What is freestanding birth center? 

A birth center is a home-like facility designed in the wellness model of pregnancy and birth to provide family-centered care for healthy women before, during and after normal pregnancy, labor and birth. 

Birth centers were designed for healthy, low-risk mothers and healthy babies.  We involve the entire family in the pregnancy and birth. Children and partners are encouraged to come to prenatal visits and classes.

A research compared women who planned to give birth attended by midwives in a freestanding birth center with similar women who were eligible for birth center births but chose to give birth in the hospital instead. Women choosing hospital birth were twice as likely to have cesarean surgery and more than twice as likely to have forceps- or vacuum-assisted vaginal births. The babies were born just as healthy in the birth center group compared with the hospital group.

We believe that women know how to give birth. By creating healthy pregnancies and minimizing interventions during labor, we focus on preventing complications.

Birth Centers do not perform routine interventions. Instead of routine IVs, we encourage women to drink.  Instead of continuous electronic fetal monitoring that keeps a mother tied to a machine, we listen to the baby’s heartbeat with a handheld Doppler. We do not cut routine episiotomies; instead, we support the natural process.

Women at the birth center are empowered and given control during their labor and delivery. They wear their own clothes, eat and drink during labor, and walk around.  Women can bring as many support people as they like.  The birthing mother labors in the tub, on birth balls, in a birthing rocker, on a birthing stool, or in any other position that is comfortable for her. When it is time to give birth, the woman follows her body to get into the best position: hands and knees, squatting, sitting, lying on her side, or whatever feels right.

Birth centers promote breastfeeding. Babies are placed skin-to-skin with the mother and there is no separation of mother and baby—all of the infant’s care is done in front of the family.

Normal postpartum care is then provided by the midwives at the birth center.

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