Birth Center Regulations

So, you've decided that you want to open a birth center. You've found the perfect location in a wonderful Victorian house that you would like to remodel and turn into your dream of a birthing center. The first step you need to take is to look at your state regulations because these regulations will dictate what you can and cannot do.

Presently, 80% of the states have some sort of regulations for birthing centers. Before you begin to ask any questions, get a copy of those regulations, and read them very carefully. Find out if there are any barriers that might complicate putting the birth center where you think you want it to be. Additionally, the regulations will cover important topics such as definitions, staffing, the facility, fire and building codes, and the services you can and cannot provide. For example, no states allow cesarean sections to be done in birthing centers. These regulations will also give you information about services that you must provide, policies, procedures, organization, quality assurance, and evaluation. These state regulations will serve as a guide and help you as you proceed in planning your birth center services.

AABC has developed a toolkit "Best Practices in Birth Center Regulations " to help birth centers advocate for to remove structural barriers and address inequitable access to the birth center model of care by modernizing their birth center licensing regulations, or by introducing appropriate regulations where none exist. This toolkit provides draft regulatory language, fact sheets, and other implementation support.

Birth Centers Regulations Map

80% of states have regulations for licensing birth centers.

map of birth center licensure and Medicaid recognition