Birthing is the act or process of giving birth to offspring. The intensity of labour pain may vary from woman to woman. During pregnancy, you can take your own decision as to where you would like to give birth, whether in a hospital or in a birth centre setting. The birth centre may be a best option for women with a low risk pregnancy who have chosen to go for natural birth. But, if you have preeclampsia, diabetes, or expecting twins, birth centre may not be an option.
At the birth centre, early screening and prenatal care is provided to monitor well-being throughout your pregnancy. In a birth centre, natural childbirth is the prime focus. During a natural birth, you can go through labour and delivery without any pain relievers or epidural anaesthesia. There will be minimal medical interventions such as foetal monitoring or episiotomies performed. You will be free to move around in labour and get into positions that are most comfortable for you. Techniques such as hydrotherapy, massage, warm and cold compresses, and visualisation and relaxation are frequently used and you are generally able to eat and drink as and when you desire.
A birth centre is a healthcare facility, staffed by registered nurses, certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), doulas (trained personnel to provide labour support and/or postpartum care), obstetric and paediatric consultants. They also have medical equipment available and are able to provide natural pain control or with mild narcotic medications. The medical equipments available include intravenous (IV) lines and fluids, oxygen for the mother and the baby, infant resuscitators, infant warmers, local anaesthesia to repair tears and episiotomies, and oxytocin to control bleeding that occurs immediately after birth.
There will be a more homely environment with amenities such as private rooms with soothing colours and lighting, birthing tubs or showers. It may also include a kitchen for the family to use.
Natural childbirth is very safe if you follow your doctor’s recommendations correctly. Always choose a birth centre that is recognised by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centres (CABC).