What is the Birth Center Difference?



Birth centers are an alternative birthing option dedicated to getting back to the basics of childbirth. They provide expectant mothers with the time, care, education, support and services needed for a safe, healthy birthing experience. Founded on the highest standards of quality health services, birthing centers ensure that you are respected as a person, not treated like a number. Haven’t heard of a birthing center? Continue reading to learn about the birth center difference.  

Personal Attention

Birth centers invite you to receive personalized, family-centered care from holistic, professional, healthcare providers.

Birth centers are:

●      People working together with you to meet your needs during pregnancy, birth, and early parenting.

●      For healthy women seeking personal care and families wanting to be involved.

Birth centers include a team of highly qualified professionals from midwifery, nursing, obstetrics, family medicine, pediatrics, nutrition, social work, physical fitness, childbirth and parenting education.

The Atmosphere

Birth centers provide an intimate, homelike environment, focusing on the personal experience of the woman, family and childbirth. The rooms are designed to look warm and inviting, while providing mothers with a safe, clean environment that may aid both their physical and mental well-being during the process of labor.

Patients will have their own private rooms where they can:

●      Make themselves comfortable

●      Wear their own clothes

●      Eat when they feel hungry

●      Soak in a tub or have a water birth

Birth centers help women feel comfortable and relaxed while welcoming whomever the patient chooses to be a part of the process, be it a partner, a mother, or other family members that may provide comfort and support.

After childbirth, birth centers provide continuing support, holistic pain management, and information on infant care, breastfeeding, parenting and family planning. 

What is a midwife?

Midwives are independent providers who work in collaboration with other members of the healthcare team, including physicians. Midwives and obstetricians are experts in their respective fields of practice and are educated, trained and licensed independent providers who may collaborate with each other based on the needs of the client.

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are registered nurses that complete further graduate education specializing in midwifery. Midwives practice a holistic wellness approach with the focus on preventative healthcare, encouraging women to take responsibility for their own health. They specialize in low-risk, normal pregnancies, labors and births. Midwifery honors and respects the wisdom and dignity of all women as well as the sacredness of childbirth to be a normal, natural process. Midwives work to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth for both mother and baby, and they are dedicated to creating a birth experience that will be meaningful to the patient.

A Collaborative Effort

Birth centers are part of the system of quality healthcare in many communities. They work together with other physicians and specialists, for example, providing resources for chiropractors, acupuncturists and dietitians, to ensure that mothers get the quality healthcare they need.

Birth centers offer women’s and maternity healthcare services, including:

●      Well-women care and screenings

●      Laboratory, ultrasounds and other diagnostic testing

●      Consultations with physicians as necessary

●      A quick transfer to a hospital if needed

Birth centers reduce overall healthcare costs due to their low-intervention care. Because birth centers encourage natural labor, patients can return home in as little as 4 hours or up to 12 hours after birth. Birth centers also accept insurance.

Birth centers are a good bridge between the homebirth and hospital birth experiences. There are a multitude of differences from the locations in which women choose to give birth. The important thing is finding out what is best for you and your family. Should you have any questions about birthing centers, be sure to call Frederick Birth Center so they can help you make the decision that is best for you.

[information from American Association of Birth Centers]

Mychal Pilia