Home Birth vs. Birth Center

Pinky RN is looking for home-birthers to answer questions about home birth vs. birth center births:

Would folks who want a homebirth because of the restrictive nature of the hospital, come to a freestanding birth center? Is there a demand for Birth Centers? Especially a Birth center across the street from the hospital that has a large staff and 24 hour Ob and anesthesia folks so they can handle anything you throw at them. And a Nicu would be good too. I was thinking, if we did start up a birth center across the street from the hospital I worked at, would it be used? If we build it, will they come?

So for any home birth folks out there, could you please leave me a comment on your thoughts. What would you need in a birth center to make it attractive to birth at?

Go to her blog and give her your opinion!


3 Responses

  1. Thanks for the publicity! I got 20 comments I think. Currently writing a paper on history of midwifery. I am on my last section. Which is the National Birth Center Study. Perhaps I will post about it.

  2. I have hbs (I’ve had 6 plus 2 transfers) because I feel safer at home. I can trust my instincts, I am in my place, my castle. Nothing will make a birth center more attractive for me. The majority of women who have hbs don’t do it because there is no other place to go, they do it because they feel home is the best place.

    As for some of the more practical reasons: Still have to drive during labor, still have to leave when you are done, cost is much higher esp if insurance doesn’t cover it, usually (as with the birth center here) you have much stricter standards of when to transfer than you would at home, still not my bed and my fridge to raid, not immune to every germ like I at at home, my house my rules your place your rules, easier to entertain my other kids where they live then have to find a baby sitter or entertainment when we get there, and I don’t really want to walk up the stairs when I get home after having a baby. At least if I deliver at home I can stay upstairs till I feel strong enough to go down or an emergency forces me down.

  3. I used to own a freestanding birth center next to a hospital, quite similar to the situation you are considering.

    I found that I did attract a number of homebirthing women who either lived too far away from the hospital to have a homebirth (this was a rural area), or had minor complications that made it safer to be closer to the hospital for delivery. Some women wanted a homebirth but due to their living situations did not feel comfortable having the birth at home (one woman lived on a sailboat, for example).

    I also had a fair number of clients who loved the idea of homebirth but felt safe in a birth center. Although I believe home birth is just as safe, I also feel it’s important for the woman to feel safe, and our fears are not always rational.
    You will likely attract a fair number of women who will love the more natural, laid-back approach you will take but just aren’t up for trying a home birth.

    Good luck!

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