What is a Birth Center?
We’d like to think that everyone knows what birth centers are and is familiar with the quality of care they provide, but we know that isn’t the case. If you are one of those people who isn’t quite sure what a birth center is, we are here to give you all of the details!
The most basic answer is that a birth center is a health care facility for childbirth where the care is provided by midwives who focus on the midwives model of care.
They are freestanding facilities separate from a hospital. At Charleston Birth Place, we believe that a woman’s health and medical care is a partnership between her and her health care provider. Her health is also her own responsibility, and we expect her to communicate with us and participate in the decision-making process for her care. This can be very different from what you might be used to in a hospital setting, but there are other key differences that make it different from a hospital.
Birth Centers Offer Holistic Care
The birth center setting is a more holistic type of care that services the whole woman. Here, we can see a woman for their annual exams, GYN visits, preconceptual counseling, pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum care. We want to educate, empower, and be there for women and all of their wellness needs.
Birth Centers are Low Intervention
Birth centers specialize in natural childbirth. Pregnancy and birth are physiological processes that should be subject to as little intervention as possible. We offer women choices in place of birth, choosing the appropriate level of expertise and technology. If a patient wants epidurals and other interventions, we have the option to go to a hospital with them for that type of care, but it is not something we offer at the birth center. Instead, we offer other coping mechanisms like birthing tubs, freedom of movement, Nitrous Oxide, and more to help you progress through labor.
Birth Centers Offer Personalized Care
Care at a birth center is very family-focused. We offer longer appointment times where we really get to know our patients like they’re family. This helps us provide a very personal level of care, so that no matter how their birth unfolds, they feel supported and cared for as an individual. Time is one of the most valuable things we can give out to our patients and being in a setting like ours gives us that time to give to our families.
Birth Centers are Safe
For healthy women with normal pregnancies, out-of-hospital births are a safe option! We hold our patients’ health and safety in the highest regard, and that is why we have standards set for the women that we are able to serve.