Gift from Danialle and Peter Karmanos to create Center for Natural Birth at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak

Danialle Karmanos and son Aristides Kyros minutes after birth
at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.

Beaumont Health System has announced a $5 million gift from Danialle and Peter Karmanos Jr. that aims to expand safe, natural birthing alternatives for expectant moms in Metro Detroit.

The gift will create the Karmanos Center for Natural Birth and the Danialle & Peter Karmanos, Jr. Birth Center at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, in celebration of their four sons - Socrates, Leonides, Spiros and Aristides.

The new Karmanos Center for Natural Birth, expected to open in late 2014, will combine the comfort of a home-like environment with the safety net of a high-tech hospital if it’s needed. The one-of-a-kind center is designed for holistic care, comfort and safety.

It coincides with a resurging interest in natural childbirth – a mind-body approach to labor and childbirth with no anesthesia or medical interventions.

“We recognize that natural birth isn’t for everyone. But for those who are interested, our vision is to create a first-class environment for more women to have the option of a healthy, safe, natural birth experience,” says Danialle Karmanos. 

“Natural childbirth is also an important experience for the father,” adds Peter Karmanos. “You are far more of a participant in the birth. Right now, women believe the only way to have a natural childbirth is at home. We want to change that.”

All four of the Karmanos’ sons were born naturally – including two who were born at Beaumont, Royal Oak.

“We decided to partner with Beaumont because we had such a fantastic experience and Beaumont has such a great reputation in the community,” says Danialle. “So for us, it was natural to take it to the next step.”

Ray Bahado-Singh, M.D., chairman, obstetrics-gynecology, Beaumont Health System, says the new Karmanos Center for Natural Birth will be “one-of-a-kind in its scale, its attention to detail and its focus on creating a welcoming, aesthetically pleasing environment, with nurses and physicians trained in the art of natural childbirth, for the benefit of a laboring woman and her family. It recognizes the voices of many women seeking a natural, holistic approach to labor that, in select women, has led to lower rates of medical interventions and C-section deliveries and faster recovery rates.”

The 3,225-square-foot Karmanos Center for Natural Birth will include four deluxe birthing suites with a walking path for laboring mothers, a dedicated nursing station, a waiting area for families and a roof-top garden.

Aristides (Kai) Kyros welcomed by parents
Danialle and Peter Karmanos.

Rooms will be equipped with Jacuzzi tubs and other aids for natural laboring and delivery positions. The patient care team will include obstetricians, midwives, lactation consultants and nurses trained in natural childbirth techniques and integrative medicine techniques, such as aromatherapy, guided imagery, medical music therapy and Reiki therapy.

The Karmanos gift includes funding to train medical professionals in natural childbirth and for prenatal and community education on natural birth. An endowment created through the gift will support research on the benefits of natural birth for mothers and infants.

“As parents, Danialle and Pete knew what they wanted to do for women who wish to welcome their babies into the world naturally and safely,” says Margaret Cooney-Casey, president, Beaumont Foundation. “We are thrilled and honored they chose to partner with Beaumont to bring this vision to life. This gift reflects their incredible kindness and thoughtfulness in wanting to share something very special and unique with our community.” 

Peter Karmanos Jr. is the retired CEO of Compuware Corporation, a software company he
co-founded in Detroit in 1973. He is the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, Plymouth Whalers and Florida Everblades hockey franchises. His donation to the Michigan Cancer Foundation in honor of his first wife, Barbara Ann Karmanos, who died of breast cancer, created the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in 1995.

Danialle Karmanos is the founder of the Detroit-based Danialle Karmanos’ Work It Out, a nonprofit organization that uses a holistic and yoga-based approach to fight childhood obesity in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. She is also a philanthropist, author and community activist who serves on a number of nonprofit boards, as well as an award-winning writer, producer and director.

About Beaumont Obstetrics
Beaumont is Southeast Michigan’s leading provider of birthing services with 8,857 births in 2012. Beaumont obstetrics care includes prenatal and postnatal care at its private doctors’ offices; state-of-the-art birthing centers and inpatient care in all private rooms at its Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak and Troy hospitals; dozens of community education classes on birthing and baby care; and an award-winning Parenting Program. The Beaumont hospitals in Royal Oak and Troy offer neonatal intensive care for treating high-risk, premature newborns. The Cotton Family Birth Center at Beaumont, Grosse Pointe is Michigan’s only Baby-Friendly® birth center designated by Baby-Friendly USA. Find out more at http://womenshealth.beaumont.edu/obstetrical-services