Birth centers, similar to hospitals, offer birthing assistance to women. Doctors, nurses, obstetricians, and midwives may work together to provide labor, delivery, newborn care, and breastfeeding support. Some birthing centers may operate on a small scale, offering only doula and midwife support. Others are affiliated with hospitals and have doctors and nurses on staff.
Birth centers usually feature calming, meditative environments, with the focus on the mother and baby. They often resemble homes more than clinical hospitals, and often tout natural childbirth with minimal or no medication, no operative deliveries and no inductions. Birth centers are perfect for mothers with a low-risk pregnancy, but those with medical needs may be better off in a hospital setting.
Prenatal and postpartum classes such as breastfeeding support, natural birth, and yoga may also be on offer. Qualified professionals can help expectant moms with relaxation techniques, holistic health seminars, and prenatal exercise and nutrition classes. Many women have a midwife that follows them through the pregnancy and birth to help with preparation. Nurses may also be on hand to serve the needs of the mother and baby, give medical advice and provide overall support.
Water births are another option when it comes to birth centers, as many such places are equipped with spas and hot tubs to accommodate the needs of the mother and baby. Laboring in water can be comfortable for the mother, and can provide a stress-free entry into the world for the child. Relaxing music within a soothing environment can be found within maternity rooms as well, to optimally assist mother and child.
Birthing centers, alternative to clinics and large hospitals, can be found through doctor or midwife referrals, online listings, and through various holistic health channels.
Birth centers will provide a lot of different services. Maternity care, delivery, breastfeeding support, and information on newborns can all be found at a birth center. Pregnancy is a very exciting time that is mixed with many other types of emotions. A birth center will have professionals there to serve you with classes on a variety of topics. Exercises, such as yoga and other relaxation techniques, will be offered at many different centers. Other classes will go over nutrition for the expectant mother and newborn, information on what to expect during delivery, and breastfeeding support. One of the first maternity visits at a birth center may include a gynecological exam, and a general health check up. Depending on the size of the birth center, you may work with only one nurse during your maternity care and during delivery. Some nurses may specialize in certain areas, such as prenatal which can come in handy should you need help or advice in that area. Medical services will also be available at birth centers, as many women choose to have their delivery there. Many birth centers will host seminars to educate women about their services or what holistic birth involves and to give any needed advice. You will want to visit different centers and fine one where you feel comfortable with the people there since you will continually visit them throughout your pregnancy. Friends and family can give you advice on different centers depending on where they had maternity care or the delivery of their child.