Ohio Birthing Centers Offer Many Options

Birthing centers can be hospital-based or stand-alone facilities. Today, birthing centers are designed to offer families a comforting birthing experience, generally centered in one room for labor, delivery and recovery, rather than multiple rooms as in the past. Rooms are furnished to simulate a home-like environment.

Often, birthing suites at birthing centers include a private bathroom with shower and bath, and in some cases a birthing tub or whirlpool. Some birthing centers also provide private kitchenettes for the family. They may also serve a family meal.

For family members' comfort, the rooms often are furnished with a foldout bed. TVs and DVD players double for entertainment and education. After delivery, the birthing center staff have new parents view videos about newborn and infant care.

Birthing centers also offer new mothers personal education, including breastfeeding instruction and support provided by a lactation consultant.

Expectant parents are made more comfortable with the birthing center experience as they become familiar with the center when taking birthing classes and sibling classes before the birth. These classes include a tour of the birthing center so the expectant parents are better prepared for the experience when it's time for delivery.

While birthing centers are decorated with soothing colors and homelike furnishings, they have in the background state-of-the-art emergency equipment, in the event emergency assistance is needed.

Birthing centers located at a hospital—as opposed to stand-alone birthing centers located away from a hospital—offer the advantage of being especially prepared in the event of an emergency. Hospital-based birthing centers are the best option for expectant mothers who have experienced medical complications or have been diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy.

More so than traditional maternity facilities, birthing centers offer mothers more freedom when it comes to choosing how they want their baby to be delivered. Mothers are given more options for a natural birth that is free of interventions. Depending on the parents' preference, deliveries may be directed at birthing centers by obstetricians or nurse midwives.