Birth Center Birth vs. Hospital Birth


Are you interested in delivering your baby in a setting that feels homier, or does a hospital setting appeal to you more? If you are weighing your options and looking for opportunities to learn about different types of care, you have come to the right place! We want you to have all of the information to make an informed decision that is best for your birth, whether that be a traditional hospital or a birthing center. For those in the San Antonio area, Birth Center Stone Oak is a wonderful option for you. Here, your birthing experience is tailored to the approach you want as we provide you with support, care, and guidance. Here is a breakdown of some of the differences between a birth center or hospital birth to help you decide what option is best for you!


What is a birth center?

A birth center gives you an in-between option of the medical atmosphere of a hospital and the comfortable feeling of being at home. Birth centers, including Birth Center Stone Oak provide a homey, low-tech birthing option for mothers who desire a natural childbirth experienceSchedule a time for a tour to see more of our home-like settings that are geared toward your comfort!


At a birth center, your primary care providers are midwives, health professionals who care for mothers and newborns. Midwives provide women with individualized and supportive care that is unique to each person. This model of care focuses on the woman as a whole, monitoring their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and cultural needs. Our philosophy as a birth center reflects the belief that birth is a normal process of a woman’s body and is a joyous, celebrated occasion. A woman who feels supported, informed, and respected will embrace her journey through birth with empowerment, excitement, and satisfaction.


Many birth centers also provide services outside of labor and delivery such as well-woman exams, preconception counseling, prenatal care, childbirth education, breastfeeding classes, and postpartum care and support. You can find a full list of services we offer here!


How birth centers differ from a hospital.

 A traditional hospital birth looks a bit different from a birth center. The labor rooms in hospitals look like, well, a hospital setting as opposed to a home-like setting. Your care is performed by OB-GYNs and other healthcare professionals instead of a midwife. The biggest difference is the philosophy of care. Hospitals provide procedures such as continuous fetal monitoring, routine IV’s, and induction of labor. Those procedures are not routine at birth centers. Instead, they are performed only when deemed necessary for the safety of the mother and baby. Hospital birth does provide immediate access to emergency care, including a C-section for mom or a neonatal intensive care unit for babies. However, midwives and out-of-hospital birth settings are effective at helping women to avoid unnecessary cesareans and have considerably lower rates than similar women in-hospital care.


The type of birth experience you want is a very personal decision and there is no wrong answer. It all comes down to knowing all of your options before coming to a decision. That way you can pick a setting that is best for you with a medical care team you can trust. If you have more questions on the differences between birth centers and hospital births, we’d be happy to chat!