Understanding the difference between birthing centers and hospital delivery in Houston
Pregnancy is a time during which you will have numerous decisions to make. One of the most important considerations you face is where you will give birth. There are several hospitals and birthing centers in the Houston area, each offering a unique experience to new families.
What you need to know
One of the common reasons that parents consider a birthing center delivery versus giving birth in a hospital setting is comfort. Feeling “at home” has its merits, of course, but it would be a mistake to assume that the hospital setting equates to a cold, clinical atmosphere. In most cases, hospital deliveries are private and comfortable.
Birthing centers are designed to have a home-like environment, with a bed and décor that look very much like you have at home. In addition to the physical environment, a birthing center may also give you the feeling of a home delivery by allowing family members to be present while you deliver. The staff at a birthing center may consist of nurses, physicians’ assistants, or midwives. In some facilities, a board-certified obstetrician may also be present.
While a birthing center is suited to low-risk deliveries and women who wish for a natural birthing experience, it is important to understand that this type of facility often lacks the level of medical care you will find in a hospital setting. When you deliver in one of Houston’s medical facilities, you have the benefit of an experienced nursing and physician staff on hand in the event of an unexpected complication that may require delivery via Cesarean section.
The hospital birth experience is likely to be more “managed” than what you can have in a birthing center. The standard delivery will involve close fetal monitoring. Pain-relieving medication is available and, if necessary, medication to move labor along. Birthing centers are designed for natural childbirth, which means no medications are used to assist with patient comfort. However, this is typically the desire of the mother-to-be who chooses such a facility.
Deciding where to give birth can take time. Patients of Dr. Taryll Jenkins are encouraged to begin exploring their options early, giving them time to visit the various hospitals in their area, as well as birthing centers if they so desire.
We are happy to assist you with pertinent information regarding Houston facilities you may consider for your birthing experience. Call Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Medicine at 855 346 8610.