Birth Centers
“Few innovations in health service promote lower cost, greater availability, and a high degree of satisfaction with a comparable degree of safety. The results of this study suggest that modern birth centers can identify women who are at low risk for obstetrical complications and care for them in a way that provides these benefits.”
New England Journal of Medicine, 12/28/89

Free standing birth centers provide a place for families to birth who desire a non-interventive, natural birth with a midwife outside of a hospital, but may not want or be able to have a homebirth. A birth center is generally a home-like setting, designed in the "wellness model" of birth as a normal, natural life event.

Birth centers offer a low-tech, comfortable place for families to have their babies. You are able to labor, birth and recover in the same room rather than being moved to a separate room to recover after giving birth in the hospital. Families feel empowered to be active decision makers during the birth. If a medical emergency arises, the birth center will have a back-up arrangement with doctors and a nearby hospital.

A birth center strives to provide a comfortable home-like setting. A typical room has plants, pictures, a comfortable chair, and a large enough bed that your partner can lie down with you. Most have large whirlpool tubs to help you relax during labor and for waterbirth.

This setting allows the mother to move freely and labor more naturally. There are no routine interventions or procedures. Babies are never separated from the mother after birth and newborn exams are done at the bedside. Generally, recovery time and your stay in the birth center is shorter than the hospital.