Explaining the choice to use birthing center - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 07-16-2010, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I need a "pat" answer for when people ask me why I've chosen not to have my baby at a birthing center instead of the hospital.

I don't know if it's the fact that I'm exhausted and having trouble making concise words, or what, but I'm having the darndest time with it. These are nice, genuinely curious people who are asking. But it's just that a) there are a lot of reasons and b) I don't want to answer in a way that implies that my choice is the absolute right one for everyone because I believe there are lots of good reasons to have a baby in the hospital--they just don't apply in my case.

Here are some of my thoughts:

1) I don't understand why you would go to the hospital (for anything) unless it was necessary. I wouldn't go to the hospital for, say, a skinned knee, but I would go if I broke my leg. As long as things look normal, birth doesn't seem to be a "hospital" activity. Further, sick people at hospital=more germs for baby to be exposed to. While that's a small risk, it cuts against having the baby at the hospital for me. I think others are free to disagree on those points--and I can see good arguments either way--but that's the way the risk/benefit analysis comes down for me personally.

2) I want to be able to move around, sit in a warm tub, etc. during labor--that sounds so much more comforting to me than being limited to a hospital room/bed, even a hospital bed with good pain meds.

3) I will admit that I am a little hospital (and particularly needle) phobic. I know my fears are irrational, but I've also read that a woman will have an easier time giving birth if she is feeling relaxed and safe. I do not feel relaxed and safe at the hospital, therefore--irrational or not--I believe my fears may actually effect my baby's birth.

4) I thought about having a homebirth (and actually if I were going to do anything differently it would be that, not going to the hospital). I ultimately decided it wasn't worth the battle with public opinion, and I'm content with the choice. But when people are shocked that we're not having the baby at the hospital, I never can avoid the temptation to say, "Well, what we really wanted to do is...."

And when people ask, all of these reasons come out in an incoherent blob of words, that's much longer than what they really want to hear. (Picture the little old lady answering a cashier's polite, "How are you today?" with descriptions of her million aches and pains....)

Anyway, thoughts anyone?
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#2 of 11 Old 07-16-2010, 05:20 PM
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What if you just say that's where you feel the most comfortable having your baby and that you feel that your labor wll be easier/go more smoothly if you are in a comfortable place? I don't think anyone is comfortable in a hospital setting (unless maybe they work there) so I think most people would understand something that simple. If they prod for more info you can start listing some of your other reasons but I think the comfort factor is something anyone can relate to. GL!

Wife to DH, Mommy to Amber 10/01/08 and Kyle 01/09/11
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#3 of 11 Old 07-16-2010, 06:52 PM
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"you know, we're so fortunate to live in a community with so many options for birth. after we did our research and looked at the different types of birth experiences common to hospital-, home-, and birth center births, we really thought the birth center best matched our needs right now. again, i'm really happy that my options were open. so many women have no choice when it comes to this stuff."

bam. no need for any more questions and no one is offended

sorry you're having to justify things!

hoping for a !
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#4 of 11 Old 07-16-2010, 09:30 PM
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My usual answer goes something like, "We put a lot of thought and research into the decision, and this what we're comfortable with and what we feel is best for both myself and the baby."
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#5 of 11 Old 07-16-2010, 10:38 PM
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I would probably say something along the lines of, "We really love the freedom we feel at a birth center and we still have all of the support of birth professionals. Plus, I don't have to keep my house clean and ready for a homebirth!" I like to throw in a little joke when people ask nosy questions, it makes me feel more lighthearted about their rudeness.

Sarah: Soon to be Mama to three! Tess(3) Lucy (19mo) and a new little light ready to brighten the world Jan 2011
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#6 of 11 Old 07-17-2010, 01:38 AM
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i usually start with my assurance that pregnancy and birth are not medical conditions and so do need to be automatically treated like one.

partners.gif 2twins.gif  So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!

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#7 of 11 Old 07-17-2010, 06:24 AM
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You don't need to justify, defend, or explain yourself. I said, "Once I got pregnant I started reading alot of research about natural birth and it's something I really, really want to do!" You're right, no one really wants to know more than that. I never had a single person ask any further. Even after the birth, I maybe had one person ask where I actually delivered. If you don't want to sound like you think it's right for everyone, then say as little as possible and don't state any "facts" about hospitals vs. birth centers. Besides, there is no tidbit you can offer that will singlehandedly explain your choice AND convince them to change their mind if they aren't open to it. And lastly, your fear over public opinion about the choice you've made is still a fear that will affect your birth experience. We can make choices about the birth setting, but it's still up to us to r-e-l-a-x! You can do that!

mama to Allison 8-18-08 and Ethan 1-24-11  heartbeat.gif

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#8 of 11 Old 07-17-2010, 11:01 PM
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"we thought about it, and i'm more comfortable outside a regular hospital. we're low risk so there's no need to be at a hospital."

January 2011
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#9 of 11 Old 07-17-2010, 11:53 PM
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I don't have any advice, but just want to say that I feel your frustration. My last pregnancy, we planned a homebirth. I actually had two people cry and tell me their babies would have died if they'd been born at home (probably true for one). I didn't know what to say that would acknowledge their concern while still expressing that homebirth was a safe option for me and my family.

This time around, we'll be at a birthcenter. I think everyone is just relieved I'm not going to give birth at *gasp* home. Funny thing is, I'm a nurse in a maternity center and so far my coworkers haven't given me any grief about birth choices. I guess we all see the same things happening at the hospital so they either get why I wouldn't want to be there or they figure I know enough that they won't change my views.

Maybe you could just not tell people your birth plans? That wouldn't work for me as I can't lie and everyone asks, but if your friends, family, and coworkers are less nosy than mine maybe it'll work for you.

Mama to two sweet boys and a baby girl.  
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#10 of 11 Old 07-19-2010, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone! Like I said, I've been so tired lately that it's hard to be coherent, but these are some good answers--short, sweet and not more information than needs to be said.
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#11 of 11 Old 07-26-2010, 09:27 PM
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I like their answers way better then saying "isn't that special" in my best church lady voice.

Mandy, Mama to three wildfire girls and another little one on the way. Due 1/30/13

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