If you’re a first-time mother then a lot of thoughts might be whirring in your mind about the whole pregnancy thing, more especially of course, that phase when you go into labor and ready to deliver the baby. The most common place for giving birth is inside a hospital. But if you’re not into doing a C-section to deliver the baby, then you may want to consider natural childbirth at a birth center instead.  


For your peace of mind, there are many hospital-affiliated birth centers with licensed and certified midwives in the lead. It means that giving birth in these places is perfectly safe, as long as you belong to the list of healthy mothers with a low-risk pregnancy. If you personally support natural childbirth, then you’ll definitely prefer giving birth at these centers.  

Isn’t Childbirth Painful? 

Labor pains are usually unpredictable and they can definitely be long and painful for some. This is why it’s important that the birth center has the means to address situations like these. Although they primarily support natural childbirth, it doesn’t mean they will strictly adhere to the no medications rule. There should be something available for the pain, such as nitrous oxide and intravenous pain medications, if needed. And if these things still can’t help the mother deal with the pain, then the means to transfer her to a nearby hospital should be possible so an epidural can be administered.  

Statistics show that only one out of four first-time moms have to be transferred to hospitals because they can’t deal with the pain. This is quite a low number, considering that a majority of the women who come to birthing center were able to do handle traditional childbirth. If most mothers can do it and you’re physically sound and healthy, there’s that 75% to 80% chance that you would to.  

Other Safety Concerns 

It’s technically safe to give birth outside a hospital setup, especially if the mother is property screened, monitored, and cared for during the prenatal period. Experienced and licensed midwives are capable of taking care of low-risk pregnancies. However, childbirth may take some terrifying turns at times and the birth center should also be prepared for that. They should have medical resources available and a physician on call for such rare instances.  

As far as low-risk births are concerned, studies show that birth centers are as safe as hospitals. The same studies show that many of the children who were born in these centers didn’t show any major complication or increased risk of mortality. With proper support and guidance, using birth centers should be an option for the low-risk pregnancies of healthy mothers.  

How to Choose a Birth Center 

When choosing the right birth center for you, always start with the center’s licenses and accreditations. In many states, birth centers are considered as health care facilities, which mean that they have the same licensing requirements as clinics. However, licensing can be very different from state to state so be sure that you know how yours handle these centers. Some have stricter requirements than the rest, which others don’t regulate them at all. Perform due diligence for your own protection.