How do you know if a birth center is the right choice for you?

Posted by
By: Children’s Bureau CentennialCC BY 2.0
I am pregnant with my second child and every bit of reading I’ve done has led me to believe I had an unnecessary cesarean delivery with my firstborn. At this point, I am not certain I trust any of the practitioners at my hospital and worry that a change of hospital may result in the same scenario being played out in a different location.

I’m investigating birthing at a center with independent midwives, but I’m pretty nervous. I don’t know if it’s just that I’ve been fed the babies-come-from-hospitals line my whole life, but I have two specific worries: first, I’m not sure how to tell people I’m considering a birth center without being defensive of my reasons. Second, I’m worried that something unforeseen could happen that would be better dealt with in a hospital than a center.

I would absolutely never be able to forgive myself if I put my birth experience over the well-being of my child. How do you know if birthing at a center (or outside of a hospital) is the right choice for you? — Bree

Comments on How do you know if a birth center is the right choice for you?

  1. Hey Bree! Congrats on your second pregnancy! 😀

    Your post is so timely for me, as I am deciding the same thing, only this is my first pregnancy. The gal who suggested, “what are you afraid of more, hospitals or something going wrong?” resonated the most for me. While my decision was constrained by finances and my insurance (despite living in the really crunchy city of Seattle) so far I am thinking that I’d prefer to give birth at my local hospital. I have little sense of what my body’s troubles will be, and the facility I would be going to, I am told by nurses, “doesn’t do anything it doesn’t have to” as far as medical interventions are concerned. I am more afraid of something going wrong than I am of hospitals.

    If you have any folks in your social networks who are nurses that you trust, I would ask them about reputations of various places. It’s interesting to get a bird’s eye view… also kind of interesting if the sorts of things they care about aren’t the ones you do.

    Good luck in any case. Know whatever decision you make is the best one for you, and own it 😀

  2. My first son was born at a freestanding birth center but it was located nearly right across the street from the hospital. The midwife and nurse were with me the whole time and monitoring my child and me to make sure that there were no reasons to go to the hospital. Everything went beautifully but they have a plan just in case – – that is the important part. Also, you can be sure to have a midwife that has had experience with VBAC births. My second child was born right here in my home. The best decision I ever made. If I had known of this as an option I might have still opted for the birth center with my first though. However, it was even more amazing than that of my first child. I never had to leave. Everything came to me. But again, I was healthy, had no problems to know of, and I am 5-10 minutes from the women’s hospital here. So don’t feel bad about any choice you make. Do what is right for you. The mama feeling safe and happy is so important. If you feel safest and happiest in a hospital, then yes do that. If you feel safest and happiest in a birth center, then do that. You will know what is right for you in your heart. Regarding telling others, remind them that you are doing what you feel is going to create the best environment for you to focus on the birth of your child. Best of luck in your decision.

Read more comments

Comments are closed.