What Should I Know about Birthing Centers in Hospitals?
Hospital birthing centers can be the best of both worlds, but only if they are actually birthing centers run by midwives, not just OB wings redecorated with cute curtains and rocking chairs. Some hospitals now have autonomous units run by midwives (backed up by MDs), usually with tubs for water births, and flexible woman-friendly policies that result in fewer interventions. The great thing is that if the need arises — and it rarely does, interestingly — you or your baby can be wisked into the elevator and down a few flights to the operating room or neonatal unit.
To be sure this isn’t just a spruced-up OB unit, ask questions about their policies:
- Do I have to be hooked up to an IV or monitor?
- Can I eat and drink as I prefer?
- Can I labor and deliver in the same room?