Should I deliver at a hospital or a birthing center? What’s right for me?

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Choosing the right maternity centre and medical guidance is as critical for the wellbeing of both the mother as well as the child, when it comes to pregnancy and delivery.

Here are a few things to consider while choosing your pregnancy and delivery medical partner:

1.Consult your gynecologist/obstetrician

We know what you are thinking. The doctor is most likely to recommend the same hospital that they are associated with!

However, it is very important for you to talk your doctor once, as they would suggest a preliminary checkup for the mother, through which you can be guided on specific medical conditions which might be relevant to consider before your pregnancy or your delivery.

2. Know your options

Before finalizing a centre, it is always advisable to know what options are available for you to have your baby delivered.

Two of the most common places are:

  • In a hospital
  • In a natural birthing centre

We have attached a list of both multispecialty hospitals supporting pregnancy and child birth and also specialized maternity hospitals in major parts of the country, for your reference, towards the end of this blog.

With options ranging from multispecialty hospitals, to specialized maternity chains, how do you decide which one is good for you and your baby?

3.Benefits of delivery at a hospital:
  • Pain medicines (epidurals) are available during labour and delivery, if the mother is in need of it
  • Labor can be induced, if necessary
  • The baby would be monitored electronically throughout the labor
  • Incase of high-risk delivery, it is advised to do it in a hospital since the hospital would be better equipped for all eventualities

Birthing centers are mostly low tech, personalized birthing options for moms-to-be who desire a natural birthing experience.

In most birthing centers, midwives are the primary care providers. Birthing centers also provide

  • Well-woman exams
  • Preconception counseling for the couple
  • Prenatal care for the mother
  • Childbirth education
  • Breastfeeding classes
  • Postpartum care and support

Watch Dr. Vijaya Krishnan of The Sanctum Natural Birthing Center, Hyderabad, talking about Natural Childbirth

Delivery at a hospital Delivery at a natural birthing center
More likely to have supplementary medical facilities in case of complications.
Most of the centers are not equipped to deal with high-risk pregnancies
Labor can be induced in hospitals
Do not usually induce labor
26% C-section deliveries for low-risk pregnancies in hospitals
C section deliveries are low at 6% at natural birthing centers
Privacy & personalization is minimal and expensive
Much personalized setting and ambiance with better privacy and freedom for the family
Epidurals i.e., pain killers and routine IVs are frequently used in a delivery process
Rely on alternative pain relief like hydrotherapy, breathing exercises, massages, acupuncture
Insurance coverage is high and common in hospitals
Few companies may not cover cost of delivery in a natural center
Recovery time is usually 24 - 48hours
Minimal dependence on medicines, the family can usually leave within 4 - 6 hours after birth

What might work for someone, might not work for you.

Do consult your medical professional and also the natural birthing centers apart from reading reviews and experiences of other mothers before taking a call.

We have attached a comprehensive list of the natural birthing centers and hospitals in major parts of India for your reference.

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