My last post discussed my cat- and his love for sinks, but how he approached them at first very cautiously. From this derived my understanding on how some parents approach birth centers and out-of-hospital births in general. Today we are going to take a look at some reasons why more and more parents are choosing birth centers now. One of the main reasons is- comfort! No joke, they are so comfortable to be in!
When you compare the atmosphere of a birth center and a hospital, you find definite differences. When I delivered my first child in a hospital, I had a room that was only big enough for the bed, the monitor, and the IV pole, with 2 small chairs by the door. The baby warmer was kept in the bathroom, and the chairs were taken out while I was pushing to make way for the warmer. When I was walking around the halls, I had several medical staff members freak out that I was too far from the Labor and Delivery area and told me to go back to my room. That was not how I had envisioned my birth to be like. This is one reason more and more families are choosing out-of-hospital births.
From the freedom to move, to eat, and to birth where you want, to the ability to be in full control over your medical care, birth centers provide expectant parents a level of comfort and care not found in traditional hospitals. Those who choose birth centers are usually looking for more involvement in their own health care. They want to birth the way they live life- to wear the clothes they want to wear, to do what they want to do, and have the freedom to express themselves in an atmosphere that will not only allow it, but encourage it as well. Let's take a look at some of the main comforts you may enjoy in your local birth center.
I have an amazing birth center located near me, NOVA Natural Birth Center. If you are located in Northern Virginia, DC metro area, I urge you to come check this amazing place out. As you enter the front door, you will find yourself in a spacious, peaceful room filled with comfortable furniture and calming videos playing on the large screen t.v. Throughout the entire birth center you will also find the sweetest pictures of squishy little babies which will make anyone want another little one. Already have little ones? Great! There is a wonderful play room for your little ones to find all kids of toys while they wait with you for your appointment. That's right- other children and family members are allowed and encouraged to be a part of your appointments, as the birth of a baby is the birth of a new family member. It should be a family event!
You are not confined to your bed, or even your room during your stay. If you would like you may walk around the center, lounge on the large couches in the reception area, visit the kitchen, or if the weather is nice- go for a nice stroll along the tree lined path in the back. The midwifery model of care stresses that the more comfortable you are and able to move around and nourish yourself, the easier it will be for your baby to be born. Oh- did you notice I said visit the kitchen? Yes! You should feel free to bring whatever you would like to eat during your birth. No restrictions on eating food as long as you feel like eating. Your body is doing a lot of work, and you need to fuel it, especially after the birth as well. During your labor your partner/family/friends may store food in the refrigerator, heat it up in the microwave, and eat whatever they and you would like.
Every effort has been made to make the birth center comfortable for you and the rest of your support team. Don't feel like going anywhere for your birth? Great! You may choose to have your prenatal care done at the birth center, and have one of the midwives come to your house for a home birth. You can't get much more comfortable than in your own home. Your labor and birth will not only be in the most comfortable places of your choosing, but with the utmost safety as well. In my next blog, I will address the safety of choosing a birth center or home birth with the midwifery model of care.