Why Use a Birth Center

The American Association of Birth Centers describes the Birth Center Experience as the following:

  • The quality of care in birth centers reported in the “The National Birth Center Study” reflects the low overall intrapartum and neonatal mortality rate of 1.3/1000 births; 0.7/1000 if lethal anomalies are excluded. These rates are comparable to studies of low risk, in-hospital births.
  • The cesarean section rate for women receiving care in birth centers averages 4.4%, approximately one half that in studies of low risk, in-hospital births.
  • Birth centers nationally have consistently displayed charges for care for normal birth that average up to 50% less than regular hospital stays and 30% less than short stays – including practitioner fees.
  • More than half of birth centers include routine laboratory exams, childbirth education, home visits, extra office visits, and initial newborn examinations in their charges.
  • Most major health insurers contract with birth centers for reimbursement. Because charges reflect cost and since the birth center is a single service unit, there is no opportunity for cost shifting or operating the birth center as a “loss leader’ to other services.
  • 98.8 percent of women using the birth center would recommend it to friends and/or return to the center for a subsequent birth