Birth centers can be helpful during your pregnancy by offering prenatal care, breastfeeding classes, and all kinds of education to prepare you for the big day. These centers, if accredited, are connected to a nearby hospital but can also do screenings and tests in-house as well. The biggest reason women have begun choosing to go into labor at birth centers over hospitals has all to do with the environment. Instead of being in a sterile environment with lots of sick and
dying people, the mother can choose to give birth in a large, comfy bed or a warm whirlpool tub in a place that focuses on bringing life into the world. You get a say over what chemicals do or do not go into your body and have the option of a natural birth. A midwife or doctor is ready and attentive, focused solely on you and not several other patients at the same time. You are also allowed to have as few or as many guests alongside you, and did we mention you do not have to eat hospital food?
Another perk of giving birth at a birth center is that it is typically much more economical than at a hospital because you are not paying for as many drugs and you are allowed to leave within 24 hours of your birth, and earlier if you choose, if you and your baby are both doing well. Complications may arise and an accredited birth center will have all of the equipment necessary to keep you and your baby stable until you are able to get hospital care. Midwives are trained to handle crises and can identify how best to care during complications in labor. They will even be available to help with postpartum care and will serve as a lasting resource if ever needed.
Call your local birth center and talk through your medical and health history if you are interested in this option. They will tell you whether you are a good fit for a birth center and can help you get started right away in becoming more educated and at peace with the process.
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