Birthing Center -vs- Hospital — The Bump
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Birthing Center -vs- Hospital

My husband and I are are weighing our options as first time parents. We have read and read and read more literature than we care to admit about the pros and cons of giving birth in a birthing center or hospital. We've even watched countless documentaries about this debate. However, we still aren't very secure in whether we want a birthing center birth or hospital birth. Oh. And we're going to be first time parents once we get this whole conception business out of the way!

 Have any of you ever given birth at a birthing facility or somewhere else OTHER THAN a hospital? What was that experience like for you?

We appreciate all open and brutally honest opinions Smile

Re: Birthing Center -vs- Hospital

  • I have a friend who delivered at a birth center and she absolutely loved it. She said it took place in a very home-like setting which helped her stay calm and comfortable. She had the freedom to rock on a pregnancy ball, took a shower, relaxed on a couch, and then delivered in a nice warm bath. Seems like a lovely experience to me! Much better than a hospital setting with a hundred nurses surrounding you. I however just feel safer being at a hospital in case something does go wrong and I need a medical intervention.
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  • I had both my boys at home with a midwife. Neither of my births went "perfectly" nor do I think that majority of natural births are. Baby#1 had his hand up by his head during labor, which caused him to be unknowingly "stuck", which then in turn gave him a major conehead! Baby#2's heartrate suddenly dropped when I moved positions and had to push him out right away. He had an oxygen mask and got warmed up with towels, and got meconium (baby poo) all over. In just a few minutes he latched perfectly (which meant his airways were good). This was all done in my midwife's house/office/birthing room. Even though we weren't in a hospital, she had all the tools needed in case things didn't go as planned. Good midwives (though I don't know if there are bad ones) are capable of handling births that don't go as planned. They have many, if I might be so bold, I would say better skills than an many OBGYN's in natural births. To answer your question, I would go with a birthing center that offers midwives and doulas. Usually OB's at a birthing center are more in tune with natural birth and your birth plan. Many hospitals run on a timed schedule and a birth is anything but that! I believe a lot of medical intervention is premature, therefore unnecessary. Watch the documentary The Business of Being Born (I watched it on netflix). It's empowering!

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  • This is our first baby due in december, and after going to a couple hospitals and then to a birthing center, we have no doubt that the birth center is wayyyyy better for us. They go over everything with us and are very helpful and informative about so many things, while at the hospital we felt like we were on an assembly line and they wants uus in and out of there as quick as possible.
    This way we'll have the option of f a water birth, and have a midwife to help coach us.

    It depends, some people have amazing experiences in the hospital, but we haven't, and a lot of our friends haven't either. Any friend I have talked to that either had a home birth or a birth center birth said it was amazing and they would do it again in a heart beat. I haven't heard the same from anyone I know that had a baby at the hospital. Good luck!

    imageLilypie Premature Baby tickers
  • imageSnorkel30:

    This is our first baby due in december, and after going to a couple hospitals and then to a birthing center, we have no doubt that the birth center is wayyyyy better for us. They go over everything with us and are very helpful and informative about so many things, while at the hospital we felt like we were on an assembly line and they wants uus in and out of there as quick as possible.
    This way we'll have the option of f a water birth, and have a midwife to help coach us.

    It depends, some people have amazing experiences in the hospital, but we haven't, and a lot of our friends haven't either. Any friend I have talked to that either had a home birth or a birth center birth said it was amazing and they would do it again in a heart beat. I haven't heard the same from anyone I know that had a baby at the hospital. Good luck!

    I had my two babies in the same hospital and had wonderful experiences. My docs,nurses, lactation consultant, masseuse (sp), and everyone else I encountered were amazing. I am actually really sad that I think we are done having babies b/c I loved my hospital so much. 

  • This is a very good question and I see your frustration with deciding even though you have obtained a lot of information. I gave birth at a hospital and I'm thankful for it since baby was rushed to NICU and was there for almost 2 months. Even with that being said, I would still give a birthing center some thought because it sounds great. One of my most favorite parts of my home is in the living room under a nice cozy blanket relaxing and I think the whole birthing center may provide that feeling.
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