Having a baby is a huge life change that will require a significant amount of thought and consideration. There are many things you will have to decide when you have a baby. From the color of the nursery to deciding between breastfeeding and bottle feeding, you likely have a broad array of choices. Choosing between a hospital and a birth center is another incredibly important choice to make during pregnancy. Here are a few things that you need to know when you are deciding between giving birth at a hospital and a birth center.
Choosing Between a Hospital and a Birth Center
There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both a hospital and a birth center. Understanding these various factors is important in making the ideal decision for you. However, the best choice will depend primarily on your specific situation. These are some important things to keep in mind when you decide between a hospital and a birth center.
Consider your own desires and preferences between a hospital and a birth center. Would you prefer the sterile environment that comes with giving birth in a hospital? Would you prefer the relaxing, home-like environment of a birth center? Checking in with yourself about your own desires and preferences will go a long way toward helping you to make the best decision for where you want to give birth.
High Risk Pregnancy
One of the major drawbacks of birth centers is that they are generally only an option for low risk pregnancies. If you are experiencing a high risk pregnancy, you may have no other choice aside from giving birth in a hospital setting. Consult with your midwife to determine potential factors that may result in a high risk pregnancy in order to make the right decision to protect your health and the health of your baby.
Check with your insurance plan when you decide between a hospital and a birth center. Here at My Family Birth Center, we accept many major insurance plans. However, it is important to do your research at this stage. Some insurance policies will have limited coverage available for giving birth in a birth center. Also keep in mind that, insurance factors aside, giving birth in a birth center tends to be much more cost-effective than giving birth in a hospital. This can be a great method for saving money, especially when your insurance policy will help to cover giving birth in a birth center. We can often do a request of benefits for you to determine if your insurance company will cover our services. Sometimes they only have one provider’s name on their roster, so they may not realize that they do, in fact, cover our services.
Proximity to Home
Deciding where to give birth will revolve a great deal around the proximity to your home. Though you may have ample time to get to the hospital or birth center after going into labor, this isn’t always the case. Ensuring that the birth center or hospital is located close to your home can substantially reduce the likelihood of issues during the drive to the facility.
Who You Want Attending the Birth
You will also want to decide who you want attending your birth when you choose between a hospital and a birth center. For example, if you want a doula and your mother present, you may want to choose a birth center. Hospitals often have strict guidelines and regulations regarding who is allowed to be present during the birth. If you choose to give birth in a birth center, you will want to consult with them beforehand regarding who you wish to be present at the birth. This is also a great time to discuss the development of a birth plan, which is an important part of ensuring that your wishes are followed throughout the birth.
Natural Birthing Options and Benefits
There are many various options for giving birth and each come with their own sets of benefits. It is important to consider what birthing options appeal to you when you have to choose between a hospital and a birth center. Certain forms of birthing, like water births, may be more accessible when you choose to give birth at a birth center. Doing your research will help you to find the type of birth plan that appeals to you most, which can also help you to decide where you wish to give birth.
Consider an emergency plan when you decide to give birth in a hospital or a birth center. You will likely want this plan in writing and ensure that everyone involved in the birth is aware of your desires. This will help to ensure that your wishes are still adhered to if something goes wrong during the birthing process.
Choosing between a hospital and a birth center will require understanding the pros and cons of each option. Hospitals do provide many benefits, but they also come with their fair share of drawbacks. All various forms of pain relief are available at a hospital. However, this can result in unwanted medical intervention during the birthing process. Hospital processes tend to be streamlined, which leaves the mother with limited choices and freedom while giving birth. In addition, giving birth at a hospital tends to come with an increased risk of cesarean becoming necessary. Hospitals generally have much less continuity of care. This means that you are likely to see different care providers during visits then you will while giving birth.
Considering Birth Centers
Birth centers help to provide a far more relaxed, home-like environment. They are designed to be natural-birth friendly, which reduces the likelihood of unwanted interventions. Birth centers are generally much less expensive than giving birth in a hospital. These centers are family-centered, which can significantly improve the process. They also offer continuous care throughout the pregnancy, labor, and post-partum processes. However, birth centers may not be readily available in your area and insurance policies may not cover giving birth in a birth center. Keep all of these considerations in mind when you are choosing between a hospital and a birth center.
At My Family Birth Center, we are passionate about protecting your health and the health of your baby. If you need assistance choosing between a hospital and a birth center, feel free to reach out to our experienced team for more information!