So you’re thinking about booking into a Birth Center. That’s great news. Sometimes they're known as Birthing Clinics. They can be the most relaxing experience for you. You’ll find that it’s half-way between a hospital and a home birth, well much closer to being like a home birth actually. We’ll go through all the benefits of laboring and giving birth in one of these more 'natural and holistic' facilities.
Of course amenities will differ depending on which country you’re in, some will have more, some less. Some centers have Obstetricians, some Family doctors, many have no doctors. Mostly they’re staffed by the people best placed to care for you in natural labor: certified nurse-midwives or Registered Midwives! Other qualified staff include nurses, maternity carers and others.
They may be on hospital grounds, inside a hospital building or free-standing. Birthing centres vary significantly, so you’ll need to investigate carefully their policies and procedures, philosophy of care; objectives and ask around until you find the one that best suits your Birth Plan.
These lists are a generalization. Different places will have different facilities. You’ll need to check out what’s available in your area.
• Usually very calm, relaxed atmosphere.
• Suitable if you have a low risk, normal pregnancy without complications.
• Not crowded or busy. * Water birth facilities with experienced staff.
• No routine medical interventions like Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM) or Pitocin (Syntocinon).
• Bedrooms furnished like home.
• Babies are born in a quiet gentle environment.
• Experience the least amount of medical intervention possible.
• Moms are not separated from their babies & families.
• Homely décor and atmosphere.
• Good, nutritious food.
• Emergency equipment necessary such as IV’s, oxygen and adult and infant resuscitation equipment.
• Transfer facilities or communication with ambulances if you need to go to hospital.
• Visiting hours, which are family-friendly.
• Some may have gardens that you can walk around in early labor.
• Plenty of experienced midwives to support you with breast feeding.
• Staff to teach baby-care skills.
• Doctor on call in case of emergency.
• In some you can stay several days before going home.
• No anesthetist available.
• Often there are no epidural service.
• No Operating theater if needed.
• Sometimes you won’t be able to stay the night but go home the same day.
• If you decide that you need an epidural, you’ll have to be transferred to hospital.
As you can see the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Here's a beautiful waterbirth of a 2nd child which took place in an American Birth Center. Mia's mom is so calm and inspiring.....
Birth Center babies enjoy calm, gentle births.
Check out the Birthing Centers near you to see what they offer.