In order for you and your family to make a responsible decision in selecting a birth setting, you will need to seek information from the Birth Center. Some of the facts you need to know are:
Licensing and Accreditation
Licensing and accreditation give the public and parents a way to decide whether this is a quality center or not. Professional licensing and accrediting agencies provide oversight of the outcomes of care in the center as well as the physical facility.
They are looking at aspects that are very difficult to judge about the quality of care, such as:
They are also checking basic safety features, such as:
Once those basic pieces of licensing and accreditation are there, then you need to go to an orientation. The center should offer an orientation. This should include a tour of the center and a talk about what goes on in that Birth Center.
All of this information should be available to you in the orientation:
The answers to these questions will give you some measure of the quality of care in the Birth Center that you are considering.
The most reassuring thing is national accreditation. So look for the sign, that mark of excellence in the freestanding Birth Center. Your Birth Center should be accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers.
"Best of all, no strangers whisked Sarah off to a distant and impersonal nursery. She ate her first meal and napped with me on the bed. The whole event became a family affair instead of a medical procedure."
-Laura Brackenridge Danahy