Mothering Forum banner

Not really about Homebirth, but...

671 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Greaseball
Mods, if this question is inappropriate here, please feel free to move

What is a birth center (other than what the name implies). What is the difference in birthing at a birth center and a hospital?

See less See more
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
That's a really good question. From my understanding there are a lot of different types of Birth Centers.

The most common is a "Birth Center" inside a hospital. It is the hospital, but the staff and brochures call it the "birth center." It's run just like any hospital with mainly Drs and possibly some midwives (CNM) who work under the Drs. Rarely does this type of "Birth Center" focus on midwife model of care. If it looks like a hospital, smells like a hospital and treats you like a hospital, it's a hospital!

Another type of "Birth Center" is one that is on the campus or in close proximity to a hospital. It does have association with the hospital and therefore follow it's regulations and rules. This may or may not use more midwife model of care approaches. Most times though, the midwives (CNM) answer to Drs. and have any "high risk" patients deliver at the hospital. Some of these "Birth Centers" feature only Drs. or Drs. and some midwives (CNM) or sometimes just midwives (CNM).

Another type of "Birth Center" is one that uses midwives (CNM) and maybe has a Dr. on staff somewhere. It's not associated with any hospital, but will transfer to one if needed. These typically follow the midwife model of care but are more geared to "technological advances."

The last type of "Birth Center" would be one where midwives (CPM or LM) guide women through pregnancy and labor using the midwife model of care. They may or may not have a CNM on staff or perhaps a Dr. that they bill under for insurance reimbersement. These may or may not use "technological advances." Most likely, they do not offer medical model pain relief or augmentation of labor or interventions.

That's the way I see "birth centers." A lot of places call themselves a "birth center" or "birth center" environment. But, it's hard to know what exactly they mean. I hit most of the differences for "birth centers" but there are many variations within the list that made. If you or someone you know is considering using a "birth center" make sure that they ask a lot of questions, because they might not be getting what they really want.

See less See more
Yep, that about sums it up. I have only had a hospital birth, but from what I hear, if you think you are the type who would want a homebirth, you will not be as satisfied with a birth center birth.

For my 1st, I was going to a CNM-staffed center that was across the street from the hospital. The appointments were just like OB appts - the same tests, they all lasted 10 minutes, they recommend ultrasound, etc. They say they do not provide pain meds for birth but I didn't ask about other interventions. I moved out of town at 24 weeks, but I don't think I would have been satisfied going there.

What I really didn't like were the time limits. They say you cannot labor there for more than 24 hours; if you do so they ask you to go to a hotel until you are "farther along." They also say that you have to stay for a minimum of 6 hours after birth, but cannot stay more than 12 hours. I have checked with other centers, including freestanding midwife-run places, and they say the same thing.

I think the worst labor intervention ever is the clock...
See less See more
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.