Saturday, September 11, 2010

Alternative Birth Center Benefits

A new study by The Cochrane Library proves that women delivering babies in alternative birthing centers are less likely to need medical interventions than women delivering in a standard hospital setting.  The study used 10,000 participants randomly assigned to either an alternative birth or standard hospital setting, so results are not skewed by the type of woman who chooses to use an alternative birthing center.  With that in mind, the statistics are impressive.  A woman delivering in an alternative birthing center is 18% less likely to require an epidural, 22% less likely to need oxytocin to speed delivery, and 17% less likely to require an episiotomy, and the birth is 11% less likely to result in Caesarean.

Tye was born in an alternative birthing center,  and our experience there was very positive.  With a well-rounded study to prove that alternative birthing centers reduce medical interventions during a birth, hopefully hospitals and insurance companies will see a financial benefit to providing the woman with a more comfortable, less medical setting and make the centers available to more women.  

What about you?  Do you have an alternative birth center nearby?  Were you surprised by the results of the study?

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I have mixed feelings about this mostly due to experiences from friends. One friend had her first child at an alternative birth center and found her experience to similar to that of giving birth in a factory. She had excellent midwives and so on but just felt the place was so focued on getting the babies delievered that they didn't really focus on mom. Her next child she had a really small local hospital with her midwife in attendance. She found the experience so much more satisfying. She had wanted to have a homebirth but they are illegal where she lives. Anyhow her experience as well as some of my other friends with similar stories actually have totally dumbfounded me as I would have thought otherwise. If we ever do have another child I'm hoping for a homebirth so I'm totally not interested in using any medical intervention unless necessary. Still there are some things to consider. In my moms group of 40+ women, most of them delivered at big name birthing centers and nearly every single one had some major medical intervention. The few of us that delivered at the no-name, local hospital seemed to have much more positive experiences.... and who would have thought?

    Thanks for sharing! (I've been meaning to write a comment but it's hard when the little lady doesn't want to nap!)


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