What is a birth center?
A birth center is a healthcare facility focused on assisting in childbirth through the midwifery and wellness model. They are usually freestanding centers rather than part of a hospital.
Birth centers are designed for healthy people expecting a low-risk pregnancy and birth. They are staffed by licensed and qualified midwives and nurses, and generally have doctors on call to address emergencies.
Midwifery focuses on supporting pregnancy and birth through natural, low-impact interventions. Midwifery prioritizes preventing disease and promoting health while also improving a mother’s self-sufficiency through education.
In addition to providing childbirth services, a birth center offers antepartum care, such as routine lab tests, continuous health screening, physical exams, and health counseling.
Why are birth centers important?
While the practice of midwifery and the holistic support of childbirth can occur in other healthcare settings, such as a hospital, it is the primary model of care utilized in a birth center.
Birth centers are designed to feel homelike rather than clinical, providing a more comfortable birthing location while still being equipped to handle all aspects of routine care and initiate emergency procedures should they be needed.