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Where Should I Give Birth?

Posted on February 28th, 2013 by | 2 views

Choosing Your Birth Location

There are several options available, in terms of location, for a pregnant woman to give birth. In the U.S., most births take place in a hospital setting. Some hospitals have Certified Nurse Midwifes (CNMs) on staff along with Obstetricians, so you can go for a natural birth and have the support for it, but still be close to medical intervention such as an epidural or C Section should it be needed. Some hospitals also have Birth Centers on location with midwives, separate from the Labor and Delivery ward. These birth centers are made to feel more comfortable, less like a hospital setting, involve fewer interventions, and are focused on assisting a natural delivery, although they still must abide by the hospital’s rules and regulations. If a birthing mother decides she needs more for her pain, or if the birthing process is not proceeding according to the hospital’s regulations, then the mother can easily be transferred.  Something to keep in mind in this situation is that a higher percentage of births in hospital-birthing centers end up with medical intervention than those who birth in a free-standing birth center.

Birth Centers

A free-standing Birth Center has a hospital to back it up, should there be an emergency or need for intervention, but it is not a part of that hospital. They are usually run by midwives, sometimes by an Obstetrician. The atmosphere of a Birth Center is made to feel welcoming, warm, and cozy, so that it is as relaxing and homey as possible. Most have a kitchen, Jacuzzis or birth tubs, queen size beds, and a living room where a mother’s friends and family can gather while awaiting the arrival of the new baby. These birth centers also have everything necessary for normal birth, and even have several options for pain control (not including an epidural). Should an emergency with the mother or baby arise, transfer to the hospital can be arranged. A woman will also visit the Birth Center for all of her prenatal check-ups.


Homebirths in this country are beginning to gain popularity, especially with more women opting for a natural birth and choosing to go with a midwife for their pregnancy care and birthing experience. There are some states that regulate the option to birth at home with a midwife, so it is best to do your homework. Of course, choosing to birth at home means that you control your environment and surroundings and have the freedom to create your optimal birthing atmosphere.

Learn More

For more information, contact a Birthing Center near you by search through our Directory of Birth Centers for options in your area.