There are a wide variety of birthing options in Nashville but what's in a name? This article will help you understand the differences in choosing a birth center in Nashville and other variations currently available.
The phrase "birth center" is currently being used quite broadly to describe any facility that has a place where people give birth. For example...
- Labor & Delivery Unit
- Free-Standing Birth Center
- In-Hospital Birth Center
Unfortunately the term "birth center" is not regulated in the US meaning that any facility can use it and a lot of them are attaching these words to their name.
What is the traditional definition of a birth center?
The traditional definition implies a freestanding birth center. The American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) sets rigorous standards to ensure that families receive safe, high-quality, evidence-based care which support the midwifery model of care and lead to the best possible outcomes for both mom & baby. To find an accredited birth center, visit VerifyMyBirthCenter.org.
What is the traditional midwifery model of care?
Midwives are trained to monitor the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle. A midwife provides the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, and hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support.
Birth Centers in Nashville
- Vanderbilt Birth Center (Formerly Baby & Co) - This is the only accredited, freestanding birth center in the state of Tennessee. Your prenatal visits will be at this facility as a part of your ongoing care. You'll be given an opportunity to meet your midwifery care team (including nurses) and become comfortable and familiar in that environment. During labor, you're only steps away from a birth center suite and then will be discharged back to home.
- St. Thomas Midtown Birth Center - This is a birth center inside a hospital. They are not currently accredited but could pursue it if they chose to meet the criteria. However, at this location, you're seen in the regular OB triage area before being admitted and then have to transfer to the birth center part of the hospital and back to the postpartum floor after delivery. While your midwife may be the same as your prenatal care, it is unlikely that you will have met any of the other nurses and staff.
- The Birth Center at Tri-Star Hendersonville Medical Center - This is an example of a facility using the term birth center to describe their standard labor & delivery rooms.