While hospitals are imperative for high-risk births, for some expectant mothers they can be overwhelming. Many women are starting to see the advantages of delivering at a birth center instead. Birth centers are typically small buildings that are situated near hospitals but run independently from them. Often, these centers are created out of a home and are designed for maximum comfort of the birthing families. They are not as busy as hospitals and more accommodating to your personal needs and preferences.
Why Should I Choose a Birth Center?
For women with low-risk pregnancies, birth centers are wonderful options. You won’t feel rushed through prenatal appointments or during the birth itself, and the staff is more than willing to honor your preferences whenever possible. Hospitals have certain protocols that place limits on their patients; for example, laboring mothers are restricted in what they can eat, where they can labor and what positions they can be in, as well as how many support people they can have in their room. The staff at a birth center, on the other hand, understand that those restrictions can impact your birth experience in a negative way. At Celebrate Birth, we know that you will be able to enjoy this major life moment much more if you are comfortable. We want you to feel like you’re at home! Instead of being relegated to a hospital bed, you are able to move about freely from room to room – even laboring outside in our garden or taking a walk through our quiet neighborhood. We encourage you to eat and drink whatever you’d like, find positions that can help you relax through the contractions (even if that means you’re in the tub!), and invite however many people you want to share in this experience. We even keep a lounge area set up with couches, toys, and Netflix for our younger visitors! And because birth centers usually only handle one or two deliveries at a time, the atmosphere is much calmer and less chaotic than at a hospital. We enjoy being able to devote all our attention to YOU!
What Happens When I Arrive at Celebrate Birth?
When your baby decides it’s time to make his or her grand entrance, your birth team will meet you at our birth center. Because movement can help you release the energy of the contractions and can aid in the progression of labor, you might then choose to walk around for a bit or bounce on a birthing ball. You could listen to music on our bluetooth speakers, use essential oils in our diffusers, or relax in the shower or tub to ease some of the pain. While we’re there to guide you, this is your time to labor based on your preferences.
Your baby will be periodically monitored with a handheld doppler to ensure all is well. Once it is time to push, we will help you get into whatever position you’d like or ease you into the tub if you desire a water birth. If you have a doula, she will provide you with a variety of natural pain relief methods and support your partner as well. Your midwife will coach you gently through the delivery, using warm compresses to limit tearing as the baby emerges. Immediately afterwards, your baby will be placed on your chest for skin-to-skin contact and the “Golden Hour” will begin. This first hour after the birth will help you bond with the baby as you begin the postpartum journey. The newborn exam will take place in the same room with you present after this first precious hour has passed.
Within about 2 to 4 hours after the birth, it will be time to go home! Most moms appreciate the ability to be home with their family and rest in their own bed so soon after their little one has arrived. You will stay in close contact with your midwife, though, speaking to her over the phone every 12 hours (or as often as needed) and seeing her 48 hours after the birth for a postpartum checkup.
But What if Something Goes Wrong?
It is important to know that we take every precaution we can to avoid problems during labor and delivery. We only accept low-risk, healthy women and we work closely with our clients during their pregnancy to help ensure their birth will be as natural as possible. The potential dangers of childbirth frequently stem from the often-unnecessary interventions that are performed in hospitals, such as the routine use of Pitocin or the artificial breaking of the waters. There are benefits to these interventions, but there are significant risks associated with them as well. We do not intervene during our clients’ labors unless there is a true need, and even then the options we present to the client are relatively non-invasive. This greatly lessens the possibility of any adverse outcomes.
Clients can take comfort in knowing that we have many of the same supplies that are stocked by the hospitals, just in case an issue may arise. The birth center has oxygen tanks and masks for both mom and baby, medications that can immediately stop hemorrhaging, antibiotics, IV supplies, suturing tools and lidocaine. Not to mention, our midwives and birth assistants are all trained in emergency procedures and certified in Neonatal Resuscitation and CPR. If there is a major emergency, we are less than two miles away from Lakeland Regional Health and you will be transported by ambulance to their labor and delivery ward, the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children.
Birth centers are safe, comfortable alternatives to hospitals. Celebrate Birth is staffed by trained professionals who are passionate about making your birth experience a positive one. If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to come into care with us, take a virtual tour of our center here. You can also call our office to schedule your own visit or to discuss your needs and preferences: 863-680-2229. We look forward to talking with you!