Unfortunately Birth Centres are not that common. If you live near a free standing Birth Centre then you are very lucky. You’re more likely to have access to a hospital with a Birth Centre attached. You’ve may have already discovered that Birth Centres have stringent protocols and it’s very easy to fall outside their guidelines for acceptance.
If you get refused from a Birth Centre or get transferred to hospital, if you have learned good birth skills, keep using them and you’ll still have a really positive birth experience. Once you’ve been accepted to birth in a Birth Centre it’s important to increase your chances of birthing there.
What do Birth Centers offer?
Often families choose to birth outside hospital yet not at home. Birth Centres offer that in between place. Families want a more relaxed environment for the birth of their baby. Many decisions (Birth Plans or choices) are based on political feelings about birth. Somehow hospitals have gotten a bad rap, but it’s curious that so many families will head there if needed. So somehow the hospital is a love/hate place.
When a family chooses a Birth Centre because they have political, personal or philosophical beliefs around childbirth, when something happens to change those choices, despair often descends.
So there are two aspects to this article. First is how to reduce or eliminate the risks of transferring to hospital. Second is how to improve your hospital birth if you end up there.
One thing is certain, you’ll still have medical assessments, monitoring and perhaps some procedures during your Birth Centre birth. A perceived rough vaginal exam can occur whether the woman is birthing at home, hospital or Birth Centre. So a Birth Centre experience can be improved by what you bring to your birth – and that’s your preparation and skills.
In its simplest form childbirth is an exercise in plumbing, a large object has to get out of a ‘‘container’’. Keeping this understanding in mind, you can see how important it is to prepare the ‘container’ to let the object out as easily and safely as possible. Fortunately, pregnancy is the only time to do this and only after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Prepare your body to give birth
Preparing your birthing body has to do with learning skills to keep your ‘container’ open, relaxed and mobile. There are three parts of the ‘container’ the object must negotiate to come out:
After 24 weeks your pregnant body begins its journey toward birth. Always keep in mind that birth is actually an active word, actions are taken in order for the object to come out of the ‘container’.
Along with preparing the pregnant ‘container’ for the activity of birth, it’s important to learn birth skills. Coaching skills for the birthing partner is also vitally important. Wherever you birth, pain is often connected to the activity of birth. Being at a Birth Centre does not change the pain perception and women can as easily tense up their ‘container’ in a Birth Centre.
The pain is connected to the cervix opening. This means it’s essential you learn to relax inside your Pelvic Clock, keep your sacrum mobile, remain in positions that keep the bell shaped curve of your contractions and stay open. These are learned skills that you use by linking your mind to your active birthing body.
If you don’t know how to reduce your own birth tension in response to pain this is more likely to lead to more assessment, monitoring and procedures and even transfer to hospital. So, the first thing you need to do is make certain you learn birth skills that come from preparing your pregnant body so you can cope and manage the pain in a relaxed manner. This means you have to look and act like you are coping with labour pains. That’s the first way you can assure the highest possibility of having a Birth Centre birth.
The second way you can increase the possibility of a Birth Centre experience is to make certain your baby comes through your birth canal. If you have tight muscles inside, or tense up, as this large object comes down to this area, then you risk delaying the final exit of your baby. By doing internal work from 32 weeks onwards, you can ensure that this part of your body can open easily without the characteristic stinging that often occurs.
Planning a Birth Centre experience is just one step on the road to success.
However, once you’ve prepared your pregnant body and learned great birth and coaching skills then you’ll realise that you’re more likely have a successful Birth Centre birth. However, you’ll also know that if you need more medical care that all your preparation and skills will give you the birth you imagined even if you end up in a hospital.
Here is the full list of skills that are so essential to the birth of every baby.