There are a lot of things that pregnant families need to navigate in order to welcome a new little one. Where to bring your baby into the world is one of those big decisions (even pre-pandemic it’s a critical decision… but even more so now). Right now, the world looks a little different than it ever has, and the navigation seems a little heavier. Babies don’t wait for pandemics to be over or stay-at-home orders to no longer be in effect; they’re always on their own timeline (that doesn’t end at birth, those little nocturnal babes will continue to keep you on your toes). And because of that, more families are searching for options to birth outside of hospitals, which are predicted to be at capacity within the next couple of weeks and into the next couple of months (depending on where you live).
Hospital maternity wards could also potentially expose COVID-19 to you and your family through other patients or healthcare workers (due to asymptomatic people or those who’ve knowingly or unknowingly been exposed). And because these facilities need to try and limit the sheer amount of people that enter their buildings, they’ve set up strict visitor guidelines— in some places that means excluded partners and birth support people, like doulas or family members.
A freestanding birth center is an option for families looking for the comfort of home (or honestly, a spa — they’re freaking fantastic), but with additional resources, pain management options, and support. Birth centers are equipped to provide routine care and some emergency care. They typically have a staff of certified and licensed midwives and labor and delivery nurses. Some have their own doulas, chiropractors, and lactation consultants. There can be variations from center to center. Because of that, parents looking for this type of option should be equipped with questions to ask each center.
Having these questions on hand is especially important right now, because most birth centers are not doing tours due to COVID-19. A tour can give you the feel of the overall culture of a place and many of the questions you might have thought of in conversation while touring, might not occur as naturally through a telephone or video chat. To enable the conversation, here are 25 important questions to ask a birth center.
Download the checklist
Finding the right fit in choosing where to birth your baby can make all the difference in your overall experience. And that experience doesn’t end with you, it affects your partner and your new little one. Their entrance is a time-stamped, monumental event that’s physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional for everyone. The calmest, safest, and most joyful experience is the goal for every birth. We wish you all of those things and more in both finding the perfect fit for your family and your sweet baby’s beautiful entrance into this world.
All of our love.