What is a Birth Center?
Are you looking for more options when it comes to delivering your baby?
Birth centers can provide a great experience for women who want an unmedicated birth and are considered low-risk in their pregnancy. What else does a birth center birth entail? Keep reading to find out!
Birth centers are led by midwives and are usually stand-alone facilities, though some are connected to or inside a hospital. They can provide a warm and welcoming environment designed to help the laboring mother feel at home. At My Family Birth Center, we also offer home-birth services.
Laboring mothers can surrender to the warmth and comfort provided by birth tubs as our midwives coach them through their breathing and give words of encouragement. You are free to move around as much as needed and give birth in the position that is most comfortable for you without the constraints of continuous fetal monitoring.
The midwifery model of care is a hands-off approach, intervening only when medically necessary while still offering emotional and physical support. Birth is not just a medical event but rather a normal life event that can be a transformative experience.
Post Partum Services
Immediately after birth, our midwives give the mother and baby an hour to bond and have skin-to-skin contact. The midwives will do their first assessment of the baby as they lay on the mother’s chest. We provide a nourishing meal, time to shower and offer breastfeeding support.
Our midwives will assess the baby, getting their measurements and making sure they are healthy, then check the mother for tears and observe blood loss. After 2-4 hours, the mother and baby can go home to continue bonding and learning about each other. Our midwives are lisenced to provide care to the mother and baby for up to six weeks after giving birth.
Your next check-ups with the midwives are at:
- 2 days postpartum: the midwives will come to your home to see how you are adjusting to having a baby, how breastfeeding is going, and make sure you and the baby are healthy.
- Two weeks: the next two appointments will be at the birth center. At your two-week postpartum check-up, the midwives will ensure you and the baby are doing well, and make sure you are getting the support you need.
- Six weeks: At your six-week check-up, the midwives will inquire about your mental health, give you a physical exam, and discuss birth control options.
Well Women Care
At My Family Birth Center, we provide more than just birth services. We also provide childbirth and breastfeeding education, preconception counseling, prenatal care, well-women exams, and birth control.
- Family-centered: friends and family (children included) are welcome at your appointments, as well as during labor and delivery
- Lower risk of device-assisted birth (vacuum extraction, forceps) and cesarean
- Warm and welcoming environment to help the mother relax
- Knowledgeable staff: Certified midwives who support the mother throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery and can provide care to mother and baby for up to six weeks after birth
- You are encouraged to eat when you are hungry to keep your strength and energy up
- Short stay after birth: Usually less than 4 hours
- Freedom to move around and birth in the position that is most comfortable to you
- Periodic fetal monitoring with a doppler to prevent restrictive movements
- Cost-effective: typically less expensive than a hospital birth and some insurances are accepted
Who Can Use a Birth Center?
Anyone who is considered low risk during pregnancy is eligible to deliver at a birth center or at home with midwives.
You may have to transfer care to an OBGYN if you develop hypertension, uncontrolled gestational diabetes, or your baby is breech. Check out our blog posts Gestational Diabetes and Tips and Tricks to Turning a Breech Baby for more information.
Is it Safe?
Delivering at a birth center or at home with midwives attending is safe for women with low-risk pregnancies. Cesaerean rates for birth centers are around 6% and emergency transfer rates are less than 2%. Furthermore, stillbirth and infant death rates at birth centers are similar to those at hospitals.
To find out if you’re eligible for a birth center birth, schedule a consultation with our midwives today!