Where Would You Give Birth?

In comparison to the scary intensity of hospitals, there is such thing known as freestanding birthing centers. They cater to midwifery care to help ensure women are properly secured and looked after during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the postpartum period. 

Motherhood can be the most frightening experience to most. These birthing centers provide a home-like environment in hopes for the process of birth to run its natural course smoothly. 

Although hospitals have tons of advanced technology to help women give birth, there are many unethical actions taken during the birthing process towards the women and their babies. 

One example of this is Marie Mcmahon’s story. According to CBC, Mcmahon went to the hospital for her birth and her doctor acted horrifically. Mcmahon’s doctor took out her placenta without her consent and without anesthesia, but that wasn’t the worst part. 

“Next thing I know, an entire arm, up to her elbow, shoots into my vagina and uterus without any warning. I screamed at her to stop,” McMahon said in an email. “I felt every inch of my placenta being ripped out of my uterus.” She was left with severe PTSD, flashbacks, and insomnia. 

Along with the traumatic experiences, mothers have to endure, they are never able to fully relax especially when the inevitable conversation of cost brings itself to life. According to CBS News, “It costs an average of $26,380 to give birth in a California hospital,” which is 75% higher than the national average. This includes the service and process of birth itself, the room, and the after-care stay. Whereas a freestanding birth center costs anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 including the aftercare. 

Furthermore, women’s voices don’t always get heard in the delivery room. For example, many women aren’t comfortable with the required position they have to be in to deliver the baby but in a hospital, it is required for the woman to lay down, as it’s more suitable for the doctor. According to BMC, Lilian Mselle, a worker at the Clinical Nursing Department stated, “the supine position is the universally known and practiced birthing position, and prefer it because it provides flexibility for them to continuously monitor the progress of labor and assist delivery most efficiently.” 

Although it makes it easier for the doctor to see and monitor, the doctors and nurses can still see if the woman is in a more comfortable position for herself, such as squatting or standing. With that, doctors and nurses usually get the final say. If the mother says no while the doctors feel it’s the right call, they can still go forward with it. Compared to a birthing center, if the woman would like to dance and play music before delivery, she may. If she wants to deliver her baby squatting she may. If she wants to have her babysitting or lying in the water, she may. 

While hospitals may be the more talked about option and the studies recorded have been in favor of the hospital environment with all the resources they have, that doesn’t mean a birthing center is any less sustainable or qualified. 

While in favor of birthing centers and the support that they provide women, hospitals can not only be the safer, more professional option but also supply women with things birthing centers do not. 

According to Medicine Net, “Giving birth in a hospital means that you have access to many types of pain prevention methods. You can try an IV medication, and if that doesn’t work, you can get an epidural. Birthing centers and home births don’t offer these same options. At a hospital, you can always forego these options, but it may provide you peace of mind to know they’re available.” 

As no one can predict the future, you never know what the outcome of the birthing process will be. Thankfully in a hospital, you are only down the hall from a NICU if the baby is presented with health concerns or in distress. 

If the birthing process is beginning to go on much longer than expected and not running smoothly, Medicine Net also pointed out, “If your baby is stuck in the birth canal or you face other issues, the hospital team is ready to take steps to deliver your baby. This may include completing a C-section if your labor goes on too long. Birthing centers and home births don’t offer the same interventions. If your labor goes too long at another location without a successful birth, you may need to go to the hospital anyway. Early intervention at a hospital may prevent the need for a C-section.”

All in all the decision is strictly the mother’s whether going the traditional route of birthing in a hospital or feeling the comfortability of being at home while experiencing excruciating pain.