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  • Writer's pictureSandy Glenn, LM MBC

What is a Free-Standing Birth Center, and How is it different?

Birth Centers cater to healthy mothers and babies and are intended to help you have a non-medicated birth. With lots of preventative care such as nutritional counseling, natural remedies and intense childbirth education; most women who begin their care at a birthing centers, remain under their midwives care throughout pregnancy birth and postpartum.

The best part about true Free-Standing Birth Centers is that you are not trapped in standard hospital protocols. Professional midwives and center-based-physicians are able to make decisions for their clients without the interference of policies that are geared to manage high volume patients and not individual family needs. Unfortunately, when a center is affiliated with a hospital; hospital governed restrictions apply and they generally have much higher transfer rates. That means that more moms end up transferring care back to the hospital instead of actually delivering at the center.

How will your birth be different? Well, unlike a hospital, you’ll be encouraged to eat and drink throughout labor. You’ll be able to walk around or spend time in the shower or tub. While birth centers do take maternal vital signs and listen to your baby’s heartbeat; they can do those things intermittently in the position that helps the mother to be the most comfortable. Because you will not be using medications, your midwife or doctor won’t have to worry about the side effects of common drugs used by most hospital births. This healthy option makes monitoring labor simpler and safer.

What about episiotomies and IV’s? Well, those are very rarely needed as well. As a matter of fact, most babies will be handed directly to their mommy and the umbilical cord will be allowed to continue to pulse for up to 20 minutes after delivery. Some Dads even like to help “catch “and get the opportunity to be the first person to hold their own baby.

Dim lights, peaceful music, good support and education are standard care with a Birth Center. We are a uniquely different environment than the hospital. If you are a healthy mom, with a healthy pregnancy and you’d like to have your baby without medications; you may want to research your Birth Center options. In a fast-paced world, you can welcome your baby in a gentle environment.

What about cost? Carolina WaterBirth takes most private insurance for birth center deliveries and home birth. Our total cost is much less than the hospital so many families are delighted to discover that their price is very low even when not filing insurance.

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