The majority of women are good candidates for a birth center birth. Women who choose birth center care are committed to maintaining optimum health and well-being during their pregnancies and birthing naturally. These women desire shared decision-making with their provider.
Women choosing a birth center birth understand that in most cases, minimal medical intervention is safest for both mother and baby, and in fact, support and patience are often all that is needed as she births her baby. Sometimes, however, pregnancy and birth are unpredictable and intervention may be necessary to ensure the best possible healthy outcome. In such a situation, since a trusting and respectful relationship has been established between the family and the midwives, a discussion of risks, benefits, and alternatives occurs with ample time for questions. Then, even if the birth doesn’t go as expected, the family feels comfortable with the plan of care, and the midwife continues to be present and supportive during the entire process.
Yes! A five-year study called The Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Initiative by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Reimbursement found that women who received care in midwifery-led freestanding birth centers had SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER OUTCOMES than matched population controls who delivered in the hospital. These outcomes included cesarean section rates (17.5% vs 29%), preterm birth rate (6.3% vs 8.5%), and low birth weight rates (5.9% vs 7.4%).
Study after study shows that midwifery-led care in a freestanding birth center is one of the best ways to improve outcomes and decrease maternal mortality rates in the United States.
Midwifery care is provided by professionally trained midwives who practice a wellness and holistic approach to pregnancy, birth, and women’s health care. Midwifery care focuses on the promotion of health, development of individual responsibility in health care, and shared decision making.
When you decide to visit a midwife, you will receive a special level of care that is not always present in other health care settings. Midwives believe that childbearing is normal and that you and your family should create the birth experience that will be meaningful to you. Midwifery honors and respects the wisdom and dignity of all women and the sacredness of pregnancy and birth. Midwives often spend extra time with you during your appointment, listening to your concerns, and addressing (or treating) problems. They may provide education, suggest resources, or refer you to additional health care providers if needed. Your midwife strives to be your partner in care, not just your provider of care. Midwifery is a collaborative practice that involves women, families, midwives, nurses, obstetricians, pediatricians, and other specialists as needed.