Where to Have Your Baby: Birthing Centers

 

During a prenatal class, a birth will often be taking place down the hall. If a woman calls in early labor, the phone call is answered by the founder personally. You can hear him telling her to be sure to eat, to rest if she is tired and to call back when the contraction are longer, more intense and closer together. He finishes by saying, "I'll probably see you tonight."

When the laboring woman arrives at the center, she and her partner and any other companions are taken to a birthing room. She is allowed to wear her own clothes and can decorate the room with personal possessions. She is also encouraged to eat lightly, and fluids are made readily available. Women may move freely during all stages of labor and can give birth in whatever position they choose.

Infants are not separated from their mothers after the birth except for valid medical reasons. One of the only "rules" that is actively enforced at the birthing center is the requirement that the mother and baby stay for a full six hours after the birth. If complications are going to develop with the baby, they will usually occur within the first few hours.

The founder and others feel that birthing centers such as these will play a big part in the future of gentle birth.

For more information on where to have your baby, read about home births and hospital births. Our interactive Pregnancy Calendar can help you outline your preferences for your baby's birth.

 

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