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There are obviously many benefits, we're having our baby at a birth center as well. You should post this on the natural board, you'll get more replies.
Seriously, don't bother. I'm using a birth center and don't have a doctor and the look on people's faces when I say that is priceless. "What, no doctor? What if you need to be induced or want pain meds?" Um, no. Not an option! Best was when one of DH's friends said to him that more and more people are starting to use birth centers now. DH looked at him and said no, birth centers have been around forever and more and more people are opting for intervention (inductions, c-sections, etc.) instead of letting their bodies do it naturally.
Don't feel like you have to explain yourself to anyone. Birth is not a medical procedure and should not be treated as such. Laying in bed for 20+ hours of labor while eating only ice chips is so ridiculous and that should be frowned upon. Your body was made to give birth naturally, you don't need chemicals to tell baby when to come!