A birth center can be affiliated with or even physically attached to a hospital, or it can be an independent, free-standing facility operated by Certified Nurse Midwives or more commonly by Licensed Midwives. All birth centers are affiliated with an obstetrical practice in case a mom becomes high-risk or simply needs medical care for a portion of her pregnancy.
Birth centers are an ideal option for mothers who:
- are low-risk (no medical complications and no mulitples)
- have not had abdominal surgery (such as a cesarean birth)
- like the natural approach of a midwife
- want a high-touch/low-tech approach to birth
- enjoy a home-like atmosphere
- prefer labor to start, progress and end without medical interventions
There are several birth centers in the Tampa Bay area: Breath of Life in Largo (Florida’s only nationally-accredited birth center), Labor of Love in Dunedin, Labor of Love in Lutz, Sweet Child O’Mine in Brandon (coming soon).
Happy Birth Way offers clients of Breath of Life a five-class childbirth series that is tailored to birthing at a birth center. Happy Birth Way also offers a Refresher Class at the birth center for moms who have at least one baby. Founded in 2007, Breath of Life offers clients the care and expertise of three Certified Nurse Midwives. Each of the birth center’s three birthing suites have private baths and showers and a beautiful outdoor patio. The family waiting room has a kitchen area, cozy couches, a TV, and toys for little ones.
This video offers an overview of Breath of Life Birth Center:
To find a birth center in your area, contact the American Association of Birth Centers.