In today’s political upheaval in regards to health care, many women are starting to feel a squeeze. They are burdened with the pressure to birth according to their insurance providers protocol and are not necessarily getting the birth experience they were hoping for. As a small business owner, my only options are high deductible health plans. So my husband and I figured if we were going to be paying out of pocket for the birth of our third baby anyways, we might as well have the exact birth experience we envisioned.
What did this look like exactly? For my healthy, low-risk pregnancy, I realized I had options for care providers and it was my choice to make. After much research, I decided I truly wanted a water birth. I wanted to do delayed cord clamping. And I wanted my husband to be as hands on as he possibly could. So we decided to ditch the hospital, and pursue personalized care with a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) through a private birth center.
There were several motivating factors for both my husband and myself beyond insurance benefits, and that’s what I’ll sharing with you here!
So, why choose a birth center?
1. For more individualized care.
Our CNM typically only takes on about 5 births a month. This allows her to truly invest in each client’s quality of care and to insure that the birthplace is never overcrowded or her schedule is spread too thin. I never once sat in a waiting room wondering when I would be called back for my appointment. I always felt like my baby and I were of the utmost importance. And I truly left each visit confident and empowered. We were in constant communication throughout my pregnancy, and that kind of commitment to care is something that was very important to us.
2. For a more intimate birth experience.
Our two previous births were in a hospital and they were perfectly fine experiences–they brought us our beautiful baby boys! And to be perfectly honest, at the time we didn’t realize that alternatives to traditional hospital birth were even available to us. But a few years of motherhood later, you realize your birth story is something you will carry with you for your entire life. This time around I yearned for a more intimate and healing experience.
Our midwife and the space of the birth center allowed for my husband and I to work together through labor in a supported and safe, fully equipped environment.
I labored in a beautiful suite, with dim lighting to allow moonlight to spill in through the skylight windows. We had our playlist softly streaming via bluetooth speakers and my favorite essential oils diffusing. I was able to move through the room as I pleased, in whatever position that felt comfortable in the moment. I was not restricted to a hospital bed even when baby was being checked on. My midwife moved with me, and I felt that encouragement every step of the way.
Our birth was 100% how we envisioned, and everything we hoped for. I left feeling immensely proud of my body, and so very strong!
3. To have the freedom to leave.
One fantastic aspect about going to a birth center is that you get to leave! Unlike the hospital which requires you stay overnight or even several nights, after a couple hours of monitoring if you and baby are doing well postpartum you’ll be discharged to return to the comfort of your home. Although our birth center was so wonderful, some of us didn’t want to!
4. And lastly, just because you can!
That’s right. Why might one choose a birth center over the hospital? Because it’s your baby, and it’s your birth story, and every woman has the right to experience it in her own unique way. Because you should be empowered to take charge of your health. And because you deserve to be given the opportunity for informed shared decision making with your provider of choice. Because there is no wrong way to become a mother, whether it’s surrogacy, adoption, cesarean, home or hospital birth . . . you are an amazing warrior mama who can do anything!