With rising costs and the growing number of deliveries, midwives in St. Jacobs, Canada are pushing for the reconsideration of birth centers as a safer and more cost-effective option aside from the common hospital birth.
Birth centers, also known as birthing centers or lying-in clinics, charge anywhere between P5,000 to P15,000, whereas hospitals can ask for as much as P80,000 to P100,000 for a normal delivery and P120,000 to P150,000 for a Caesarean section. (For more information on the medical costs for pregnancy, childbirth, baby care and more, click here.)
Doctors note, though, that birthing centers can be a viable alternative, assuming that the woman has an uncomplicated pregnancy, is not hypertensive or diabetic, and has no other life-threatening conditions.
In Ontario, 1 in 10 women are choosing midwives to care for them during their pregnancy and when giving birth. Birth centers provide women with an alternative when they prefer not to give birth at a hospital or at home. It also helps conserve expenses when it comes to health care. Birth center deliveries also offer a more natural experience.
It is also important to note that the leading cause of hospitalization of women is childbirth. Because of the incision, CS sections cause pain and the recovery period is longer. Because of this, moms stay in the hospital longer and are more likely to have complications or be re-admitted.
Said St. Jacobs midwife Julie Corey, “Why not have another alternative to take some pressure off the birthing numbers at the hospital? We already have the trained human resources that we need to staff it.”
For more information on birth centers, www.americanpregnancy.org has an in-depth description of what patients can expect, facilities and procedures involved, as well as important questions to ask.
Would you consider giving birth in a birthing center or lying-in clinic? Why or why not? We’d love to know. Share with us your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
•February 8, 2012. Johanna Weidner. “Midwives urge birth centres as alternatives to hospital deliveries” therecord.com