Where to Have Your Baby: Birthing Centers

Today more women are successfully negotiating for the kind of birth experience they want. One choice is to have your baby at a birth center.

There is great client satisfaction at birthing centers. The homelike atmosphere and relaxed attitudes help make women feel safe. Women bring their personal items, their chosen music and, most important, any and all of their family members.

The following description of a freestanding birth center in California is typical of what you will find at the many birth centers now available across the country:

A sunny patio with a tiled fountain greets visitors and clients as they enter the birthing center. A tour of the center conducted by the center’s founder, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, reveals a warmly decorated interior, including three large birthing rooms with double beds and private toilets and showers. There are two separate bathrooms, each with large fiberglass bathtubs. The large classroom is full of very pregnant women and their partners watching a film on birth.

The kitchen is abundantly stocked with juices, fruit, cookies and other snacks, and the waiting area is filled with comfortable couches and chairs. The nerve center of this facility is located behind three walls of glass, where the telephone and the busy staff can be faintly heard. Everything is immaculately clean and fresh, with colors that are harmonious, warm and restful. Large color photographs of mothers, fathers and newborn babies decorate the walls. They were taken by the founder.


Next Page: How birth centers give comfort and familiarity to expectant moms

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