What if I Need to Transfer?

Are you thinking about delivering at a birth center? If you are, you have probably asked the question, “What if I need to transfer to a hospital during labor?” Birth centers are fully equipped with up-to-date equipment and highly trained, experienced midwives that are able to quickly identify and manage situations that are outside the normal spectrum of pregnancy and birth. 

At Celebrate Birth, we understand that healthy women with low-risk pregnancies typically stay healthy and low-risk during their birth.

Still, you can rest assured that our staff is prepared to handle anything out of the ordinary.  All of our midwives and birth assistants are certified in CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation and are trained to deal with emergency situations.  It may also comfort you to know that most problems that might develop during pregnancy or labor show warning signs in advance which allow us to prevent or manage them in a calm, timely manner.

Transferring due to emergency situations is extremely rare at our birth center. Around 8-10% of our families transfer during labor, but a very small percentage (nearly 0%) of those transfers are due to true emergencies.  Because our midwives are always watching closely for problematic warning signs, we very rarely see issues that require immediate assistance from additional medical personnel. Transfers usually occur because of non-emergency reasons such as a labor that has failed to progress or a mother who might decide she wants pain medication at the hospital. No matter the situation, we orchestrate those transfers and do everything possible to make sure there is a smooth transition with the continuity of care. 

What is the process at Celebrate Birth? 

So, what if a birth doesn’t go as planned? Safety is always our first priority. During labor, the midwife continuously monitors and assesses any risk factors to make sure both mother and baby are safe. She will watch the mother’s vital signs and the baby’s fetal heart rate, monitor the coping skills and pain management techniques being used, and take into consideration all other factors. If the midwife detects anywarning signs, as long as they are not indicative of any immediate danger, the midwife will usually do what she can to resolve the problem before considering a transfer.  (For example, some issues are easily able to be resolved with a simple change in position.)  After further assessing the situation, the midwife will recommend a transfer if it does indeed become necessary. 

If this is the case, the midwife will immediately initiate an emergency care plan specific to the mother’s and baby’s needs. Our midwives are trained and equipped to keep mom and baby stable during this time.  Even when it is not an emergency, we will contact ambulatory transport to bring the mom to the hospital safely.  The birth center is located less than two miles from Lakeland Regional Health. We will arrange everything and communicate with our families every step of the way.  Though our midwives are not able to deliver babies at the hospital, they will remain on-call and able to be contacted by phone call or text. We want our families to know that we will do all we can to ensure they feel well-supported as they experience the unexpected.

Our mission is to do our best to meet the needs and preferences of our families while maintaining the health and safety of the mother and baby. Our clients can feel empowered by being an active participant in their pregnancy and childbirth experience. Take a virtual tour of our center to see our space and send us a message to chat if you have more questions about our care!