What Are the Differences Between a Freestanding Birth Center and a Hospital?


A freestanding birth center is an ideal place for healthy mothers and babies to receive care throughout pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, and continuing care throughout the lifespan.  At Minnesota Birth Center, we emphasize woman centered care in partnership with Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs).  Our CNMs balance the art of midwifery with modern obstetrical care as well as providing personalized, high quality care with appropriate use of interventions.  The freestanding birth center creates an environment that is safe and empowering as well as being comfortable and homelike.

Birth centers are a perfect location for the midwifery model of care to be practiced.  The midwifery model of care emphasizes continuous care and labor support from a midwife while focusing on the unique emotional, social, spiritual, and physical needs of the pregnant mother and her family.  At the birth center, we celebrate the normalcy of pregnancy and birth in a woman’s life.  We view pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenthood as a significant experience in the life of a family.

Birth centers provide screening for their clients to ensure the mother remains healthy and low-risk during pregnancy.  Birth centers offer extensive education throughout pregnancy to empower women to feel confident making informed decisions about their own and their baby’s health care.  At MBC, the care our CNMs provide is evidence based and we encourage parents to closely research their health care choices.

During labor, interventions that may be standard in the hospital are not routine in the birth center such as routine IV’s, continuous fetal monitoring, routine induction of labor, or epidurals.  The freestanding birth center setting encourages specialized care to each woman’s individual needs and concerns.  At our birth center, we encourage active birth with frequent position changes, hydrotherapy in the tub or shower including water birth, eating and drinking as you like in labor, wearing your own clothes, immediate skin-to-skin contact with your baby, breastfeeding, and a postpartum herbal bath for mother and baby if desired.

We encourage you to contact us to schedule a time to attend our orientation session and tour our beautiful birth center where you will learn even more about freestanding birth centers!

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