Choosing the right setting to deliver your baby is a decision that no expecting mother arrives at easily. For a first time mom, this decision can be overwhelming as they research the pros and cons that come with both settings. In our previous blog post, we gave a general overview of the main difference between delivering your baby at a birthing center in San Antonio versus a traditional labor & delivery hospital. If you haven’t read it, check it out first.

In part II, we’ll delve a little deeper into the unique qualities of each option so you can make an educated decision about your birth plan.

Access to Pain Medication

  • Birth centers are for low-risk women who prefer to give birth without an epidural. Freedom of movement and other pain-management methods, such as massage, acupressure, and hydrotherapy, are encouraged.
  • In labor & delivery, epidurals are fully available and widely used. This is great for women who know they want to have pharmacological pain management during labor.

Monitoring Baby In-Utero

  • At a birth center, a handheld monitor will be used intermittently to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Since it is wireless, it does not restrict movement and can be submerged in water.
  • In labor & delivery, an Electronic Fetal Monitor will be used. It involves two sensors on a mother’s belly connected to the bedside monitor.

Eating and Drinking

  • At a birth center, women in labor are typically allowed to eat and drink as they please. I.V.’s are not required unless a woman is dehydrated or requires medication.
  • In labor & delivery, women in labor are not allowed to eat and drink, and continuous I.V. fluid is standard.

The bottom line is you need to decide where you’ll feel most comfortable. Do you want to have the option of laboring in a bathtub of warm water? Then you would pick a birthing center in San Anotion. Do you know that you want to have an epidural as soon as possible? Then labor & delivery is right for you. Select the best environment with the health care providers you feel comfortable with for a birth experience you’ll feel best about.