There are precious few free standing birth centers in America. They are needed because they provide women and their babies with proven safe care and a normal environment to be born into. It is not normal to be born where sick strangers come seeking medical help and ambulances pull in with accident and trauma victims.
Many hospitals changed the name of their Labor and Delivery wards to “birth center” or something similar back in the late 80s and early 90s in response to the growing interest in women seeking a home birth environment. If the ‘birth center’ you’ve located is in a hospital, regardless of whether or not it offers you a tub to labor in, that birth center is not autonomous and does not give women 100% control of their birth. It will be overseen by hospital liability driven protocol. For example, the midwives who are in the birth center will need to run your patient file past the center’s overseeing OB and that particular doctor’s comfort and knowledge with normal birth can determine how quickly you can be risked out of laboring in the birth center. It is not a true birth center. It simply has nicer gift wrap than the labor and delivery hall.
This is not to say that normal birth can not happen within the confines of a hospital’s birth center. It does, however, rely more so on a “textbook” labor to occur in order to ensure mother can remain in the birth center.
Reasons we’ve seen for mothers being risked out of a birth center birth:
- induction at 40 weeks
- borderline glucose tolerance test results
- labor lasting longer than twelve hours in women who are GBS+
All are obstacles that every mother faces during standardized prenatal and labor management care. Imagine believing you’ll have a great birth experience because you’ll be in the hospital birth center only to be told at the last minute that you’re back in the L&D wards!
Choose a free standing birth center because you and your baby deserve safe, personalized care that values birth as a physiological process. Improve America’s maternal and newborn birth outcome rates and birth experiences.
Note to the reader: ”independent” in this case does not denote an affiliation with Independent Childbirth LLC. It confirms said birth center is a free standing birth center.
**If you are a birth center owner who would like to have your birth center listed here, write us at births at comcast dot net and tell us about the birth care you provide.**
Sunrise Birthing Center in Ventura (805.648.2350)
Mountain Midwifery in Englewood (303.788.0600)
The Birth House in Bridgeton (207.647.5919)
Columbia Community Birth Center in Columbia (573.447.2700)
Avanlee Birth and Maternity Center in Killeen (254.690.5900)
Birthcare and Women’s Health in Alexandria (703.549.5070)