the most accomplished midwives in North Texas.
Its founder, Helen Jolly Nelson, started her own midwifery career in 1972, offering home births around the metroplex. Nearly 10 years later, she wanted another option for families desiring out-of-hospital care. She wanted a warm and inviting place for women to come to and have the best birth experience possible. With the purchase of 814 Dalworth Street in Grand Prairie, she gave FBS a permanent home where it would stay for 40 years. Helen also accepted student midwives at the center, training them to be competent and kind care providers. Being able to offer students who needed housing and clinical experience to complete their training made FBS a pioneer in midwifery training.
While running a full-time birth center practice and training up the next generation of midwives, Helen served as a board member to the National Association of Parents and Professionals for the Safe Alternatives in Childbirth (NAPSAC) and is a founding member of Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA). She also served as a state officer for Le Leche League and is a founding member of both Association of Texas Midwives (ATM) and North Texas Midwives (NTM). Before Helen retired from faithful service, she had attended over 3,000 births and trained over 80 midwives.
THE WORK GOES ON: For 40 years, FBS has been a center of midwifery education. While students originally came to receive education in midwifery, they were mentored and loved by some of the most dedicated midwives around. The students were not only taught how to provide excellent clinical care, but also how to provide a compassionate and cherished bond that women need from their midwife.
Many students would grow to call FBS their home and would stay and work with FBS long after they completed their studies and had a license of their own. On its 40th birthday, Family Birth Services is returning to its roots. When Helen started her own practice in 1976, she provided home births. At a time when midwives were very scarce, she started a birth center. With so many birth centers now available, FBS is returning its attention back to the practice of home births.
PASSING OF THE TORCH: In 2004, Lisa Thomas moved from her home in Joplin, Missouri to learn, train, and grow at Family Birth Services. Since then, Lisa has become a recognized name in North Texas Midwifery. Aside from doing over 500 births herself and training multiple students, she was President of North Texas Midwives and has been teaching many skills and continuing education classes for midwifery for over fourteen years. With Helen transitioning into retirement, she has passed the torch of Family Birth Services legacy over to Lisa.
Since our team has privileges at the other birth centers in DFW, we are still able to offer a birth-center birth, even though FBS is focusing on home birth experiences. Our goal is to provide excellent and professional care to expectant mothers wherever they desire. FBS stands apart in offering the benefit of a home birth as well as the strength and security of a practice that comes with a team of midwives who collaborate and support each other. We offer the accountability and stability of a healthy team dynamic while preserving the relationship of continuity of care with one midwife. Give us a call and let us help you put together your personalized birth plan!