The typical image of a woman giving birth is her in stirrups in a hospital bed, surrounded by nurses, doctors, and maybe one or two family members. While this is the default, birthing centers offer a completely different option for an expectant mother. As a middle ground between a hospital birth and a home birth, a birthing center is a welcoming and comforting facility that is staffed by medically trained and licensed professionals. Learn about the birth center advantages you’ll experience if you choose this option for childbirth.
Birth Centers Encourage Family Involvement
A birth center, also known as a maternity center, is typically much more accommodating towards family members and loved ones who want to be in the room during the birth. The philosophy of a birth center is to treat a woman’s pregnancy as a normal family event that should be celebrated, rather than a medical condition that doctors need to treat. These facilities tend to encourage generational involvement, so a woman’s own parents and any children she already has can be in the room in addition to her partner.
Hospital Assitance Is Nearby
While many women may like the idea of a home birth, the possibility of needing serious medical attention often dissuades them from making that choice. Should an emergency arise, maternity centers usually have a strong relationship with a nearby hospital so that they can transfer the expectant mother. Many centers are even located within a hospital, further simplifying a potential transfer. At the center itself, there is usually a team of certified midwives and different levels of nurses to ensure that births go as seamlessly as possible.
There Are Natural Birth Options
One of the best birth center advantages is that many will allow women to guide their labor decisions. This freedom of choice means that a woman can choose to walk during labor, rest in a bed, take a shower, or whatever else they like. Water births are typically an option at birthing centers, giving women the option to avoid the confinements of a bed if they so choose.
According to research from the Pew Research Center in 2016, 86% of women in the U.S. had given birth by their early 40s. For anyone of any age about to go through this life-changing process, the decision of where to give birth is a major one. Contact Carolina East Health System to learn more about these key birth center advantages and how you can get quality medical care outside of a typical hospital setting.