Birth centers are often seen as a good compromise for women who wish to have a holistic, natural birth, but don't feel comfortable with having the baby at home. A birth center will provide a comfortable, professional environment in which natural labor can be facilitated in a stress-free manner.
What is a Birth Center?
Birth centers are generally designed to create a homelike environment while still providing professional medical services. Many midwives may work in conjunction with a birth center to provide a birthing option for women who don't wish to give birth in their own homes. Birth centers are often built in close proximity to hospitals, and sometimes may actually be run from inside one. This can be extremely helpful when complications arise, as both the mother and her baby can quickly be given appropriate medical treatment.
Birth Centers vs. a Home Birth
There are many reasons why a mother may not wish to give birth in her own home, even though she may be interested in a natural, holistic delivery. If she has other children already, she may not wish to frighten them with the intensity of the birthing process; if she lives in an apartment or condominium, it may be inappropriate to force the other occupants to listen to her while she is in labor! In these circumstances, a birth center can provide an alternative to traditional home births.
Birth Centers vs. a Hospital Birth
Many women may be overwhelmed or put off by a hospital environment. Most of us tend to associate hospitals with sadness, disease, and death, and while of course they are devoted to saving lives, the sterile, medical atmosphere can feel inhospitable to some. While women who expect complications should choose to have their babies in a hospital where help is mere seconds away, those with normal, healthy pregnancies may opt for a birthing center instead. It is still safe and near medical services, but lacks the stressful associations of a hospital.
Will My Insurance Cover a Birth Center?
In many cases, yes! Maternity health insurance will often cover the cost of a birthing center in the same way as it would cover a hospital birth; in many cases midwives are also covered as an alternative to a supervising physician. Even if you do not have maternity insurance, birthing centers are often much less expensive than a traditional hospital birth. If you expect to have a healthy, natural birth, a birthing center may be the most cost effective option even when not covered by insurance.
Choosing a Birth Center
While birth centers tend to be located near medical facilities, they do not stock a great deal of medical equipment themselves. Assess your needs and comfort level honestly, keeping in mind that every birthing center is different, and standards of care may vary. Discuss your options with your doctor or midwife and your partner; visit the birth center beforehand, and ask staff or previous clients about their experiences. Your comfort levels will significantly impact the birth itself, so choose a center where you feel relaxed and safe.
In many cases, birth centers can provide a safe and comfortable home away from home for women in labor. Speak with your midwife or doctor if you are interested in exploring this option!
Article on Birth Center
A birth center is a health care facility designed to provide you with a home like environment that is safe and secure. A birth center is a place where you may go to have your baby versus a typical delivery room in a hospital. The good news is that a birth center not only affords you with a more personal, but comprehensive, continuum of maternity services; it is usually much more economical.
Who should use a Birth Center?
Using a birth center to deliver your baby is usually decided because of personal reasons. Some women elect to use a birth center because they are interested in having a birthing experience that is as natural as possible, but they like the security of a facility separate from their home. Some women elect to use a birthing center because it usually offers a more economical option for care.
Birthing centers are an affordable option for pregnancies that are considered low risk and for women who are seeking to have a birth with little interventions. If there are particular requests you want for your birth, be sure to talk with a birth center beforehand to find out their policies and guidelines.
Will my insurance pay for Birth Center services?
It is possible that your insurance may pay for birth center or midwife services. It does depend on each carrier and company policy. The good news is that it is quite possible that your health care benefits include some type of coverage for birth center and midwifery services. The important thing is to check with your insurance provider to make sure. A combination of insurance coverage and reduced delivery expenses can further reduce the expenses related to your prenatal care and the birth of your baby.