Each year, almost four million babies are born in the United States. And with today’s advanced medicine and technology, expectant mothers have more options than ever when it comes to choosing where, when, and how to give birth. One increasingly popular option is a birthing center, which offers a unique experience to women giving birth.
Let’s take a look at a few things to expect if you choose to give birth at a birth center.
What’s Different About Birth Centers?
Compared to traditional hospital maternity wards, birth and maternity centers have quite a different experience to offer. Generally, maternity centers offer a more relaxed environment for expecting mothers. Giving birth can be one of the most important experiences of a woman’s life, and the traditional hospital setting — scratched linoleum, fluorescent lighting, odd smells — can cause additional stress for many women.
At a dedicated birthing center, mothers are given several choices for their birth, including water births and other services to make the experience as comfortable as possible. But while the atmosphere is made as comfortable as possible, there may not be drug options for pain relief during delivery. Usually, all births performed at a birth center will be natural. Additionally, these specialty maternity centers generally don’t offer the emergency surgery services or emergency medical care that hospitals offer. While there are staff members trained for basic emergency services, if something does go wrong during delivery, the patient will have to be transported to a hospital by ambulance. Ultimately, birth centers can offer a comfortable, unique experience, but patients should know what kind of maternity services they will and won’t be offered before making a final decision.
Benefits of Choosing a Birthing Center
There are several reasons a woman may choose a birth center over a standard hospital. For starters, giving birth at a maternity center is more personalized — women can give birth however they feel comfortable. Additionally, women aren’t required to stay in the birthing suite for a period of time after giving birth and generally don’t have any dietary restrictions. Furthermore, women have the option to have as many people in the room during the delivery as they want, while some hospitals put a limitation on the number of people allowed in the room. And lastly, birthing centers generally offer private rooms for patients. This can be beneficial for those looking to avoid moving to a semi-private hospital room after giving birth.
All in all, a birthing center offers more personalized maternity services for women with a specific birth plan in mind. They can be a great option for expectant mothers looking for a comfortable and relaxing environment for this important day. As you weigh your options, keep these benefits in mind when looking for a place to give birth.