Birth Centers: What Are They?

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When you look at your options for giving birth, it is important to understand what each option means. One of the most popular options for giving birth, aside from traditionally giving birth in a hospital, is to give birth in a birth center. There are a great many benefits to the use of birth centers for your birthing process.

What a Birth Center is

Essentially, a birth center is a happy medium for women that want an empowering birthing experience. Many women are averse to the clinical atmosphere of giving birth in a hospital. It can also be difficult to obtain a natural birthing experience in a hospital, as they have their own standard practices that they adhere to. On the other side, it can be concerning for a pregnant woman to give birth at home, due to the lack of medical intervention. A birth center provides a happy medium between these two options. It allows for an extremely comfortable, home-like environment, while still providing experienced medical professionals and equipment. Birth centers are most commonly run by midwives, though they may work alongside other health care professionals.  

The Benefits of a Birth Center

Understanding all of the benefits that giving birth in a birth center provides can help you to make the best decision for your specific situation. Here are just a few of the benefits that you can obtain when you decide to work with a midwife and give birth in a birth center. Keep in mind that many of these benefits will also apply to a home birth, which our professional midwives are happy to implement, if that is the course of action you choose.

Enhanced Control

Giving birth in a birth center provides you with an enhanced level of control over your birthing process. When you give birth in a hospital, there are likely a substantial amount of limitations, such as the number of people that can be in the room, the position you give birth in, and many other factors. However, when you give birth in a birth center, you stay in control over your birthing process the entire time. You are able to decide who is allowed to be in the room while you give birth, which can allow for a much more family-oriented approach.

Comprehensive Medical Services

One of the reasons that many women feel wary about natural birth is that they assume that it means lack of medical attention. This is simply not the case. A midwife is a healthcare professional that has a substantial amount of training and experience in the birthing process. In addition, birth centers don’t simply forego all medical tools and procedures. Though a birth center tends to provide a “low-tech” environment to provide the most comfortable experience possible for mothers, they still have a good deal of medical equipment, such as IVs, anti-hemorrhaging medication, antibiotics, and more.

Freedom of Movement

Hospital births often involve the mother being hooked up to a significant amount of equipment. This means that the mother’s only option is generally to give birth on her back on the bed. Giving birth in a birth center allows for the mother to move more freely, which can substantially reduce discomfort associated with giving birth. In addition, most birth centers include Jacuzzis or tubs to implement water births, if the mother so desires.

Aid with Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding provides a large array of nutritional benefits to an infant. However, especially for first time mothers, it can be difficult to ensure that you are breastfeeding correctly and are able to have that comfortable, bonding experience with your baby. Midwives are well-versed in breastfeeding support, so they can help to make the experience far easier.

A Comfortable Environment in a Birth Center

birth center

A birth center does not maintain the sterile, clinical environment of a hospital setting. Instead, it focuses on enhancing the comfortable environment for the mother. Many birth centers include larger, more comfortable beds and provide a cozier atmosphere.

Lower Costs

Ultimately, medical treatment can be incredibly expensive. This is especially true when you decide to give birth in a hospital. Birth centers are often far less expensive alternatives that can dramatically reduce your medical bill.

Implement Natural Birth

Birth centers are designed to allow for natural birth processes. Natural births come with many benefits, including enhanced health of the baby. When you choose to have a natural birth, you are likely able to obtain a far more empowering experience.

More Privacy

You likely don’t have a great deal of privacy in a hospital. After you give birth, it is possible that you will be transferred to a semi-private room with another patient. This can make it difficult to really enjoy personal family moments with your loved ones. However, birth centers provide you with superior control over who is in your room at any given time, which prevents any interruption to your special moments.

Reduced Risk of a C-Section

C-sections are done far more commonly when birth is given in a hospital setting. This is because every other option isn’t necessarily exhausted before the C-section is performed. In a birth center, the midwives are experienced in easing labor and minimizing the need for any kind of medical intervention, including c-sections.

Keep in Mind

There are a few things that you do need to keep in mind when you decide to give birth in a birth center. For one thing, birth centers are primarily options for low-risk pregnancies. Consult with your midwife to identify possible risks with your pregnancy and if you are a good candidate for giving birth in a birth center. It can also be more difficult to find a birth center near you, because they aren’t quite as commonplace as hospitals. Insurance might not cover the services, though the total of the services will be less expensive than in a hospital. Here at My Family Birth Center, we accept many different insurance companies to minimize any financial burden you experience after giving birth.

There are many benefits associated with giving birth in a birth center. These are just a few of the reasons that you may want to consider choosing a birth center for your birthing process. To learn more about birth centers or to schedule a tour of our birth center, contact our experts today!

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