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How To Pick a Birthing Center

Birthing centers can offer a variety of birthing experiences. Choose the birthing center that's right for you.


  • Step 1: Ask the staff about their pain management options. Options may include hot tubs, massages, warm compresses, anesthetics, and pain killers.
  • Step 2: Tour each facility and ask questions about the procedures for intake, laboring, delivery, and release.
  • Step 3: Discuss your options with your family and medical care provider and determine which facility can best meet your needs for a healthy, happy delivery.
  • FACT: The first Cesarean section in the United States was performed in 1794 by Dr. Jesse Bennett on his own wife.
  • Step 4: Ask the staff about their plan when emergencies or complications arise. Find out about transportation and admission procedures, and whether you will need to see an obstetrician beforehand.
  • TIP: Centers that are accredited have been through an oversight process to determine their overall performance and medical safety.
  • Step 5: Consider the birthing center’s proximity to your house. Convenience plays a huge role in your overall labor and delivery experience.
  • Step 6: Ask the center's staff about their credentials. Determine if they are licensed and what kind of professionals are on staff.
  • TIP: Some birthing centers have doctors on staff, while others have certified nurse midwives to deliver your baby.
  • Step 7: Determine if the center is accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers.
  • Step 8: Consult your insurance policy and find out which birthing centers are covered.

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