Birth Center vs Home Birth

I am happy to see New Jersey to have new options for women to choose where they’d like to give birth.  Giving birth in a birth center is really no different than giving birth a home, as far as safety.

  • There’s no rush to go anywhere for the birth.
  • As a home birth midwife, I carry the same medical equipment that would be available in a birth center.
  • If the need to go to a hospital arises, we would go to the closest hospital rather than having to transfer to the collaborating hospital of the birth center which may not be in close proximity to the birth center.
  • Intervention can still occur at a birth center, such as rupturing membranes/ breaking water, as a way to speed up the labor process, whereas at home, we honor the process of labor, and intervene in that process hardly ever.
  • Giving birth at home gives a woman the freedom to move and give birth in which ever place works best for her as well as birthing in the best position her body is guiding her to follow.
  • Delayed cord clamping at home is encouraged and we wait at least an hour or so until it is time for the newborn exam.
  • Once mama and baby are settled into bed, it is then time to start the bonding process. We can still assess mom and baby, but it is done in subtle way, not causing interference in that process.
  • When giving birth in a birth center, you have to pack up and leave within a certain time period. Once baby has arrived and begins nursing, most women are not up for getting in a car to go home.  When birthing at home, everything you could need or want is already there.
  • Parents have the freedom to make decisions as to whether they want vitamin K, eye ointment or further testing done when giving birth at home. This may not be the case in freestanding birth centers.