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It's a homelike setting where midwives practice (in Indiana a midwife must be a CNM and also have a doctor who oversees their practice, so ours also has an OB who has trained as a labor assistant )
From the American Association of Birth Centers:
Parents and professionals creating family-centered care.
People working together to respond to your needs during pregnancy, birth, and early parenting. It is for healthy women seeking more personal care... and families wanting to be involved.
A Birth Center is run by a team of highly qualified professionals from nursing, midwifery, obstetrics, family medicine, pediatrics, nutrition, social work, physical fitness, childbirth and parenting education.
A place that gives you a caring, warm and homelike setting where you are supported and respected as well as safe and secure.
You will have a private room for giving birth where you can:
make yourself comfortable …
wear your own clothing…
have nourishment when you feel hungry…
soak in a tub…
and even have a water birth.
A Birth Center welcomes your children, your parents, and friends so you can decide who will be with you or near you as you give birth.
It is a place that gives you continuing support and information on infant care, breastfeeding, parenting, and family planning.
Program of Care
A program that gives you confidence in your ability to give birth, balancing the human touch and technology.
It is a program of education for pregnancy, birth, labor support, baby care, and much more. Birth center care and information is accessible to all members of the family.
Most of all a Birth Center program gives you the time that you deserve.
time to listen to and answer your questions about pregnancy, birth, baby care, nutrition, and ongoing women's health care
time to stay with you throughout your labor and birth
time to help you, your new baby, and your family get off to the best possible start.
Part of the Health Care System
Birth Centers are part of the system of quality health care in many communities. They provide a complete network of maternity and women's health services including:
first-rate prenatal care laboratory
diagnostic testing education consultation
specialists' attentive care during labor and birth
transfer to a hospital if the need should arise
Birth Center care is covered by major health insurance plans including Medicaid (in most states) and Champus.
Practice of Midwifery
The practice of midwifery is different from the practice of obstetrics.
Midwifery care may be provided by any qualified provider who practices a wellness and holistic approach to pregnancy, birth, and women's health care. Midwifery care focuses on the promotion of health and the development of individual responsibility.
Midwives take time to listen to women. Midwives believe that childbearing is normal and that a woman and her family should create the birth experience that will be meaningful to them.
Midwifery is a collaborative practice that involves:
and other specialists as needed
Midwifery honors and respects the wisdom and dignity of all women.
__________________ Joanna wife, mother, blogger, support group leader, perpetually behind on laundry