The Difference a Birthing Center Makes

Remember when I told you guys I was “taking the plunge” and had decided to go to a birthing center instead of a hopsital for the remainder of my pregnancy and delivery?

Well, today was my first prenatal appointment with my new midwife and I could not have been happier with my experience.  It also could not have been any more different than my experiences at the hospital.

I thought that I’d make a little list comparing and contrasting my experiences.  Read more after the jump!

1.  Environment

Birthing Center:  Warm, cozy and inviting.  Decorated like a nice home.

Hospital:  Cold, sterile and white.

2.  Upon Entry

Birthing Center:  “Hi you must be Lauren.  Have a seat and your midwife will be with you shortly.  Can I get you some water or tea?  And can I take your photo for our records?  What a cute little baby bump you have!”

Hospital:  “Name and health record number please.  OK.  Now, drop this off at the next window and take this buzzer. We’ll buzz you when you’re up.  Next!”  (Note: The “buzzer” they hand me is exactly like the kind you get at a chain restaurant to tell you when your table is ready).

3.  During The Visit

Birthing Center:  “How have you been feeling?  Do you have any concerns?  Questions?  Is there anything you want to tell me that will help me to provide you with better care?”

Hospital:  “Have you had any symptoms you’re concerned about?  No?  OK.  Next!”

4.  Examination

Birthing Center:  Had me pee in a cup (which they do at every appointment).  Listened to the heart beat.  Took my blood pressure.  Felt the baby and showed me how baby is positioned – let me feel where my uterus is.

Hospital:  About the same, minus the peeing in the cup, but in a much more hurried fashion.  They also never felt my belly for the baby or explained anything about it to me.

5.  As I was leaving

Birthing Center:  My midwife suggested recommended reading and ways I can get my daily nutrition in.  We parted with a hug.

Hospital:  Said goodbye and sent me to the front desk to make my next appointment.


Now, I am not saying that all of the things I experienced at the hospital were “bad”, but after comparing and contrasting the two there is no doubt in my mind that I’ve made the right choice.  Overall at the birthing center I felt like a person not a number.  They took their time with my appointment and it felt like they actually cared.  Perhaps my experience with a non-HMO type of insurance where I could actually choose my own doctor would be different, but since I don’t have that option I am so thankful and excited for my birth center experience.  I love it already!

Where are you going to be delivering?  What has your experience been so far?

More on Alternative Pregnancy Activities: Are childbirth classes really necessary?

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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