A Birth Center (also known as a Birthing Center) is a healthcare facility, that may be located within a hospital (referred to as Alternative Birth Centers) or free-standing, for labor and delivery that offers a more homelike environment. Birth centers typically offer more options such as the freedom to move about the room, eat/drink, create a more personal environment with items such as candles, music, etc, and allow for the attendance of more family and friends. The rooms are private and all stages of labor are done in the same room and they usually are equiped with soaking tubs/birthing tubs, and showers.
Birth centers are meant to normalize and take a more holistic and intervention-free approach to childbirth. They cater to women who are looking to have a natural birth with the use of drug-free pain management methods.
What are some of the benefits of a Birth Center:
-Less Unecessary Medical Intervention
-Great option for those who want a natural birth but do not want to birth at home
-Most offer extra breastfeeding help
-Typically lower costs
-Most are covered by insurance
-Speedier Checkout- mom and baby can often leave within 12-24 hrs of delivery
-Encouragent and support for natural birth
Here are a couple of photos of the center I birthed in:
In this photo you can see the soaking tub that I labored in
Here you can see more of the room and the queen-sized bed
If you are interested in a natural birth, but aren't interested in having a homebirth, I would strongly recommend looking for a birth center in you area: Birth Center Directory