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Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE

Birth Center Births are a Safe, Cost-Effective Alternatives to Hospitals

By January 31, 2013

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Water Birth - Oh it's a baby!

I'm pleased to share some good news with you: Having your baby with fewer interventions is safer for you and baby in the overwhelmingly majority of births. This is most likely to happen when you are cared for by a practitioner who believes in that philosophy whole heartedly and even more in a setting where that is the culture, like a birth center. In a new study of birth centers out today you can see some amazing statistics on how having your baby in one of the 79 midwife-led birth centers in one of 33 states.

One of the most remarkable findings in the Birth Center II Study was the cesarean rate was only 1 out 16 for participants who planned a birth center birth. This is compared to about 1 out of 4 low risk women in a hospital. (That rate of cesarean jumps to nearly 1 out of 3 for all women.)

So what does this mean? The bottom line is that you can have a safe and healthy birth in a birth center if you're a low risk woman. In the end, not only will you personally experience these good outcomes, but as more women turn to safe care in birth center run by midwives, we will see cesarean rates fall and the costs of birth drop as well. (Just to name a few.)

P.S. Just because you go to a hospital that tacked on the words BIRTH CENTER to their wall, doesn't make it a birth center. I urge you to read this definition of birth center. While the CDC says that only about 0.3% of US moms give birth in birth centers, I think that number is about to go up!

Tell us about your birth center experience.


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Photo April's Grapevine Photography


Stapleton, SR, Osborne, C, & Illuzzi, J. (2013). Outcomes of Care in Birth Centers: Demonstration of a Durable Model. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health.

January 31, 2013 at 5:50 pm
(1) Erika says:

This is a great, informative article. Thank you so much for this!

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