Originally Posted by mizznicole
Then I'm surprised that it isn't a requirement to have one at the birth center. Seems like it would place a huge liability on them. What conditions, for example, would warrant hospital birth?
there are quite a number of said conditions. For only one example, see my signature. A vaginal birth could seriously decrease her chances of making it. There are other conditions for which a vaginal birth would stress the baby too much. While that might be caught by intermittent monitoring at a birth center, and you could initiate a transfer, what if you labor really really fast (like I do), and also a planned c-section is much, much easier to do and recover from than an unplanned one. There are also heart conditions that really do require immediate
(not 5 minutes away, but immediate) help, the kind a birth center can't give.
Also, being five minutes from a hospital isn't the same thing as being five minutes from realizing the baby needs assistance to the baby getting
One more thing. There is a HUGE benefit to being prepared for health issues in your baby. There are many conditions that pre-planning is extraordinarily helpful. We already know, as much as we can, what to prepare our family for. We have been able to warn DH's employer, prepare and pack for a c-section recovery and NICU stay, meet with surgeons (including the man who pioneered the procedure that took the survival rate for giant omphaloceles from 50% to 90%), make informed decisions about where and to whom to go for care, make arrangements for care for my older daughter, get some counseling, speak to other parents with Giant O babies, know what kinds of baby gear we will and won't need, prepare for c-section and recovery, and that's just all I can list off the top of my head. Yes, I'm spending this pregnancy worrying, but that's better than having to process this all totally fresh while dealing with a medically fragile baby, or worse, not having prepared, and not having a good outcome. And if she didn't have any problems, there would be the relief of knowing fairly confidently that we were, in all likelihood, going to have a normal, natural, great birth at the birth center.
I'm all about having a natural pregnancy and birth. Really, I am. But since we have available the ability to minimize the risks of any kind of birth, natural or otherwise, it isn't unwise to avail ourselves of non-invasive stuff like ultrasounds. And if you choose not to, and that's your choice, you just can't say, well, I'm trusting (birth/pregnancy/my body) so everything will be fine. If you feel comfortable with risk, then take the risk. It isn't that big a risk, statistically. But what you can't do is say that because it's a small statistical risk, it'll still be fine if you come out on the other side of the statistics. If you want to take the risk, just own that.