With higher success rates for breastfeeding, better bonding experiences, less risk of infection and a reduced need for medical intervention, some moms are choosing home births and birthing centers instead of hospitals. Here are some things to consider when choosing a non-hospital hospital birthing option:
- Does your health care provider consider your situation low risk and appropriate for a non-hospital setting?
- Tour the facility. Talk to staff, interview potential midwife and ask about credentials.
- Does the facility support your choice of birthing methods?
- What is the policy on pain medication? This could mean that you will not have the option to have an epidural or other type of pain management at the birth center.
- Explore the range of services offered. Do they offer classes/workshops, pre- and post-birth support?
- Check with your insurance provider as coverage varies widely. Payment options should be discussed in advance.
- Ask what the emergency backup plan is, what hospital the center is affiliated with, and how long it takes to get there. Under what circumstances would you be transferred?