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Birth Center Vs Hospital. What Is Right For You?

Out of hospital (OOH) births are in the spot light now more than ever.

Even before the outbreak of Coronavirus. Women are wanting a better birth experience. They want to avoid unnecessary interventions. They don’t want to be told how to be a good patient, and they don’t want to feel pressured to speed things up.

Is A Birth Center Right For You?

With induction and augmentations seen as routine, and cesarean sections on the rise, women are feeling less empowered than ever. They want more than the hospital setting offers, and more personalized maternity care than generally offered at a typical medical facility.

Giving birth is a highly personalized process. A woman feels vulnerable, exposed, and often, not heard. So many women report feeling bullied, even by female obstetricians and nurses, like their wishes didn’t matter. It felt so procedural and scripted, like they were irrelevant in the birth of their own baby. And they didn’t know they had options.

Due to situations like that, women are going back to our roots, and choosing to Call the Midwife. Seeking kind, compassionate care, midwifery care is on the rise in America. There are community midwives who specialize in home birth, and for many families, that is the right choice. They want the comfort of their home. They have had a healthy low risk pregnancy, and feel the best option for them is delivering their baby at home, in the warmth and comfort of their own environment, with the support of their partner, family, friends and perhaps their doula. But home birth isn’t for everyone. That’s where Birth Centers come in. It’s not a home birth, and not a hospital birth, but a wonderful combination, taking the best each has to offer, and creating a safe, welcoming space for parents to meet their baby.

How Is A Birth Center Different From A Hospital?

That is the most often asked question! The atmosphere is completely different. At our center, A Family Affair Birth Center, it’s like being in your own wing of a boutique hotel, not a busy hospital facility. From private serene terraces, deep soaking tubs with showers, and even the ability to birth under the stars on a warm summer night. It’s an experience unlike any other.

A Family Affair Birth Center located in Poway, CA used by San Diego County Midwives for their pregnant and birthing clients.

Most women have their favorite aromatherapy, essential oils, and music. They want adjustable ambient lighting, a big comfy bed, and plenty of pillows. They want to be able to eat and drink and have a variety of their favorite snacks available to help their keep energy up. Labor is work and ice chips only go so far! And while we do keep a close ear on baby with regular doppler assessments, no mom is stuck in bed and hooked up to a fetal monitor. That’s not the way a normal physiological birth happens.

Plan Your Birth With Us!

Instinctively, a woman’s body moves in labor, as she and her baby work together, both needing the freedom and space to move, to do their part of this beautiful process. And under the watchful eye of her team of midwives, we let this process unfold with as few interruptions as possible. We are there to assist with comfort measures, to hold space and time without rushing her, and to be the protector and defender of normal birth, all the while assessing both the mom and baby to ensure their well-being.

A Family Affair Birth Center located in Poway, CA used by San Diego County Midwives for their pregnant and birthing clients.

But rest assured, should a situation arise, our team of licensed midwives are fully trained and prepared to recognize it, and to take appropriate action as needed. And in the unlikely event of a transfer, we are located directly across the street from a hospital, complete with a Level 2 NICU. While the percentage is quite low, it is usually just due to a woman being tired and wanting an epidural for pain relief, so she can get a little rest. And we fully support her choice. We are not against hospitals, or doctors, and when needed, an obstetrician is the greatest gift a woman can have. But normal healthy pregnancies do not need to be medically managed, and midwives are the go-to for most women around the world. It’s a safe, healthy alternative, especially here in California, where midwives are required to be licensed by the same medical board as obstetricians.

Women will have all the comforts of home, in a safe place, with all the “necessary medical items” out of sight so she can relax, with expert medical care, provided by our dedicated team of midwives.

Each woman receives quality individualized health care, and are part of the decision making process. From prenatal appointments, through labor and delivery, into the postpartum period, our team of midwives, childbirth educators, and lactation consultants are always on hand to provide the personalized support you need. We believe in continuity of care, and have developed a professional team to help address any concerns or questions you may have, and provide encouragement along the way. In fact, our midwives will perform your immediate post birth visits in the comfort of your home, to make sure you and your baby are doing well, without the inconvenience of having to come to us.

So as you are preparing for the birth of your new baby, consider if a birthing center birth may be right for you. There are many options available, from home births, to hospital births, to a birth center experience. It’s your birth, it’s your choice. And if you choose to welcome your new baby with us, you can trust our dedicated team to be with you all the way. From the caring prenatal appointments, to the follow up postpartum appointments done in the privacy of your own home, we will be with you all the way.

Coronavirus (Covid 19):

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, A Family Affair Birth Center is open on a limited basis. We are limiting 2 support people with each woman in labor. We are a low volume heath care center, in contrast to a hospital, we rarely have more than one family here at a time. This is notice is to inform you that we are taking the current situation very seriously, and will continue to go above and beyond normal procedures and protocols to disinfect and maintain the safest birthing center possible. We will ask that accompanying partner and doula agree to wear a mask to help protect all of us onsite, and to provide our clients the safest option for delivery at this time.

Is Insurance accepted?

Please contact your insurance company, because you, as a member, have the biggest voice. Ask them to give you a one time out of network exception, or GAP coverage, and have them email you their response in writing.

We are being contacted by insurance companies asking us to take their members. But we need that email to work with insurance. For those whose insurance will not approve upfront, we can connect you with our insurance biller on how to apply for post birth reimbursement. We also have a medical funding company that you can work with to cover unexpected out of pocket costs. Additionally, we are offering a substantial cash payment discount if your insurance will not cover an out-of-hospital setting.

We understand this is an uneasy time for us all. We will do whatever we can to help. Please note. Just because they may approve you, this is not an offer or guarantee that you will qualify for an out of hospital birth. That can only be done by the midwives, under their normal criteria for care. While exceptions for “late to care, beyond 32 weeks” may be made, that is absolutely at the discretion of the midwives.

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