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The Top Questions to Ask When Choosing a Birthing Center to Deliver Your Baby

Posted By Jennifer Gardella, Thursday, March 2, 2017

The beginning of your pregnancy is a very exciting and important time.  As you plan for the start or expansion of your family you will need to put a practitioner in place to care for you during your pregnancy from now, through the birth, and your postpartum time.   If you would like to explore using a midwife and delivering a baby in a birth center, you may want to take a tour of the birth center where you will meet providers and see if this is the right fit for you.  


What should you consider when researching and then selecting a birth center?  There are many factors to consider.  As a first step you can search our directory of birth centers (http://www.birthcenters.org/search/custom.asp?id=2926) to get a list of available birth centers in your area.  Next is to look at their websites and call to set-up an appointment for a tour and consultation.  


During your tour and appointment with the midwife it is important to determine if the center and midwife are a good fit for you.  Look around, note the feel of the center and take some mental notes if it feels right to you.  Talk with the staff and consider the following questions:  


About the center/practitioner/midwife:  

  1. What is your birthing philosophy and why did you become a midwife?

  2. What type of training, certification and accreditation have you and your birth center obtained?   

  3. How long have you been a midwife?  

  4. How long has this center been in existence?

  5. Do you accept my health insurance plan?  

  6. Do you offer doulas, breastfeeding consultants, yoga or chiropractic care during my pregnancy and delivery?


About your family:  

  1. We are not a traditional couple, will we feel accepted at the birth center?

  2. I am a client that might be different than those of the birth center.  Will I fit in? How does the center address cultural and religious accommodations.


Prenatal Care:  

  1. Can you describe your prenatal care visits - I have heard that midwives spend more time with their patients, why is that?  What will we talk about?  

  2. What is your position about prenatal screenings and ultrasounds?  

  3. How many clients are you working with at one time?

  4. I’ve heard that birth centers offer home visits a few days after birth.  Do you do that as well?

  5. Do you offer parenting, childbirth education, Centering™, breastfeeding, car seat, baby wearing classes?


Your Delivery:  

  1. Where will I deliver my baby?

  2. When would we need outside consultation during labor and delivery?  

  3. What if there are complications?  (Gestational diabetes, breech birth)

  4. Is water birth an option or can I only labor in the tub?

  5. How will you help me manage my pain?   

  6. I would like my placenta encapsulated.  Do you offer that service?

  7. Can our birth photographer attend the birth as well?

  8. Are there fees for things like nitrous oxide?


After-birth care:  

  1. Will I be able to come back to the birth center for postpartum visits and follow-up well woman care here?  


When you deliver your baby in a birth center you want a family experience for the birth of your baby.  This is a very personal decision for you to make and one that should be done with much thought.  We look forward to support you through the process of finding the right birth center for you and encourage you to do your research on our website!  

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