Are Birth Centers Safe?
If you’re new to the concept of birth center births with midwifery care, you’re probably questioning how safe it is before considering it as an option for yourself.
While birth centers are unlike a hospital in many ways, they still adhere to high standards for protecting your health and safety as well as the safety of your baby.
What licenses do Midwives receive?
Midwives undergo a standard procedure to get a license to practice in the US. At Birth Center Stone Oak our midwives are licensed Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs).
CPMs can start from a few different routes like apprenticeship programs or educational programs accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC). CPMs are direct-entry midwives meaning that they are educated and trained as midwives without first becoming a nurse.
When becoming a Certified Professional Midwive you earn your national certification through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). Some things that NARM requires are:
- Client continuity of care
- Clinical birth experiences in out-of-hospital settings
- Education through MEAC-accredited or non-accredited school or program, or through apprenticeship
- Midwifery practice guidelines
- Informed consent document
- Emergency care plan
CPMs also must pass the NARM national written certification examination.
So rest assured, anyone taking care of you and your baby is someone that has undergone training and certification to be able to do it!
What are the standards of a birth center?
While a birth center might not appear to be as strictly regulated as a hospital setting, it is subject to standards that it must maintain.
These standards are upheld by the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC), they constitute the following principles:
- Philosophy of care
- Administration, planning, and governance
- Human resource
- Equipment, supplies, and facilities available
- Health records
- Evaluation and improvement of quality
Who is a good candidate for a birth center birth?
Each birth center has slightly varying standards for who can receive care, but birth centers tend to be a good fit for healthy, low-risk pregnancies, which comprise the majority of pregnancies. Women that can safely opt for a birth center birth are ones that:
- Have had an uneventful, normal pregnancy so far
- Have had a vaginal delivery before this
- Have no contraindications to vaginal birth, such as low-lying placenta, cord around the baby’s neck, high blood pressure, or maternal diabetes
What are the benefits of giving birth at a birth center?
Compared to a hospital birth, a birth center is less controlled and lets you choose the amount and type of care you receive. You have a lot more freedom for pretty much everything!
You can eat, drink, move, play music, and bring whoever you want into your birthing suite! You also have a lot more say in the care that you receive.
The idea is to create a more relaxed, home-like environment to create the birthing experience you always envisioned.