What is a Birth Center

09

August, 2019

Have you noticed that there are a lot of places that claim to be a birth center, or at least use the term birth center or birthing center? Have you ever wondered what is a birth center and what is not a birth center?

A birth center (by definition) is a place for natural childbirth that is NOT a hospital.

A birth center is a place of wellness and health, with a feel of home. It is welcoming and warm, comfortable and clean, quaint and quiet, supportive and safe. A birth center is a place that provides maternity services in an environment that is exactly what it represents, a place to give birth naturally. There are no hidden stirrups under the bed, no artificial baby warmers, and no monitors.

this is a birth center…

this is NOT a birth center…

A birth center is where midwives practice midwifery. It is where labor is natural and birth is normal.

A birth center is not just a place, it is innovative care model created for the delivery of midwifery care.

Women are supported in labor in a birth center with the presence of midwife to support, encourage, and assist if needed. Women have the freedom of movement, the option to eat and drink throughout labor, a choice of what to wear (or not to wear), and selection of what family is present for labor and birth. This is real family-centered care without visitation policies or restrictions.

this is labor support – this is a birth center…

this is NOT a birth center…

Women give birth in a birth center, they are not delivered.

Midwives support the normal birth process in any position, in a birth pool, in a bed, on the floor, or wherever birth happens

this is a birth…

this is a delivery…

Birth centers are not hospitals… hospitals are not birth centers.