Congratulations on your pregnancy! It’s such an exciting time in your life. The next step in this magical journey to motherhood is deciding on a birth plan, including where you’re going to give birth.

Are you interested in delivering your baby in a setting that feels like home, or does a hospital setting appeal to you more? If you’re weighing your delivery options, it would be beneficial to have all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether a traditional hospital or a birthing center in San Antonio would be best for you and your baby.

This is a decision you don’t want to make lightly, as the environment and care providers you choose can have a significant impact on your birth experience. To help you decide, we’ll break down the main difference between birth centers and labor & delivery units in a hospital.

Birth Center
A nationally accredited, licensed birth center is a healthcare facility that offers a wide variety of support and natural options for pregnant and birthing mothers. Nurse-midwives, licensed midwives, and even physicians assist mothers and deliver babies at birth centers.

Birth centers offer birthing moms a home-like setting in a medical environment. The birth rooms often resemble a room from a house, and the smaller support staff provides a more natural approach to labor and delivery. The patient must have an uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancy to deliver at a birth center.

Hospital Birth
A traditional hospital birth experience depends on where you chose to birth your baby, the hospital staff, and the support system you bring with you. There are rules and procedures in place about what you can and can’t do during labor and childbirth. One major difference between the two is access to emergency care, including a C-section for mom or a neonatal intensive care unit for baby.

Start making decisions on your birth plan now, in the early days of your pregnancy. This will ensure your baby is delivered in the setting you prefer with the medical care team that you feel most comfortable with.